Cibinong, BRIN Public Relations. Botanical garden as referred to in Government Regulation No. 93 of 2011 is an ex.situ plant conservation area that has a documented collection of plants arranged according to their taxonomic, bioregional, and thematic classification patterns or the combination of these patterns for the purpose of conservation, research, education, tourism and environmental services. This is in line with what the Head of the National Research and Innovation Agency of the Republic of Indonesia (BRIN RI), Laksana Tri Handoko, once said that Botanical Garden is a platform for conducting research on Indonesia’s rich biodiversity.

The Cibinong Botanical Garden is a botanical garden managed by BRIN, located at the Cibinong Science Center – Botanical Garden (CSC-BG) – BRIN Complex in Bogor Regency, West Java. Aside from to the Cibinong Botanical Garden, BRIN also manages four other botanical gardens, namely the Bogor Botanical Garden, Cibodas Botanical Garden, Purwodadi Botanical Garden, and Bali Botanical Garden.

According to Mujahidin, the Sub-Coordinator of the Plant Collection Maintenance Function of the Cibinong Botanical Garden-BRIN, the concept of ex-situ plant conservation areas at the Cibinong Botanical Garden is different from that in the Bogor Botanical Garden. “The Cibinong Botanical Garden has the pattern based on division of ecological and geographical areas or based on ecoregion. This is different from the Bogor Botanical Garden which is patterned on taxonomic (family) classification,” he explained on Friday (15/01).

The BRIN Cibinong Botanical Garden, which has a total area of ​​approximately 34 ha, consists of 7 major island regions, namely Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku, Nusa Tenggara and Papua. Each region has a certain area and peculiarities of plants.

For example, in the Nusa Tenggara region which displays a replica of a non-dipterocarpa pamah forest, we will find one of the typical plant species in NTT area, namely lontar (borassus flabelifer L.).

Meanwhile, in the Java-Bali region with an area of ​​about 10 ha surrounding the area in the garden, it displays a replica of lowland non-dipterocarp forest. Various types of trees can be found, including the Kepel tree (Stelechocarpus burahol BL Hook f & Thomson) which is the mascot of the flora of Yogyakarta.

Another tree is gandaria with the scientific name Bouea macrophylla Griff is the mascot of the flora of West Java. There are also Buni plants (Antidesma bunius (L.) Spreng, Pule (Alstonia scholaris LR Br. Trengguli (Cassia fistula L. and Aren or Arenga pinnata (Wumb) Merr.). In other regions, you will also find types of plants that match or come from the name of the region itself

When you are in a botanical garden, apart from getting to know and learning about plants, you can also enjoy the exotic scenery in the artificial lake area, Lake Dora. In the Lake area, there is an expanse of aquatic plants called tetepok with its small white flowers in the shape of stars like snowflakes scattered on the surface of the pond. The scientific name of the plant is Nymphoides indica (L) Kuntze or popularly known as “water snowflake”. This plant belonging to the same family as lotus is a beautiful aquatic plant, with its roots submerged in water, and green heart-shaped leaves.

Starting from Ecopark

The name of Cibinong Botanical Garden which is recorded in the book titled ‘Getting to know closer Cibinong Science Center-Botanical Garden (CSC-BG) LIPI’, derives the Ecology Park (Ecopark), namely the Nature Conservation Park which was part of the Bogor Botanical Garden Plant Conservation Center.

The Ecopark development was initiated in 2002 as an ex situ plant conservation area which aims to lower the degradation rate of plant species diversity. At the beginning of the construction, the Ecopark had a plant collection of more than 10,000 trees. The book titled ‘The Ecopark Cibinong Science Center and Botanic Garden 2018’ records that area has the plant collection of 6,105 specimens consisting of 86 families, 328 genera and 733 species.

The Cibinong Botanical Garden has, besides Dora Lake, other artificial lakes such as Lake Dori and Lake Walini which accommodate water spills from 23 springs. However, Lake Dora is a popular one with a length of about 700 to the north and a width varying from 10 to 50 meters. The name Lake Dora also makes the Cibinong Botanical Garden popular to the public, especially visitors, although the origin of the name is still debatable.

The Cibinong Botanical Garden was closed to the public from 2018 to 2020 for reconstruction and also due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Finally, on 20 December 2020, the Garden was reopened with strict rules on health protocols.

In managing the garden for tourism, BRIN collaborates with PT. Mayaksa Alam Permai. Rearrangement for feasibility as a tourist destination has been carried out and is still ongoing today, including the infrastructure such as road renovation, entrance gates, prayer rooms, toilets, shelters, parks and others.

Now to support and strengthen its function, the Cibinong Botanical Garden will have a display greenhouse. “In the Cibinong Botanical Garden, a 4-story Green House Display is being built with a large facade, which is planned to be about 90 meters in diameter and 25 meters high,” said Mujahidin.

It is hoped that this greenhouse will have controlled and safe greenhouse facilities with supporting equipment for plant phenotypes, agricultural microbes, seed viability and ecosystem analysis using the latest technology.

By the end of 2020, Indonesia had 45 botanical gardens that represented its biodiversity ecoregions. Of the 45 botanical gardens, 5 gardens are managed by BRIN, 5 botanical gardens are managed by the provincial government, 32 botanical gardens are managed by the municipal/city government, and 3 botanical gardens are managed by universities. (dk ed sl, drs)