Inspiration from #KawanBelantara: Siti Khumaira, Mangrove Planting for Abrasion Resistance and Community Welfare
Api-api village is located in a coastal area, precisely located in the Bengkalis Strait which is directly opposite the tidal waves of seawater. A lack of mangroves in some areas in this location causing these areas to be more vulnerable to abrasion. Knowing this, Siti Khumaira (Umai) and team Kukerta in the Riau University village in 2021 initiated a program to planting 100 mangroves in Api-Api Village, Bandar Laksamana District, Bengkalis Regency, Riau. The purpose of planting the new mangroves is to minimize abrasion in the area, as well as to rebuild good habitats for marine biota such as fish to breed. With this activity, Umay hoped that this renewable habitat can improve the fish population in the vicinity so that it can help increase the catch of fishermen to increase their economic income.
Mangrove planting was carried out with the community in Kelapa Hamlet at the end of the Nelayan road, Api-Api Village on land belonging to the village government measuring 30 x 30m² on Friday (13/08/2021). The type of mangrove planted was Rhizophora sp. The chairman of the Village Consultative Body (BPD), RT/RW 001, RT/RW 002, village youth, and several representatives from the village office were also present in this event.
In addition to cultivating the purchased mangrove seedlings, Umai, nicknamed Siti Khumaira, and the team also cultivated 60 mangrove seedlings that had been collected on the Api-api beach the previous day. Mangrove seedlings that fall from the trees cannot live immediately because they are influenced by various factors, namely mangrove seedlings that fall during high tide in sandy areas and mangrove seedlings that fall and get stuck in the mud but are washed away by the waves so that they only grow. Under these conditions, human assistance is needed to collect the mangrove seeds and care for them until they are old enough to be replanted on the coast. Not only implanted, the community also carried out post-hidden monitoring. In addition, the community also processes pidada fruit, which is the fruit of a mangrove tree, to make syrup and various other preparations.
Since January 2022, Umai and two other students was joining the Merdeka Belajar – Kampus Merdeka (MBKM) internship program at the Belantara Foundation until August 2022. This internship program is a form of collaboration implemented by the University of Riau and the Belantara Foundation which aims to increase the technical capacity and knowledge of students about protection, restoration, and community empowerment. Through this program, hopefully students will be able to develop their capacity in conducting research on biodiversity, peat ecosystems, and also community empowerment. Apart from that, through this internship practice, the theories that students get while in class can be practiced in the field. They can also observe and analyze problems directly so that they can provide input and find solutions for management in these peat areas.
#KawanBelantara Umai invites the community, especially the younger generation, to work together to create a sustainable landscape for people's welfare. Let's protect Indonesia's forests together!