IPB University Researchers Encourage Rehabilitation of Degraded Natural Forests While Increasing Forest Productivity for Communities

Prof. Elias, a professor at IPB University from the Department of Forest Management, developed the rhizome planting technology in the silvicultural system of rhizome planting and cutting of rhizomes (TRTR). This innovation aims to increase the productivity and utilization of degraded natural forests which is also a solution to the problem of natural forest rehabilitation and land conflicts that occur in the field.

“From year to year, forest degradation in Indonesia is increasing which has now reached 32.7 million hectares. Losses are not only on natural resources, but also on the people living around the forest affected by this," said Prof Elias.

He along with two other members of the research team namely Ir Bintang C H Simangunsong, PhD (lecturer from the Department of Forest Products) and Ir Andi Sukendro, MS (lecturer from the Department of Silviculture) received funding from the Education Fund Management Institute (LPDP) of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia through a funding program Productive Innovative Research (Rispro).

According to Prof. Elias, this condition stems from the lack of handling on the land of the former tropical natural forest business. “According to them (the entrepreneurs of tropical natural forest), the rehabilitation of used land does not have a profitable value. Based on this, we carried out this research,” said Prof. Elias.

This research is in collaboration with PT Sarmiento Parakantja Timber which is located in Central Kalimantan. The research team is also improving the condition of forests in Indonesia through environmentally friendly intercropping technology.

"We are using a new silvicultural system, namely TRTR as a solution that can be applied in Silvicultural Multisystems in Indonesia," said Prof Elias.

He said the TRTR silvicultural system was the application of rhizome planting technology using local intolerant tree species. The tree is considered to be fast growing, capable of producing high economic value raw materials and selling well in the national timber industry market.

"This TRTR system is needed because until 2022 there is still no silvicultural system that can legally be used to rehabilitate, utilize, and increase the productivity of degraded natural forests in production forest areas in Indonesia," added Prof Elias.

He continued, this aspect of the legality of the silvicultural system must be addressed immediately because it is the main obstacle to efforts to rehabilitate degraded natural forests.

With this silvicultural system, it has an assessment of success in its application. Among them are the success of maintaining the balance of biodiversity, stand structure, and the environment, as well as aspects of soil erosion, plant growth, and the cost of planting and maintaining the plants.

The research team members believe that the TRTR system can increase the productivity of degraded natural forests in the Forest Utilization Permit (PBPH) area, the implementation area of the Agrarian Reform Object Land Program (TORA) and the Social Forestry Program (PS), as well as in the Community Plantation Forest (HTR) area which are spread throughout Indonesia.

According to Prof. Elias, this research shows quite encouraging results. This is evidenced by the diameter growth of the white jabon tree (Anthocephalus cadamba Miq.) reaching 4.33 centimeters per year and the growth in height reaching 249.42 centimeters per year. Meanwhile, the average growth in diameter and height of the 40 prospective parent trees was 7.32 centimeters per year, and 401 centimeters per year, respectively. Among these trees, the highest diameter growth was 10.13 centimeters per year.

He added that this research innovation is still in the management stage towards the optimal point. Thus, it still takes time to evaluate and further. “We will propose the TRTR silvicultural system to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to be issued as one of the silvicultural systems applicable in forest management in Indonesia. We hope that this TRTR system innovation can solve the problems of rehabilitation and utilization of degraded natural forests, both from nature conservation, ecology, socio-culture, and finance," he said. (*)

Published Date : 29-Sep-2022

Resource Person : Prof Elias

Keyword : Land Rehabilitation, Land Degradation, Mining Land, Silviculture