Wetland flowers help to indicate that a wetland ecosystem is doing well.
MACHRADIN WAHYUDI RITONGA
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When these flowers are damaged, the ecological system is disrupted. All parties should learn from the case of Ranca Upas and avoid making the same mistake.
The condition of the flowering wetland grass with the botanical name Eriocaulon brownianum Mart. was widely discussed in the country in early March 2023. The flowering grass, which grows in Ranca Upas, Bandung regency, West Java, were run over and uprooted by the big wheels of trail bikes. In fact, their existence is unique, offering biodiversity that cannot be easily found in all wetlands in this country.The damage resulted from the havoc wrought by the cross-country motorcycling in Ranca Upas on Sunday (5/3/2023). Thousands of trail bikes with muddy wheels crushed through the expanse of grass, woods and wetland flowers.The environmentally destructive activity enraged Supriatna, 44, commonly known as Uprit. The area of wetland flowers he had maintained was destroyed. The man’s fury went viral on social media.“I was emotional and I apologize if anybody was offended. I was told to look at the area of wetland flowers that had been ravaged due to human activity. I hope there will be no more such occurrences in the future,” Uprit said after replanting seedlings and a number of trees in the area in Ranca Upas on Tuesday (14/3/2023).
More than 300 seedings were replanted on the damaged land. Police tape still stretched across one corner of the field in Ranca Upas to mark the sce ne of the incident. On that day, the wetland flowers again stood erect.The planting activity was conducted by several officials from Perum Perhutani (state forestry company), environmental activists and community figures. One of them was Memet, 70, an environmental activist from southernBandung. He felt concerned at seeing the destruction of nature caused by human ignorance.“I don’t want to blame anybody. Let this be a lesson so that everyone will take better care of the environment. I also hope the planting this time is not only a ceremonial event, but is also a commitment to protect Ranca Upas’ nature,” he said.
Let this be a lesson so that everyone will take better care of the environment
Growing in a group with other plants makes this flowering wetland grass inseparable from the ecosystem. Their presence contributes to the fertility and biodiversity of the wetland ecosystem.According to Joko, every form of life in nature has a special role that is irreplaceable. So, when the wetland flowers are gone, the wetland ecosystem of Ranca Upas is disrupted.“Life in the wetlands is specific. The soil chemistry, water and plant characteristics are not all the same. It has very unique diversity, and this increases its biological wealth and may be endemic,” he added.LifeWetland flowers indeed fill the country’s unique biodiversity. However, on further examination, their presence has an important role of maintaining wetlands and the diversity of life.For this reason, noted Joko, the efforts to conserve Ranca Upas should not be limited only to wetland flowers, but also the ecosystem protecting all life within it. The wilderness and wetlands in southern Bandung even act as water reserves to meet broader needs.“The Rancaekek area is an example. Previously, before human activity, the region had many wetlands that served as water reserves. When the marshy areas disappeared, floods set in, as there was no place to absorb rainwater,” he said.Joko also expressed his hope that the wetlands in Ranca Upas would be conserved so that life in southern Bandung would remain harmonious and be far from disaster. He regretted the human activity that caused damage to nature and could potentially eliminate various forms of life.“Not only wetland flowers, many forms of life need attention. If the wetland flowers living there disappears, the coming generations will be ignorant. In that case, this land will no longer be the same,” said Joko.
If the wetland flowers living there disappears, the coming generations will be ignorant
The forest was still an attractive landscape without any changes or damage to its previous natural condition.