Indonesia: Environment journalists raise funds to replant natural preserve in South Tapanuli

Nurni Sulaiman The Jakarta Post 6 Apr 17;

The Society of Environmental Journalists (SIEJ) North Sumatra staged on Thursday a fund-raising event for the restoration of forests on Mount Lubukraya and across the Sibual-Buali Nature Reserve in South Tapanuli regency, North Sumatra.

The group said both conservation zones, which have become water catchment areas and homes for protected animals such as Sumatran orangutans and hornbills, should be well-conserved and protected from any practices that may lead to environmental destruction.

“Our sources have revealed that massive forest conversions have taken place in these areas. This is what has triggered flash floods there,” SIEJ North Sumatra member Mei Leandha said at Thursday’s event.

The activist was referring to flooding caused by the overflow of the Batang Ayumi River on March 26, which killed seven people, swept away livestock and damaged plantations, houses, schools and numerous public facilities.

Opening up access to conservation areas without implementing replanting and restoration activities would only bring further disasters, she added.

“If we care about the Earth and all it has to offer, let’s join this restoration movement,” said Mei.

Money raised at the event will be used to restore forests affected by flash foods, and fund the planting of 1,000 trees along the Batam Ayumi River. The replanting activity will be held on April 22 to coincide with Earth Day. (ebf)