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  • Jeff Baierlein

Prioritizing Safety in Indonesia’s Outdoor and Adventure Industry

by Kaelan Young

 

In the lush landscapes of Indonesia, a growing interest in outdoor activities has led to an expanding adventure industry. As more people seek outdoor experiences, the industry has experienced growth, catering to the diverse interests of adventurers across the archipelago.


Trekking in Bogor, a city in the West Java province of Indonesia. Jelajah Outdoor

 

Jelajah Outdoor, an outdoor adventure provider based in Bogor Indonesia, is inspired by the motto "Grow together towards positive change." The outdoor education organization places a high value on good risk management in the youth-serving and corporate programs it offers. Founded in 2013, the organization has sought to incorporate good safety standards in its own operations, and advocates for effective risk management practices across the nation's steadily increasing adventure sector.

 

Yet, amidst the industry’s expansion, an issue emerges: the absence of standardized safety practices and accreditation. With safety measures varying widely across providers, participants face heightened risks, while the lack of accreditation threatens the industry's credibility and quality. In the absence of recognized standards, providers may not be able to access the information they seek about good practice expectations.


The Jelajah Outdoor team in Indonesia. Jelajah Outdoor

 

Recognizing these challenges, Jelajah Outdoor has taken proactive measures to address safety concerns. They have implemented safety procedures for their programs, placing the well-being of participants at the forefront. By establishing internal standards, Jelajah aims to lead by example, inspiring industry-wide improvements. Externally, they hope to forge partnerships with other organizations to jointly advocate for accreditation across adventure activities and to establish safety standards.


Jelajah Outdoor’s Co-Founder and Program Director, Wigoto Prihadi. Jelajah Outdoor

 

Integral to Jelajah Outdoor’s mission are its Co-Founder, Wigoto Prihadi, and Director of Program Development, Soel Winarno, whose collective experience spans over four decades. Their journey into outdoor education has been shaped by firsthand encounters with insufficient regulatory oversight, including a tragic accident in 2010 where a friend and colleague of Wigoto died. Reflecting on this experience, Wigoto emphasized, "One thing that I really want in my country is for our government to make outdoor and adventure regulations to help prevent incidents like that.”


Jelajah Outdoor’s Director of Program Development, Soel Winarno. Soel Winarno

 

Soel, too, gained valuable knowledge into risk management during the setup of a challenge course early in his career. As a freelance facilitator, he voiced concerns about the safety of a challenge course setup, but changes weren't made, and a participant was injured.

 

Soel noted, "I realized that risks need to be addressed systematically, not just based on personal perspectives." This incident underscored the absence of industry-wide standards, reinforcing the need for regulations to safeguard adventure programs across the nation.


Jelajah Outdoor

 

For Wigoto and Soel, their personal experiences mobilized introspection and action, propelling them to prioritize safety in their professional endeavors. Their commitment to enhancing their knowledge of risk management, exemplified through rigorous training such as Viristar’s Risk Management for Outdoor Programs course, which Wigoto and Soel recently completed, reflects their dedication to fostering a culture of safety within Jelajah Outdoor and the broader adventure industry.


Jelajah Outdoor

 

Despite the current lack of government regulations, Jelajah Outdoor remains optimistic about the future of Indonesia’s outdoor and adventure industry. They actively advocate for the establishment of industry-wide standards and accreditation processes, acknowledging the potential for positive change and benefits, such as increased participation, economic growth, and an enhanced reputation for the industry. Their optimism is fueled by a belief in the industry’s potential to prioritize safety and sustainability, paving the way for a brighter future for adventurers and providers alike.

 

As Indonesia’s adventure industry continues to flourish, ensuring safety and standardization remains important. Through initiatives like those at Jelajah Outdoor and their partners, the industry can navigate towards a future where outdoor experiences provide thrills and also meet standards for excellence in risk management.


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