Exploring Urug Kawalu, the Only Remaining Forest in Tasikmalaya

TIMESINDONESIA, TASIKMALAYA – We walked around the streets in Urug Village, Kawalu sub-district in Tasikmalaya, West Java. It was around 3. 50 pm when the farmers were on their way home from the fields, accompanied by the sound of cicadas living in Urug Forest.

A pair of Javanese Eagles were seen flying above the area of Urug Forest that covers around 320 hectares. As a matter of fact, Urug Forest has become the only remaining forest that breathes fresh tirta into Tasikmalaya.

A visitor entering the area of Urug Forest. (PHOTO: Harniwan Obech/TIMES Indonesia)

Dian Hadianto, one of the public figures in Urug, said that the local society is responsible to maintain the green environment of Urug. He was concerned about the forest condition that loses its function as “the lungs of the city” due to deforestation for housing and industrial purposes.

“Tasikmalaya used to be well-known as ‘A City with A Thousand Hills’. However, sadly, most of the hills that used to be the source of springs have been changed into hotels, ” he stated.

The existence of forests has been a vital thing for humans’ life. Not only functions as a fresh, clean air source, but it also provides the source of water.

Dian Hadianto, the public figure at Urug. (PHOTO: Harniwan Obech/TIMES Indonesia)

Moal aya cai, lamun euweuh kai, moal aya kai lamun euweuh leweung ” means “there will be no water if there is no trees, and there will be no trees if there is no woods”.

To save the existence of Urug Forest, the local society of Urug rejects the spatial planning that includes the land use for residential purposes, that will be a new environmental problem.

In addition to that, Dian is also concerned about the development of natural tourism attractions around the village. Tourism attraction development should not only prioritize the improvement of economical sectors, but it should consider the risks and the impacts to the environment as well.

“Tourism attractions should not only focus on gaining income. Instead, we should maintain the environment, so that it could give us comfort and beautiful place to enjoy, ” he stated. (*)