UMM's Forestry Guest Lecture Provides Land Restoration Solutions

Author : Humas | Tuesday, November 28, 2023 00:42 WIB
"Guest Lecture on Forestry at UMM (Photo: Devi Humas)"

Land degradation stands as one of the greatest challenges humanity must confront. This was emphasized by Dr. Himlal Baral, a Senior Scientist at CIFOR-ICRAF, during a guest lecture organized by the Forestry Program at Muhammadiyah University of Malang (UMM) on November 27th. The event titled "Restorasi sebagai Solusi Iklim Alami" (Restoration as a Natural Climate Solution) was also attended by Ir. Kunto Hirsilo, M.E., the head of the Brantas Sampean River Watershed Management Agency (BPDAS RH Brantas Sampean).

Himlal further explained that there is an extensive amount of degraded land, and globally, land availability is increasingly limited. In Indonesia, East Java and Central Java also face limitations in land availability. Currently, the Indonesian government has a clear target to restore 14,000,000 hectares by 2030.

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"So, what we are trying to do is collaborate with various governments, farmers, universities, community groups, and land managers. Restoration is not cheap; it requires costs, time, and effort to rehabilitate the land," he stated.

To restore one hectare of land, an investment ranging from $100 to $1000 is needed. Restoration is not necessarily a top priority for the government, unlike education or health infrastructure development, which receive more attention. Therefore, to enhance land management, he suggests reducing pesticide use, minimizing fertilizer application, or utilizing organic fertilizers.

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Additionally, there needs to be a method of land recovery that makes it profitable. In this regard, Himlal mentioned that Climate Smart Agroforestry is the most beneficial solution for land restoration. This is termed an ecosystem service and is not a new concept for the people of East Java. Examples include provisioning services, regulating services, cultural services, and supporting services ranging from food production to minerals.

"In East Java, the population density is high, so there isn't much natural environment available here. Hence, Agroforestry could be a significant tool with great potential to provide various goods and services for you," he remarked.

On the other hand, Kunto Hirsilo also outlined several strategies to address these weaknesses. Among them are engaging human resources (HR) from local agencies and institutions, utilizing local and international funds, and collaborating with communities, corporations, and other institutions. Similarly, there's a focus on enhancing the capacity of human resources in forums and institutions related to technological advancements.(Dev/Wil/Fajr)



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