Re-Greening Gili T with Suparman’s TREEvolution

Suparman’s TREEvolution proposal was simple, there is so many areas of the island being destroyed and taken over by development, rubble and concrete and he rightfully believes that tourism will be encouraged more by green spaces, tree cover, a cooler island and a more beautiful island!

We helped to pick out locations all over the island for tree sapling, ‘grey’ areas which could use regreening, or areas with little or no shade after years of deforestation.

Last year in February 2019, Suparman headed a project with volunteers planting more than 7,000 Trembasi and Flamboyan seeds and carefully tended to them for the last 11 months until they were ready to be released into the wilderness of Gili Trawangan!

Growing more trees means:

More shaded areas and will eventually cool down the microclimate of Gili T, as it is increasingly hotter and hotter each year with climate change and localized deforestation, this will mean you can use your AC less, there will be less pressure on the power company and less power outages that are increasingly more common due to the overuse of Air Conditioning.

Better root structure, bringing better drainage to all areas of the island after big rains, so less flooding

Reduce soil surface run off, where we are losing the fertile layer of soil, and more sediment running into the sea. This reduces the visibility for scuba diving (our main source of tourism) and suffocates the coral reefs

More beautiful areas; We all know that some tourists are all about the Insta stories on their travels. With these beautiful flamboyan trees, the aim is to make more instagrammable areas and an iconic symbol of Gili Trawangan in bloom!

Oxygen! We all need it, more than our phones, or coffee, or even money!! And we can produce it for free, so our newly planted trees will be adding to the oxygen production for inhabitants of Gili and our globe.

Carbon sequestration – the easiest and cheapest way to collect some of the carbon that we are pumping devastatingly into our atmosphere through fossil fuel consumption – this is your electricity, your car, your holiday flights and your food and shopping habits. Carbon in the atmosphere is spiraling our climate out of control, mass forestation all over the world is critical to get carbon back into the ground, why not start small, with one tree and help to transform the world!

We had almost 300 saplings of young trembasi and flamboyant trees and more than 70 volunteers keen to get their hands dirty for the future of Gili going green! Some volunteers helped to load the truck with 40 trees at a time, others took matters into their own hands, and carried trees to the positions of their forever home! The five locations were on the beach in the north, areas near the cemetery where there is no tree cover and very arid, near the dump to reforest these areas and slowly clean the soil, and the concrete road that leads to sunset. Hopefully with a bit of rain, in a few years these young trees will be happily flourishing!

When we were finished, and the saplings were safely in their new home, we headed back for a famous Suparman Soto buffet! Build your own soto was a proper treat after a morning of hard work! In the evening, we returned to Suparman’s for a pizza party fundraiser to secure more funding for the new tree nursery. Some donations were already made in the morning, buying glasses and donating tools for future gardener and volunteers to continue the work. More funds were collected from the sales of pizzas and beers with some brilliant electronic DJ’s all night.

There was huge support from local businesses sponsoring the event and more equipment for future tree plantings, this will be an ongoing project to collect enough donations to pay gardeners to full time tend to the nurseries. If there are any other businesses, stakeholders, or individual tree huggers that would like to help this project, long term and one off donations to Suparman Pizza will go directly into the tree nurseries where you can adopt your very own tree here on Gili, from anywhere in the world!

Are you with us? To join the TREEvolution? Watch this space and follow @suparmanstreevolution for the next seeding event!

All credit @djash_e