Community Service Djarum Foundation has started the initiation of mangrove planting since 2008 in Mangkang Mangunharjo, Semarang, through the Djarum Trees for Life (DTFL) program. In 2021, efforts to plant and maintain mangroves in the north coast of Central Java succeeded in reaching a new milestone, with the planting of more than one million mangroves.
FX Supanji, Vice President Director of Djarum Foundation said that this achievement is also a form of DTFL program commitment in supporting Government programs.
Mangroves were chosen as part of the DTFL program given their significant role as a balancer for biodiversity, and primarily as a form of natural disaster mitigation. This also underlies the choice of Mangkang Village, Mangunharjo, Central Java, as one of the preferred location points that has a high level of vulnerability to abrasion, so that in the past it was often hit by tidal floods.
“Mangrove conservation plays a very important role in maintaining natural ecosystems. We have seen for ourselves how the Mangkang area has become relatively safer from the threat of tidal flooding over the past few years. The most important thing is that the community’s economic development is growing, both because the aquatic ecosystem is also recovering so that it helps the businesses of fishermen, as well as craft centers that have emerged as derivative industries of mangrove rehabilitation,” said FX Supanji.
In close collaboration with communities around the coast, the DTFL program has restored a 2,700 meter long coastal ecosystem in Mangunharjo. In addition, the optimization of the mangrove forest rehabilitation program is also carried out by cooperating with researchers, environmental activists, academics and other community elements who have an interest in the scientific field of mangrove seeding and planting. This is necessary because mangrove planting, especially in coastal areas, has its own challenges.
Therefore, the Djarum Foundation through the Plant Nursery Center (PPT) involves the role of researchers and academics to ensure that the mangrove seedlings produced are of good quality so as to increase the mangrove survival ratio in the planting process.
Now, the fishing community in Mangkang Village is reviving the village’s economy by cultivating green mussels and fish cages. In addition, residents are also involved in the batik craft business using natural dyes from mangrove pigments, as well as producing syrup made from mangrove fruit. These products are not only marketed in Central Java, but also in other areas.
Even though it is a monumental milestone for the DTFL program, this mangrove planting journey will not stop here. Planting continues in Mangkang Village to achieve a target of 3,400 meters of coastline.
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As of October 23, 2021, 5,000 new seedlings have been added. Next year, the Djarum Foundation will also target Rembang Regency as one of nine regencies/cities in the Central Java region with a total of 5,400 hectares of mangrove forest to restore its function.
“This 13 years of work will not stop here. We will continue to work with the community to rehabilitate mangroves both in the Mangunharjo area, which we are still planting, and other areas in Indonesia,” concluded Supanji, at the press conference agenda “One Million Mangroves For Life”.