Batangtoru, 19 November 2022 – PT Agincourt Resources (PTAR) and the Regional Agency for Disaster Management (BPBD) of South Tapanuli held a Joint Tree Planting Action of 1,000 productive tree and bamboos seedlings on the Garoga River bank, Garoga Village, Batangtoru Sub-district, South Tapanuli, North Sumatra. This activity involved a volunteer group of Disaster Resilient Village (DESTANA) of Hapesong Baru, Environment Champion, and GarogaVillage community.
PT Agincourt Resources Deputy General Manager Operations, Wira Dharma Putra, said that the Joint Tree Planting Action which was held during the commemoration of Disaster Risk Reduction (PRB) month dan the Indonesian Tree Planting Day became the right moment to get the community participation in maintaining the natural and environmental balance on the Garoga River bank.
This effort of environmental preservation is expected to be able to mitigate the damage of the river flow and abrasion in Garoga Village and its surroundings, and also to reduce the overflow risk of the Garoga River and climate change that may impact the Garoga Village settlement that is inhabited by 917 people.
“Tree planting is PTAR’s unyielding step in facing climate change at the end of 2022 with the high rainfall forecast. The urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts are in line with the Climate Change Management listed in point 13 of the 17 global goals in the agenda of Sustainable Development Goals/ SDGs,” said Wira.
In addition to PTAR management, the Joint Tree Planting Action on the Garoga River bank and the Ceremony of Extreme Weather Disaster Preparedness on 19 November 2022 were attended by Acting Regional Secretary of South Tapanuli M. Frananda, Chief of South Tapanuli District Police Command AKBP Imam Zamroni, a representative of the Military District Commander (Dandim) 0212/Tapsel, management of the Regional Apparatus Organization (OPD), village government, and the Garoga Village community.
PTAR’s efforts in the conservation activity of the Garoga River have been conducted previously as a form of mitigation to the Garoga River flow dividing the communal settlements. This mitigation is important because floods is highly likely to affect the settlements of Garoga Village surrounded by the river with a very low soil structure upstream of the river.
PT Agincourt Resources Senior Manager Community, Christine Pepah, added before carrying out the Joint Tree Planting Action, that PTAR with BPBD of South Tapanuli, Batangtoru Sub-district Consultative Council (Muspika), village heads and village apparatus, Destana, Club Jaya Atletik, and Persada provided coaching to the community to create the environmental-care culture.
“Not only planting trees, but this activity also motivates and encourages the community to care more to make the environment healthy through joint actionand develop the culture of planting and taking care of plants,” said Christine.
In this action, PTAR provided 1,000 productive tree seedlings such as durians, avocados, rain trees, mangoes, mangosteens, sea hibiscus, and bamboo.
In 2021, PTAR planted more than 8,000 tree seedlings. Five hundred tree seedlings were planted at several points inside and outside the Martabe Gold Mine area. PTAR has planted more than 41,000 tree seedlings since 2012, with a potential oxygen production of approximately 18 million kilograms per year and carbon gas absorption of around 1 million tonnes per year.
Meanwhile, as the efforts to conserve nature and maintain the sustainability of the biodiversity in the river, the last August, PTAR released 17,000 jurung(Sumatran carp) seeds and carp seeds in the forbidden deep pool stream (lubuk larangan) of the Garoga River. The products can be harvested by the community at a maximum of the next 2 years. This is the second time thousands of fish seeds were released in this lubuk larangan after in June 2022 PTAR released 15,000 jurung seeds and Nile tilapia fish seeds into the Batu Horing River in Batu Horing Village, Batangtoru.
Representing the Head of South Tapanuli District, Acting Regional Secretary of South Tapanuli, M. Frananda, stated that disaster mitigation, one of which is through tree plantation, is an important effort to do, given that South Tapanuli has geographic and geologic conditions prone to disaster, that is caused by natural, non-natural, and human factors.
“Responding to such matter, disaster management in South Tapanuli must become the priority and be focused on the disaster prevention and mitigation, and also the sustainable disaster education system especially in disaster-prone areas,” told Frananda.
He added that disaster management is not only the government’s responsibility, but also the responsibility of various nationalelements, namely the community, business world, academician, and mass media.
The 1,000 tree planting on the Garoga River bank received support and positive appreciation from the community of Garoga Village. Garoga Village Head, Risman Rambe, hoped that the Joint Tree Planting Action held by PTAR can strengthen the soil structure so that it reduces the landslide risk and prevent the water from overflowing into the community settlement.
“Formerly, this area frequently experienced landslides because there wereno barriers, and floods also occurred. Thus, this activity is indeed highly beneficial for our village which is surrounded by two rivers. We are very thankful for PTAR who always supports us,” said Risman.
After the Joint Tree Planting Action, PTAR visited Rianiate Village and Simataniari Village in Angkola Sangkunur Sub-district to deliver food assistance to 287 families affected by floods. Floods occurred because of the overflow of the river due to very high rainfall intensity.