Yogyakarta, April 22, 2014 – Each year people across the globe observe Earth Day, which falls on April 22. Earth Day aims to inspire awareness of and appreciation for global environmental issues. Observing Earth Day in Indonesia is highly relevant given the country’s serious environmental degradation. Apart from that it is important to continuously promote environmental awareness among the public. In this year, the theme of Earth Day 2014 “Green Cities”, is a popular term for what activists and scholars call an ecological city.
To commemorate Earth Day 2014, International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences, Local Committee Universitas Gadjah Mada (IAAS LC UGM) and Koalisi Pemuda Hijau Indonesia Yogyakarta (KOPHI jogja) conducted a tangible actions for the earth “Layering the Casuarina equisetifolaL.” at the Samas Beach, Bantul (19/4).
Layering is a means of plant propagation in which a portion of an aerial stem grows roots while still attached to the parent plant and then detaches as an independent plant. Layering has evolved as a common means of vegetative propagation of numerous species in natural environments. Layering is also utilized by horticulturists to propagate desirable plants. Natural layering typically occurs when a branch touches the ground, whereupon it produces adventitious roots. At a later stage the connection with the parent plant is severed and a new plant is produced as a result.
Casuarina trees for use as windbreaks. Casuarina trees are leafless except for minute scales at the nodes of the branchlets. These branchlets resemble the needle-like leaves of pine trees. The flowers are unisexual and the fruit is a small cone containing numerous winged seeds. Casuarina equisetifola seeds freely and in many places has become naturalized. Potential positive economic uses for Casuarina equisetifolia include use as windbreaks, landscape trees, lumber, fuel wood, to greening at the Samas beach, reduce coastal erosion and several other minor uses.
The commemoration of Earth Day was aimed at raising awareness among the public about the importance of conserving the environment by doing a small actions. Later, the result of layered Casuarina will be taken and planted by residents.