Archipelago

Solo administration postpones
urban forest development

The Surakarta administration has decided to delay the development of the fourth urban forest in the city commonly known as Solo, which was scheduled to begin this month.

Budi Suharto, the Surakarta administration’s secretary, said on Friday that his administration had come to the decision after it found that the three urban forests built in 2012 had been damaged due to flooding at the beginning of this year. All of the three urban forests were located along the Bengawan Surakarta riverbanks in Pucang Sawit, Jebres subdistrict, Surakarta.

He said the urban forests were buried under mud and trash from floods. The third urban forest suffered the worst damage as hardwood trees planted in the forest were all swept away by the flooding.

“This should become an important lesson-learned for us, to better plan things first before developing riverbank areas in the future,” said Budi.

He said the development of the fourth urban forest should be preceded by a good planning process that referred to the evaluation results of the three existing urban forests.

The development of the three urban forests - located on land comprising somewhere in the region of 1,500 to 3,500 hectares - cost between Rp 260 million (US$26,633) and Rp 290 million, but no budget was allocated for maintenance.

As a consequence, Budi said, the administration might not be able to repair damage affecting the first and second forests as no management budget for the two urban forests was available. However, he said that the damage in the third urban forest could still be repaired as it was still under the supervision of its contractor until May. (ebf)

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