Monkey Forest gets Kalpataru Nomination
Ubud: The sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal in Ubud, Gianyar, has been nominated for the Kalpataru Awards 2012 along with other 13 nominees across Indonesia.
Kalpataru Awards are the highest distinction for environment-related achievements by individuals, businesses and places. The Awards are usually presented by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in conjunction with World Environment Day, which falls every June 5.
Tas Diantoro Hadi, chairman of the Kalpataru Awards National Committee, said that the Monkey Forest was the only candidate from Bali this year. “We will categorize the Monkey Forest as a forest conservation nominee,” he said.
The 12.5-hectare Monkey Forest is owned by the village of Padangtegal and is currently under the management of Padangtegal Wenara Wana Foundation.
The Monkey Forest is home to rare and endangered flora and plants. It is also home to around 605 Balinese long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis).
Together with Udayana University, the foundation identified a number of rare plants in the forest. There are around 115 species of plants, while some of the trees are considered sacred and holy, only being used for spiritual and religious purposes.
Among the trees is majegau, which is used exclusively for the building of shrines. Another tree is pule bandak, which embodies the spirit of the forest and is used to create sacred masks.
I Made Gandra, village chief of Padangtegal, said that the Monkey Forest was dedicated to conservation efforts and the preservation of the long-tailed monkey, as well as various rare plants and flowers.
Gianyar regent Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati said that the Monkey Forest’s preservation efforts had had a significant impact on Ubud’s environment, as well as the economic condition of the local residents.