Aeshnina Azzahra Aqilani

About Aeshnina Azzahra Aqilani
  • Student, SMP Negeri 12 Gresik
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Aeshnina Azzahra Aqilani (Nina) was born in Sidoarjo, the 3rd daughter of Prigi Arisandi and Daru Setyorini. Nina is a grade VII student at 12 Gresik Middle School with a penchant for swimming, dancing, reading, writing and drawing. Nina likes learning about Environmental and English Education. Since childhood, Nina often participates in river conservation activities because her mother's father is an environmental activist. Nina started to show environmental care since elementary school.

When she was in grade 5 elementary school, the class teacher invited Nina and her classmate Nina to write a letter to the Regent of Gresik to convey pollution and damage to the river around her school and their dreams of a clean and healthy river condition in the future. Nina and her teacher delivered a book containing a letter from a student from Muhammadiyah Wringinom Elementary School and met with the Regent of Gresik in person. However, the condition of the river near the school is still polluted and there is no serious pollution control program carried out by the government.

Around 2018 around the neighborhood of Nina's house there were many plastic waste dumps on the riverbanks or in the residents' yards. Nina followed her parents to visit a plastic waste disposal site which turned out to be foreign waste imported by a paper factory in East Java, mainly from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Australia. Nina took part in a demonstration by her parents to refuse imported waste at the US Consulate General in Surabaya in June 2019, and Nina supported the protest by writing to US President Donald Trump to stop exporting paper and plastic waste to Indonesia. Nina's action wrote a letter covered by Aljazeera TV and received the attention of the international community. In December 2019, the German TV station met Nina and made a children's documentary that took action to save the environment. Nina gained a lot of experience during the making of the film and met with many parties involved in the delivery and processing of imported plastic waste in East Java.

Nina met with Tanjung Perak Customs and Excise officials, Sub-district Chiefs, Village Heads, Plastic Recycling Entrepreneurs to trace the flow of plastic waste from containers to disposal sites. After searching, Nina became more enthusiastic about rejecting imported waste in East Java and Nina wrote to the leader of the waste exporting countries, namely German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Australian President Scott Morrison. Nina's action increasingly received the attention of the media and the public because Nina delivered her letter and met in person with the German Ambassador and the Australian Ambassador in Jakarta. The German ambassador said he would tighten surveillance at his port so that dirty plastic waste is not sent to other countries. The Australian Government also said that Australia was drafting regulations to ban the export of waste from Australia. At present Nina is still waiting for an official response from the leader of the country who has been sent a letter and plans to send a letter to the leaders of other countries that export waste to Indonesia.

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