Pandan, 2 February 2023 – PT Agincourt Resources has again shown its commitment to conserving the environment. This time, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the operator of Martabe Gold Mine conserves coastal waters by planting 30,000 mangrove seedlings on a 10-hectare area and releasing tens of thousands of clams in Central Tapanuli, North Sumatra.
The planting area covered Kalangan Subdistrict, Kalangan Indah Subdistrict, and Aek Sitio-tio Village in Pandan District, Central Tapanuli. The mangrove planting action raising the theme “From the Heart for the Earth” was held in Aek Garut Village, Pandan District, on Thursday (2/2/2023), coinciding with World Wetlands Day. The event was attended by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), the North Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Center (BBKSDA), and the Government of Central Tapanuli Regency.
Deputy President Director of PT Agincourt Resources, Ruli Tanio, said that the mangrove planting was PTAR’s contribution to forming a coastal area ecosystem in Central Tapanuli, a regency that stretches on the West Coast of Sumatra Island with a coastline of 200 kilometers. Mangrove ecosystem as one of the supports for coastal ecosystems is expected to become an area for finding food, spawning and breeding for various species of fish and shrimp, as well as a natural habitat for various species of fauna.
“We also hope that the action of planting mangroves ‘From the Heart for the Earth’ can open up opportunities to increase the economy of the local community through ecotourism of mangrove forest that is environmentally sound based on the aspects of nature conservation as well as economic, social and cultural empowerment of the local community,” said Ruli.
According to him, it is important to form a mangrove ecosystem as one of the life-supporting ecosystems. There are various functions and benefits for the community around the area, one of which is increasing the economic opportunities for the community of Central Tapanuli, some of whom work as fishermen.
“We are a mining company whose operational area is not close to the coast. However, we are aware that mangrove forest is a source for protecting aquatic ecosystems between land, coast and sea with major biological, physical and economic functions for survival. This is in line with our Sustainability Policy,” said Ruli.
As part of the Astra Group, PTAR’s efforts of organizing mangrove planting action aims to support the 2030 Astra Sustainability Aspirations which target a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the Astra Group’s Scopes 1 and 2. This is in line with the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which includes the state’s commitment to setting emission reduction targets in Indonesia, one of which is by developing a mangrove ecosystem.
In the “From the Heart for the Earth” mangrove planting action, PTAR cooperates with the Farmer Group of Hutan Mandiri Lestari which has been cultivating mangrove seedlings for three years. The seeds cultivated were local Rhizophora seeds aged 4-6 months ready for planting in the nursery with seedlings height of 50-80 centimetres, while the clam seeds distributed were of the locust species in healthy and fresh conditions. The spacing of seedlings is 1×3 meters, depending on the low tide limit. Planting is planned for 2-3 months, while care duration is 2 years and can be extended. PTAR continues to promote environmental conservation in various forms. For example, in November 2022 PTAR planted 1,000 productive tree seedlings to reduce the risk of overflowing the Garoga River which flows through Batangtoru District, South Tapanuli. The species of trees planted can also be utilised by residents, such as durian, avocado, mango and rain trees.
In June 2022, PTAR planted 200 tree seedlings at SMKN 2 Pertambangan Batangtoru. This activity was accompanied by the handover of 1,200 tree seedlings to the community around the mining area in Batangtoru and Muara Batangtoru.
Thousands of tree seedlings are planted by PTAR each year. As of 2012, a total of tree seedlings that have been planted at various points inside and outside the Martabe Gold Mine area have reached more than 41,000 tree seedlings, with a potential for oxygen production of around 18 million kilograms per year and carbon absorption of around 1 million tons per year.
Marine Coastal Protection Efforts
Director of Coastal and Marine Degradation and Pollution Controls (PPKPL) of the Ministry of Environment & Forestry, Dasrul Chaniago, said the development of mangrove ecosystems is important considering that Indonesia, which is the second country with the longest coastline in the world, is vulnerable to climate change. Based on the 2021 National Mangrove Map, the existing area of mangroves in Indonesia reaches around 3.3 million hectares.
“We appreciate all parties for this mangrove planting action, hopefully, it won’t be the last. We hope that the support and also other innovations about the protection of the seacoast will continue to exist,” said Dasrul.
Meanwhile, the Director of Species and Genetic Biodiversity Conservation of the Ministry of Environment & Forestry, Indra Exploitasia, said that the action of planting 30,000 mangrove seedlings and seeding 20,000 clams was PTAR’s contribution to biodiversity conservation, especially in a coastal area.
“Planting virtue by planting mangrove seedlings will be a contribution towards the 2050 Vision of Living in Harmony with Nature and in the future, we can live side by side with nature,” he said.
Appreciation was also conveyed by the Head of North Sumatra BBKSDA, Rudianto Saragih Napitu. According to him, the action of planting mangroves is a form of concern for the environment, community welfare, and further survival.
“We express our appreciation to the farmers, as well as to this company who are very concerned about the environment including biodiversity,” said Rudianto.
The Acting Regent of Central Tapanuli, Elfin Elyas Nainggolan, who was also present, expressed his infinite appreciation for the effort to plant mangroves “From the Heart for the Earth”.