Udin: “I plant with my heart and take care like my own child”
|After the devastating forest fires of 2015, hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest in Sebangau National Park burned down destroying everything. Many species of flora and fauna perished in the fire and haze. Reforestation efforts by replanting seedlings were carried out by many people, including the Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF).BNF in collaboration with the Center for International Coopertion in Sustainable Management of Tropical Peatland (CIMTROP) conducted reforestation in 2 main sites, the Ruslan Area and around CIMTROP’s camp. The purpose of reforestation is to restore the original condition of the forest.
“The 2015 forest fires resulted in the Ruslan Area being burned down, around 50 hectares were burned, leaving only charred plants. Therefore, it became one of the key spots for reforestation because it can accommodate 100,000 local plant seeds with 2 meters of spacing.” said Nursery Coordinator, Salahuddin (Udin).
Udin also explained, due to the fires being on the edge of the forest, it is easier to monitor the progress of the reforestation results.
“In 2016, I joined the reforestation program, many seeds have succeeded in growing even reaching 2 meters in height.” he explained.
According to Udin, during the reforestation program, 75-90% of the plants had successfully grown, but there were a number of threats that often made him worry that the seeds would not grow well. Wild animals can damage the seeds, for example, wild boars are a threat as they love to eat the tops of the plants.
Photo by Desi Natalia | BNF | UPT LLG CIMTROP
Some other factors include weather, as high rainfall can make the seeds not grow optimally. Planting land can become flooded with water, and if the water is not flowing it can cause the growth of wild moss that covers the seeds and submerges them. Alternatively, land that is too open is not good for seed growth, as they are directly exposed to sunlight. Seeds will grow better if there is a canopy covering it, like big trees. They will scramble to find the sun and it is good for growth.
“So far, 50,000 seedlings have been planted by the Community Nursery.” he said.
The seeds planted are local plants such as Perupuk (Lophopetalum javanicum), Balangeran (Shorea balangeran), Tampohot (Myrtaceae Syzygium sp), Patanak Galeget (Eleocarpus sp). These types of plant were greatly reduced due to burning in the Ruslan area.
Udin added, “I and all my friends really hope that the seeds can grow well, the community are also more and more involved to restore the forest as it used to be. I plant with my heart, and take care of every seedling like my own child”.