Three in One Harmony: Forest, Palm Trees, Mall

According to Law on Spatial Planning in Indonesia, the use of land is divided into Protected Areas and Cultivation Areas. Protected Areas include Protection Forests and Conservation Forests, whereas Cultivation Areas include agriculture sector such as plantation and livestock, and modern sector such as industrial areas, residential areas, urban areas, Malls, and etc.

Several functions of Protection Forests and Conservation Forests are ecological. For instance it functions as carbon storage and preservation of biodiversity of various animals (namely orangutans, monkeys, elephants, tigers, rhinos, various birds, various microbes and others) and flora (various plants). It also has hydrological function and conservation function of soil and water. These ecological functions are irreplaceable. Therefore, they need to be taken care of, maintained, and preserved across generations. The  Law on  Spatial  Planning says  that  the  proportion  of green  open spaces is  at least  thirty  percent  of  the  total area  of  the land. The area of green open spaces in Indonesia is still currently around 47 percent of the land.

The modern sector has economic functions that are also irreplaceable by other sectors. This economic function produces a variety of products and services needed for the sake of human welfare. They cannot be produced in either agricultural sector or in protection and conservation forests. Therefore modern sector is essential in the ecosystem unless people are willing to sleep and live in the forest.

Agricultural sector also has its own functions which cannot be replaced by other sectors. As being the middle sector between Protection Forest sector and modern sector, agricultural sector is unique in the ecosystem because it has many functions as the combination of economic functions, social functions and ecological functions. The economic function (white function) is to produce edible ingredients such as food, fiber, energy, medicine, and many others. While ecological functions (green function, blue function) include absorbing carbon dioxide, producing oxygen, preserving biodiversity (limited), conserving soil and air, and etc.

Protection and Conservation Forests are dominated by ecological functions, thus it is wrong when people demand financial benefits from it. It is modern sector that is dominated by its social economic functions. Interestingly however, agricultural sector has the combination between economic function, ecological function and social function that is different from the other two sectors. In conclusion, the three sectors have different functions that are needed to keep the harmony in life and prosperity of the humankind across generations on this earth. With only Protection and Conservation Forests or modern sector or agricultural sector, the prosperity of humankind is not going to be long-lasting. These three sectors have to be maintained together in harmony and sustainability.

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