The state-owned oil and gas company, PT Pertamina, organized a mangrove planting drive at two beaches, one in Serangan and another one at Mertasari, Sanur, on Thursday afternoon. As many as 10,000 mangrove seedlings were planted by Pertamina’s employees and locals in the event aimed at showcasing the company’s commitment toward environmental conservation.
“Pertamina has a social responsibility [to conserve nature], because the company is indirectly responsible for generating pollution through motorized vehicles that use fuel produced by Pertamina.
Therefore, it is critical for us to organize programs like this to offset the pollution,” Pertamina’s regional general manager of fuel and retail marketing, Afandi, said.
According to Afandi, the program, which is called Sobat Bumi (Earth’s Buddy), was also set to show the company’s commitment and support toward the 1 Billion Trees Movement launched by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The company has set a target of planting 100 million trees across the country in the next five years.
“This year we are targeting planting 5 million trees across the country.”
The mangrove was selected due to its solid ability to produce oxygen, as well as absorb carbon gases. Furthermore, mangrove forests can contain beach erosion and play a critical role as the breeding ground for a large number of fish species, which in turn have an economic value for people living near the forest.
“They [mangrove forests] could even be developed into an integrated eco-tourism destination,” he added.
The resort island has suffered vast coastal erosion that poses a grave threat to its tourist beaches. Data from 2010 showed that out of the island’s total 437-kilometer shoreline, 102 kilometers had been damaged by sea erosion. Data from the Bali Environment office said that Bali’s 48 beaches had undergone acute erosion, so much so that 181.7 kilometers of land had been lost this last decade, which amounted to 41.5 percent of the island’s total shoreline. Uncontrolled development and environmental degradation, including the diminishing mangrove forests, have been blamed for this condition.