Sustainability Transitions Summer School (STSS) 2017 was held from 10-28 July in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, hosted by Universitas Gadjah Mada. This STSS is part of Food Security and Climate Change (FSCC) initiative co-founded by the Erasmus+ Programme of European Union, and the South East Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC). Co-organizing the Summer School are Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) of Indonesia, and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) of Vienna, Austria. The UC members are Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) and UGM in Indonesia, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in Malaysia, the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) in the Philippines, and Kasetsart University (KU) in Thailand. Tokyo University of Agriculture (NODAI) is an Associate Member, while SEARCA is the Consortium Secretariat. This year, Universitas Brawijaya (UB) of Indonesia is a new affiliate member.
This three-weeks course made students gained a better understanding of the links between the different components in the ecosystem and how each component may affect food security in the advent of changing climate. Through the series of interactive lectures, discussions and group works focusing on transitions of Agro-Forestry Farming systems. The summer course made into three phases, which are introduction, implementation, and reflection.
Introduction includes getting know about the course, objectives, outcome, getting know each other, about food security, climate change, and sustainability transition. The students also visited a demonstration of integrated dairy goat and cacao processing at Pusat Pembibitan Kakao. More so, the students visited the Wanagama Educational & Experimental Forest. The tour allowed the students to understand the various components in the forest ecosystem, and how it has adapted to the changing climate over the years.
Phase implementation include Field Work at Leksana and Penanggungan Village in Banjarnegara. In Leksana village, the participants learnt about agroforestry and in Penanggungan village, they learnt about intensive farming. The students were immersed with a local community, starts on 14 July and ended up with small workshop presentation with the farmers and district government at 20 July. In the field study, the participants did an indepth interview with the farmers from both villages and with the government of Wanayasa sub district. Staying with local family, all participants not only gaining knowledge about agroforestry and intensive farming, they also could feel the local wisdom, modesty of everyday living, togetherness and sharing with the others.
In the third week, participant had 4 more classes, conducted in Faculty of Forestry, Faculty of Geography, Faculty of Agricultural Technology to learn climate change and disaster. Participant also visitted Merapi Volcano Museum and Deles Village to understand volcanic hazard as well as community-based disaster risk management lead by Faculty of Geography Universitas Gadjah Mada.
The third phase is reflection include feedback and sharing, not only the workshop with local farmers and district government but also a conference with scientific format for public presentation. From all experiences gained through the summer course, the participants could understand about the sustainability transition and the connection with climate change. What we need to fight the global challenge is not a hero with special skill, but a hero with open mind and good networking and brave enough to be an agent of change. With new friend and networking, hopefully, the participants will become an agent of change for the better sustainable future.