Mandiri and BPJS Ketenagakerjaan to Develop Urban Forest in Batam

Thursday, 08 May 2014
Bank Mandiri and BPJS Ketenagakerjaan are to develop an urban forest in Batam to improve environmental quality. The one-hectare urban forest in Batam’s Rusunawa Kabil area will be planted with approximately 338 shade trees, such as tamarind, mahogany, angsana, breadfruit, red sengon, rainbow and petai cina.

Bank Mandiri CEO Budi G. Sadikin said development of the urban forest was based on an awareness of the importance of green open spaces. Ideally, 30% of every district should be designated as protection areas, with the main function of ensuring environmental sustainability, including the sustainability of natural resources and man-made resources.

“We have allocated Rp 2.25 billion for the development of this urban forest in Batam. We hope that it will help mitigate the increase in air temperatures occurring in the city of Batam, reduce air pollution, prevent soil and surface-water degradation and sea water intrusion, which can lead to an increase in the heavy-metal content of water,” Budi said in Rusunawa Kabil on Thursday (8 May).

Besides being attended by the Bank Mandiri CEO and BPJS Ketenagakerjaan Managing Director Elvyn G. Masassya, also present at the event were Riau Islands Governor Muhammad Sani, Batam Mayor Ahmad Dahlan and the Chairman of the Batam Development Board, Mustofa Widjaja.

According to Riau Islands Governor Muhammad Sani, regreening and environmental protection had become major concerns as most of Batam consisted of less fertile red soil. Meanwhile, air temperatures ranged on average between 26 and 34 degrees Celsius.

“The Batam Urban Forest, which is being developed as a collaborative effort between these two great institutions, will be very useful and beneficial to the people of Batam,” Muhammad Sani said.