My Jakarta: Nadine Zamira, Environmental Activist
Although Miss Earth Indonesia 2009 has passed on her crown, she is still very much involved in environmental issues. Nadine Zamira, who co-founded a green communications consultancy called LeafPlus, sees the unlimited potential for young people to promote a green Jakarta and world.
As part of her cause, she’ll be attending an event called ‘Help Our Culture, Help Our Nature’ tonight at @america, the American cultural center at Pacific Place mall, to remind people that our survival relies on nature.
How did you get involved with @america?
I have attended many events at @america and have acknowledged it as a public space to discuss positive topics.
And what about tonight’s event, ‘Help Our Culture, Help Our Nature’?
We must remember that ultimately our survival relies on nature. This is also a relevant approach for businesses, to support the communities around them and local wisdom through CSR [corporate social responsibility] programs. Taken in the larger context, I do believe that environmentalism is, in its essence, a form of nationalism: preserving the people, our way of life and the natural home that sustains it.
Can you explain what green CSR means to Jakartans?
For residents of Jakarta, our role as consumers is to be individually responsible about collecting information on companies and patronizing the ethical ones and avoiding buying products and/or services that have been proven to be environmentally harmful.
This seminar will provide knowledge through testimonials about real and proven practices related to green CSR. The audience will learn about the connection between culture and the environment, which will offer an interesting viewpoint.
What did you do as Miss Earth Indonesia?
During my year as Miss Earth Indonesia, and especially now with my environmental communications consultancy, LeafPlus, I have been involved in the business of environmental education. I look at my fellow young people and I see limitless potential, especially since young people these days have better access to information and to multiple channels of activism and self-development.
I have seen a development of and a better understanding and awareness of environmental issue. One of the indicators is the sheer volume of environmentally themed programs, workshops and talk shows that I have been invited to. Schools have also approached my consultancy about environmental education programs and have taken measures to make their campuses greener.
What about your own passion for the environment?
I discovered it at a very young age. I had the opportunity to grow up in an environment that encouraged bonding with nature. As a child I spent a lot of time outdoors in nature as part of the school curriculum and as a value my parents instilled in me. My fondest and earliest memories were of me nature trekking, bird watching, hiking, camping, visiting national parks, etc., so I developed that fascination and love for the natural world quite early.
When do you think Jakarta will start living the green life?
Well again, since green is trending right now, I see a general increase in awareness and concern for environmental issues. But that does not always translate into real change? Put up an advertisement about a new gadget launch and people trample each other in line without asking the question, ‘Do I really need it?’
People forget that the root cause of all environmental problems is consumption: everything we consume and wear impacts the environment. Consuming less and more responsibly is a role that everyone can play.
After intellectual, emotional and spiritual intelligence, I believe that the next frontier is ecological intelligence, understanding the impact of our activities on nature and taking corrective steps to reduce it. These last few years we have started to understand the concept of a green economy and many market researchers have found that this is the direction the world is going in. Being ignorant is just not a choice anymore.
Do you think there should be laws implementing green CSR for companies?
In most countries CSR remains voluntary. The argument suggests that if there were legislation around CSR, then companies would only deliver what the law requires, but never more, which would wither the whole essence of responsibility. It is an ongoing debate.
Nadine Zamira was talking to Mustika Hapsoro.