This story excerpt and photo captions below were translated from bahasa Indonesia. To continue reading in bahasa Indonesia, visit the Tribun Manado website. You may also view the bahasa Indonesia story in full on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
Mesel Ratatotok Hill is now green, and there are rows and rows of trees as far as the eye can see.
There are teak trees, cinnamon, sengon, mahogany, red jabon, linggua, water ketapan, and many others. The trees grow neatly at a distance of about 3-4 meters from one another and they tower high, reaching 20-30 meters above the ground.
Green and cool. It is hard to imagine now that Mesel Hill, with its expansive area of 221 hectares, was once a gold mining area.
The forest in Bukit Messel located in Ratatotok, Southeast Minahasa, North Sulawesi, Indonesia is the result of the reclamation of PT Newmont Minahasa Raya (PT NMR) mine, which would go on to become the Megawati Soekarnoputri Botanical Gardens.
The sound of factory engines and the wheels of a giant truck can no longer be heard in Bukit Mesel. The black smoke from the chimney of the gold processing factory is no longer visible. All factory buildings, workers' offices, and other offices have been torn down.