Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Association of Religious Counselors of the Republic of Indonesia (IPARI) planted a million trees simultaneously in all Indonesian provinces as part of an initiative to protect the Earth.

The tree plantation activity also marked one year of IPARI's founding.

IPARI is a strategic partner organization of the ministry. It is a legal entity and a professional organization for religious counselors across Indonesia. It currently has 50 thousand members.

"Our theme is 'Caring for the Earth, Strengthening Moderation,' which refers to our three goals: education, real action, and to link religion and theological concepts," director of Islamic religious information at the Directorate General of Islamic Community Guidance of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ahmad Zayadi, said in a statement issued here on Thursday.

The theme of the celebration refers to three main objectives of which the first is making efforts to educate people about the importance of and urgent need for the tree planting movement, he informed.

The second objective is to take real action to protect and care for the planet by planting various types of trees, including mangroves, at many points in every province of Indonesia.

The third objective pertains to IPARI's efforts to emphasize the importance of religious values in people's lives, including in protecting the environment.

He informed that IPARI is a strategic partner of the Religious Affairs Ministry. There are three policies related to this, including those related to the ministry's recognition and acknowledgment of IPARI.

"Second is to provide affirmation and third is to foster and facilitate IPARI activities," he said.

Meanwhile, head of the Sub-directorate of Islamic Religious Counselors, Amirullah, said that the movement is a real action to protect the Earth by planting mangrove trees to address global warming and extreme temperatures, which have become a cause for concern globally.

According to IPARI general secretary Elvi Anita Afandi, religious counselors have a unique task in terms of offering religious guidance and counseling as well as development.

"The term development has a broad meaning, including stunting prevention and environmental protection," she added.

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Translator: Astrid Faidlatul Habibah, Katriana
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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