Indonesian youths plant trees to protect environment

Interfaith group seek to prevent landslides, retain water at natural sources

Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta

Updated: February 14, 2018 05:40 AM GMT

The Suburban Interfaith Youth Community of Kupang plant 500 saplings of mahogany in Naitoto, where a spring is located, on Feb. 3. (Photo supplied by Maks Tameno)


More than 50 people calling themselves the Suburban Interfaith Youth Community of Kupang in Indonesia's predominantly Christian East Nusa Tenggara province have planted 2,000 saplings so far this year to help protect the environment.

The young people representing Buddhism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Islam and Protestantism as well as young policemen and military personnel planted 1,000 mahogany and rain tree saplings Feb. 10-11 near a newly constructed bridge in the provincial capital Kupang

Community members as well as the local forestry department provided the saplings.  

Construction of the bridge left the land around it empty. We want to prevent any possible landslides, Maks Tameno, the community's coordinator, told on Feb. 14.

Earlier, on Feb. 3, the community planted 500 mahogany saplings in nearby town of Naitoto, where a natural spring is located. The spring serves as water source of local people. We want to prevent it from drying up, he said.

In late January, the community planted 500 mahogany and rain tree saplings along a river in Belo on the outskirts of Kupang. At least 120 families live close to the riverbanks. Heavy rains can cause landslides there, Tameno said.

In the near future, he said the community will cultivate unused land in the province and drill a well in Belo.

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