Kebumen-Minister of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan, S.E., M.M., on Saturday (18/12) inaugurated research forest and natural park Wanagama III at Petanahan Beach, Kebumen Regency, Central Java. The inauguration initiated by Faculty of Forestry UGM aims to encourage initiative to rehabilitate beaches in coastal regencies in Java Island, particularly those that have homogenic ecosystem (like sand dunes).
Attending the event were the officials of Ministry of Forestry and Central Java Province, Regent of Kebumen, Buyar Winarso, Senior Vice Rector of Academic, Research, and Community Service, Prof. Dr. Retno Sunarminingsih, Apt, MSc, Dean of Faculty of Forestry UGM, Prof. Dr. Ir. Moh. Naiem, M.Agr.Sc, and hundreds others invited guests.
Ministry of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan in his welcoming speech supported the inauguration of research forest and natural park Wanagama III which involves many experts from UGM Faculty of Forestry. This step, Zulkifli said, is a real form of tree planting program that is quite successful in Kebumen.
“Central Java Province has succeeded in this tree planting program. It can be said that there is a surplus of people’s forest in Central Java. Moreover, faculty of Forestry UGM has been involved in it,” said Zulkifli.
Planting trees culture, according to Zulkifli, should be more intensified by all Indonesian people. This program is in accordance with several government’s programs that focus on peoples plantations, rural forest, and people forest. Government together with experts and researchers in forestry still continue to do various rehabilitations or forest and land conservations that are pro-growth, pro-job, pro-people and pro-environment.
“Planting trees culture can unite Indonesian people. We still hold tight on the policy that is pro-growth, pro-job, pro-people and pro-environment,” said Zulkifli.
On that occasion, the Minister emphasized the commitment of Ministry of Forestry on the tree planting program. The commitment can be seen through the increasing budget from 500 billion rupiah in 2010 to 3 trillion rupiah in 2011.
The tree planting movement is also balanced with law enforcement and bureaucracy reform, particularly in Ministry of Forestry environment. According to Zulkifli, without law enforcement and bureaucracy reform, the tree planting movement is difficult to do. Moreover, there is still a duty to be done to improve more than 90 million hectares of damaged forests.
“Our forest area spans around 130 million hectares. From that figure, around 40 million hectares are still good, and 90 million hectares need improvement,” he said.
Besides giving appreciation to the experts and researchers from Faculty of Forestry UGM who often initiated planting of several vegetations such as Indonesian casuarina (Casuarina Equisetifolia), to explore the Wanagama III, Minister of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan also hoped that the experts can help rehabilitate national park, wildlife park and conservation park all over Indonesia.
Meanwhile, previously, Dean of Faculty of Forestry UGM, Prof. Dr. Ir. Moh. Naiem, M.Agr.Sc, explained that the existence of education forest such as Wanagama III is very needed. The material about forestry from college is not adequate but field practice is needed, one of them is education forest.
Initially, research of Indonesian casuarina that is currently planted in Petanahan Beach area of Wanagama II forest is initiated from laboratory scale before year 2007. Indonesian casuarinas became one of the chosen vegetations due to its ability to resist tsunami like what happened in Cilacap Beach.
Wanagama III in Kebumen has completed several other Wanagama forests managed by Faculty of Forestry UGM such as Wanagama I in Gunungkidul and Wanagama II in Jambi.
In the same location, Senior Vice Rector of Academic, Research and Community Service of UGM, Prof. Dr. Retno Sunarminingsih, Apt, MSc, said that the existence of Wanagama III forest cannot be separated from the ideas and hard work of senior officials and researchers from Faculty of Forestry UGM.
Wanagama III is expected not only to be teaching forest but also research forest. Wanagama III also functions as a place to improve and conserve land as well as to empower local community.
“Another important thing is that it should be able to empower local community,” Retno said.
In the inauguration of Wanagama III that has area of 600 hectare, the MoU signing between Ministry of Forestry and Faculty of Forestry UGM was also conducted, followed by the signing of epigraph and the releasing of several derkuku and kutilang birds by the Minister.