Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo planted a lobi-lobi tree in Srengseng city forest, Kembangan subdistrict, West Jakarta, at the launch of an ambitious planting project on Friday.
"We need more trees, so we will cultivate them. We will plant 30,000 trees in Jakarta," Fauzi said.
"It will take consistency and sustainable action to make this city greener."
The project, powered by 300 volunteers, is sponsored by Jakarta Green Radio, the Medco Foundation, the Monfori Nusantara, the Bisnis Indonesia daily newspaper, and the Jakarta Green Monster organization.
The volunteers planted a thousand trees in the 15-hectare-forest Srengsen forest. Most of tress planted are fruit trees seldom found in Jakarta, such as the cimpedak and kecapi.
The launch comes as part of a massive national tree planting project, which will involve the planting and cultivation of more than 100 million trees throughout Indonesia.
The Srengseng's forest is one of the largest green areas in the city. It is home to 26 species of birds and 68 kinds of trees. Besides this forest, Jakarta's green areas include the Suropati and Senayan parks.
According to Fauzi, the city needs more green areas to reduce pollution and the impact of global warming.
"Jakarta, which covers an area of 65,000 hectares, must allocate at least 14 percent of that space as green areas such as parks. Right now parks account for only 9.6 percent of the cities area," he said.
Fauzi said that he was optimistic he could achieve this goal of expanding the city's green spaces.
He also reminded Jakartans that they would have to change their way of thinking about how to use vacant lots in Jakarta.
"Vacant land does not always have to be used for buildings; we must use more land for green areas. We don't need to repeat the mistakes we've made before."
Authorities in Jakarta have made several efforts to re-green the city. The newest project involves buying five hectares of land along the tollroad to the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, which will be used for a park.(naf)