Webinar Series “Managing the Remaining Forests” Series #4. Building biodiversity resilience from our terrace

Webinar Series “Managing the Remaining Forests” Series #4. Building biodiversity resilience from our terrace

Indonesia - 03 September, 2020

Start preserving biodiversity from our own terrace. The green yard with all kind of trees will give our children a chance to learn about nature and being close to the nature. Having free wildlife in our surrounding is much better than keeping them in cage and their existence will very much depend on a suitable environment as their habitat. Planting various types of trees in our garden will not only maintain biodiversity but also store carbon stock, reduce the impact of climate change and global warming and provide fresh oxygen that will be good for health and create a calm effect for the people living in the surrounding areas.

A discussion on this topic was held on the webinar entitled “Building biodiversity resilience at our terrace” organized by Tropenbos Indonesia on Saturday, 29 August 2020. Attended by 143 participants, this webinar is the fourth part of the webinar series “Managing the Remaining Forests”. Moderated by Director of Tropenbos Indonesia, Edi Purwanto, two expert resources attended this event were two senior lecturers of IPB University, Prof. Dr. Ir. Ani Mardiastuti, M.Sc and Prof. Dr. Ir. Hadi Susilo Arifin, M.Sc. Both experts shared their studies and experiences concerning the correlation between plants and trees and the existence of biodiversity.

According to Ani, in the last 10 years she found that at least there are 243 bird species found in Jabodetabek (including the Thousand Islands), which consist of 8 species of urban exploiters, 49 species of urban adapters, and 186 of urban avoiders. The urban exploiter species indeed exists but rarely noticeable such as Cabai Jawa or Honey bird Sriganti. In nearby her home in Sentul area, Ani also monitor that some bird species disappear while other species come. “It is already good if we can start administer the data of the species that we found in our surrounding area, and count on their number later,” she said. The biodiversity in our surrounding needs to be maintained, listed, protected, preserved, added, functioned, naturalized, to add the quality of living and environment.

Hadi Susilo Arifin, who is the Head Division of Landscape Management Department of Landscape Architecture of Agriculture, Faculty of Agriculture IPB and also the founder of KPKPID (yard community and productive garden Indonesia) explained that green yard can serve as urban biodiversity with self-propagating, self-nourishing, self-governing, and self-fulfilling functions. Biodiversity at home garden may consist of fruit plant, vegetable crop, spices, herbs, flowers, starchy plants, etc. as well as types of livestock or fish.

Many birds and other animals such as squirrel or weasel need trees as the place to find food and shelter. Ficus, for instance, is a key species loved by birds which eat its small fruits and the shelter of other animals such as woodpecker and squirrel. Planting ficus means maintaining the habitat of various types of birds, nocturnal, insect, and even snake. Other benefits of productive garden are such as providing various kinds of vegetables to make salad for breakfast, or source of protein such as fish or catfish. “What we pick is what we eat,” told Hadi whose home is surrounded by various types of plants and becomes a safe hiding paradise of biodiversity. He told that even a corner of a small home can have a variety of plant collection that will finally invite wildlife. Cactus, orchid, life wall/hanging garden, water spinach hydro phonic, herbs and flowers are only some choices for the concept of urban garden.

Hadi gave an example of an area called Tanjung Mas in Semarang which is adjacent to a luxurious housing complex. Although the slum village was located in former swamp area and each house is very small with no land to cultivate added by the tide issue, the community are still able to creatively decorate their homes with plotted plants put on tin roof or hung on the wall. With either green roof garden, green screen garden, or even green window garden, as long as it has a pioneer who give example and build creativity, others will follow.

Even in a housing complex in an industrial area, preserving biodiversity is still possible by planting various tree species. Ani gave example in a cement factory where the people also plant various species of trees in its factory area, she found at least there are 40 species of birds in the complex. In another industrial area where a car factory located, there are even around 600 species of birds that can be found after the company plants a lot of trees in the factory complex. “The point is there should be areas allocated as green belt and not all are used for industrial factory,” Ani reminded.

When industrial estates can be developed to become wildlife reserves, the industry will feel the positive impact so that they can get “gold proper” predicate, which are not easy to obtain because they must have obtained at least two “green proper” predicate previously. However, industry does need an encouragement like this in order to be motivated to allocate green open spaces or even blue open spaces. Especially in the mining industry, the challenge to achieve good performance in environmental management is greater because there is usually heavy metal pollution in their post mining areas which need bioremediation before the land can be used for cultivation purposes so that the plants that grow later will not be harmful to living things such as to animal finding their food from the plants.