CLEAR Community: A Global Vision from Local Needs

CLEAR Community helps to support, motivate and provide technical information to empower communities to develop effective waste management practices and sustainable living. CLEAR started in the small coastal community of Batukaras, Indonesia and is now a global network expanding aid to neighbouring villages and supporting local initiatives.

From small beginnings

Chani Leahong at Batukaras

“With my background in civil engineering and passion for sustainable waste management, it was clear that the rapid adoption of plastics without a waste management system to deal with them was having a devastating effect on communities and truly global repercussions.”

Chani Leahong, founder and now CEO of CLEAR Community


In 2011, Chani was studying martial arts in Indonesia. When she went to Batukaras on a surfing holiday, she witnessed villagers discussing waste-management problems for hours. They were particularly concerned with the issues of plastic and environmental degradation. She was very impressed: “People had great ideas about what could and needed to be done, but they lacked the experience and confidence to implement them. So, the idea of CLEAR Community was born; facilitating local people’s ideas and providing the technical background, confidence and motivation to implement them.”

Continuing the community-based approach

A community meeting at Bale Tau

In the first consultation involving the community, local groups and official representatives, the key elements of a programme of activity were identified. There was a deliberate decision to allow organic development, committing to be the facilitator and following the intentions and vision of the local community. This programme and process has continued and CLEAR Batukaras developed to support them.

Listening, researching, testing, implementing and sharing

Since the beginning, CLEAR Community has taken an innovative approach through trialling and learning different methods and techniques to understand what works best across different sectors and demographics. The research included international academic partnerships with UK and Indonesian universities. Using this research, the community at Batukaras have developed an effective waste-management system. They are now running it with only limited technical support from CLEAR. With effective systems developed and the support and experience of Batukaras, CLEAR Community can now share the best of what has been learned with new communities.

Waste champions spread the word

Environmental education is the core pillar of what CLEAR Community does. CLEAR is currently working with school leavers and university students to build a network of “Waste Champions”. CLEAR is also working closely with local women’s groups. Their members are the key change-makers and keen implementers of the best waste management practises.

What is CLEAR?

CLEAR Bale Tau is the community centre in Batukaras in south Java, Indonesia.

CLEAR Batukaras is the programme of support for waste management and sustainable living in the Batukaras area.

CLEAR Community is the expanded programme of support for villages in Indonesia and further afield. It is also a UK registered charity with support in the UK, Indonesia, Australia, Singapore. Pollution is a global issue. If you can help, let us know: