History of Indonesia's tree planting day

Become a Hero by Planting Trees: Everything Can Start from Your Own Home

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Getting the hero title may seem like a lot of work and requires a heroic act. But did you know that becoming a hero to the environment can be as easy as planting a tree? It is unquestionable how important trees are in our life. Not only did they clean the air and supply us with oxygen, but trees can also provide us with material for shelter and help in providing shade to reduce surface temperature. 

This November, let’s celebrate the importance of trees and secure our future by planting trees on 28 November, also known as tree planting day. 

History of Indonesia’s tree planting day

Based on the presidential decree of the Republic of Indonesia Number 24 of 2008, Indonesia Tree Planting Day (HMPI) is stated to be celebrated every 28 November and the month of December as National Planting Month. This policy was influenced by the Simultaneous Planting Action (Aksi Penanaman Serentak) and the Women’s Tree Planting Movement (Gerakan Perempuan Tanam Pohon) in 2007 resulting in over 90 thousand trees planted. 

The simultaneous tree planting is done to restore damaged forests and land in Indonesia. As reported from Tirto.id, globally, Indonesia is ranked fifth concerning countries with the largest tree cover lost. Global Forest Watch noted that Indonesia had lost 18,91 million hectares of forest from the year 2001 to 2014. Making celebrating tree planting day as important as ever.

Back in 2008, the presidential decree also included a mandate urging the public to plant one tree per person, also known as One Man One Tree. Looking at the number, the president hoped that by the end of the year 230 million tree trunks can be planted. The effort in planting trees is also in accords with the Paris Climate Agreement in which Indonesia is one of the 191 countries that are committed to reducing emissions and working together to adapt to the impacts of climate change. 

Planting trees helps fight global warming

Trees have a vital role in reducing the increasing greenhouse gasses, the main cause of global warming and climate change. The trees do this by absorbing carbon dioxide produced by human activities such as cars, air conditioning, and factories. This function of the tree can be carried out on a massive scale by planting more trees or forests.

While the tree grows and absorbs the carbons, they also function as a shade resulting in a cooler surface temperature. Considering that Indonesia is a tropical country where the sun shines for most of the year, the carbon resulting from the use of air conditioning can be quite significant. Trees can help in this aspect for homes, streets, and urban buildings by providing shade resulting in 30% less air conditioning needs according to Waste4Change.

Tree planting movement

Planting trees is not the only answer in combating climate change and the ever-rising temperature. But it is one of the many simple ways of contributing to fighting in reducing the effects of climate change. This movement is being done all over the world in an effort to regreen the planet. 

The tree-planting movement can be done in so many ways. World Resource Institute collaborating with Kitabisa and NGOs such as HAKA (Aceh Natural Forest and Environmental Foundation), FLK (Leuser Conservation Forum), Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation (KEHATI), Mitra Aksi and Carbon Ethics are working together in implementing the movements in several areas in Indonesia. For a donation of Rp 10.000, the movements are planning to plant 2.800 trees in Aceh, Jambi, and Kepulauan Seribu. Another way of participating in the movement is by planting your very own tree at home.

Plant trees from home

Planting trees has so many benefits. Not only that they give us the oxygen we breathe in, but they also give shelter to animals and produce fruits. They can even help to mitigate the risk of natural disasters. In urban cities where the roads are paved, water absorption can lack, resulting in flooding every rainy season. Trees can help by providing water infiltrations, helping the water to absorb into the ground. 

If you have the space to spare at home or in your neighborhood why not participate in the tree planting movements. To start, let’s figure out what kind of trees you’d like to plant. If you’re looking for trees that’ll provide shade and produce fruits, try planting mango trees or java apples (jambu air). While trees that will also produce flowers are bungur (Lagerstroemis speciosa) and Kamboja. Or if you just want trees that are perfect for shades, try randu alas (Bombax ceiba), pine, or tanjung (Spanish cherry). 

After you have your pick of trees and acquire their seed, find a proper location to plant them. It needs to be big enough, with drainage and full access to the sun. After that, prep the tools you might need such as a shovel, garden fork, compost, and mulch. Then you’re all set, happy planting!

Penulis: Safaanah