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Green School | Jatiluwih

Green School

When heads of state and business people are too foolish to agree on anti-global warming protocols, environmental activities shift their campaign target towards children. Through environmentally conscious educational institutions, students now learn about the importance of saving energy. So that these potential future leaders may be wiser in managing the earth.

One educational institutions in Bali carrying out this mission is the Green School (www.greenschool.org), founded by John and Cynhtia Hardy in 2008, this institutions combines a general interntional curriculum with green studies and creative arts for its Pre-K to Grade 10 students. The aim is to give students appropriate, relevant and inspirational knowledge so that in the future, they will develop into individuals who are both critical and creative in their constributions to Mother Earth.
Teaching and learning activities in the school are implemented through a "Learning by doing" approach. Studies include research on insects and river animals, rice planting projects, paper recycling, batik painting, and ethnic musical instrument lessons.
The Green School also burnishes its environmental credentials through its eco-friendly architecture. The classroom in the 10.3 hectare school are all built using natural materials, such as bamboo, palm fibres, and grass. Moreover, during every full moon, the school also organises an art show in its mudpond. The Green School offers regular tours for curious member of the general public on Mondays, and Wednesdays at 3pm. After the tour, visitors, are encouraged to make a voluntary donations towards scholarships for disadvantaged local children. World famous figures who have visited the school include David Copperfield, Thomas L.Friedman and Sir RIchard Branson.

How To Get There
Green School is located in Jalan Raya Sibangkaja (Abiansemal Badung). Drive along Jalan Raya A.Yani in North Denpasar, and after passing the Sibang Gede Bridge, head straight up Jalan Raya Sibangkaja. Turn left into the small road decorated with tall, colourful banners and a sign for Green School, and then head down the gravel road, which will take you to the school gate.

Bali is justly for its beautiful terraced paddy fields, which are similar to the UNESCO Heritage Site Fields found in Ifugao in Philipines. Indeed, someof Bali's paddies have also been earmarked for inclusion on this prestigious list. The paddy fields in question are located in the village of Jatiluwih, in the district of Tabanan. They lie 700 metres above sea level and Mount Batukaru the second highest mountain on the island of the Gods, provides a stunning backdrop.
The beauty of nature, combined with human creativity and local wisdom, which manifest themselves through a system of traditional irrigation known as subak, make for an amazing combination and Jatiluwih is surely worthy of World Heritage Site Status. A Sacred atmosphere is fostered by the farmers here, who habitually offer prayers at the pura (temple) before going to work. The locals here practise Hindu teachings, which instruct devotees to maintain good relationships with God, other people and nature.
Cultivation patterns here are organised  according to tradition and the cycle of the seasons. In cultivating their paddy field, the farmers use organic fertiliser made of cow and water buffalo dung. This system brings in relatively higher yields in comparison with chemically fertilised fields.
And Jatiluwih is not only suitable for visitors who love nature tourism, because the village also regulary present cultural performances known as Upacara Petoyan at Pura Petali. These performances can be experienced every Kliwon Ugu Wednesday, and this ceremony affirms people's devotion to God for all the blessing He bestows.
Historically, Jatiluwih has been a tourist destination since the Dutch colonial era. Access at the time was still limited, but at the beginning at the 1970's, the government began to develop infrastructure in the region. Nowadays, the access road has been given an asphalt surface and there are also public facilities such as rest houses, toilets, and parking area here.

How to get there
From Denpasar, the recommended route is to head towards Kediri and Tabanan, and then to proceed north to the sub-district of Penebel. Then head towards Gunung Batukaru, and head down the twisting road that leads to the village of Jatiluwih.
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Geographical Distribution and Plant Communities

Few places on the Earth can be found where at least some of the 400,000 species of plants are not adapted to live. Only the polar zones, the highest mountains, the deepest oceans, and the driest deserts are devoid of plants (other than bacteria). A given plant species has a limited distribution, however, depending on its own particular requirements. Some species are broadly distributed, being tolerant of a wide range of conditions. Narrowly restricted species have limited tolerance to a specific factor, such as soil type.
Climate is the major factor affecting the distribution of plants and determining their structural adaptions. The greatest number of species are found near the equatorial regions in the tropical climates, where moisture and temperature are seldom limiting. The number of species per area decreases toward the poles.
Plants assume various adaptations as they occupy drier or colder areas away from the tropics. In drier climates plants develop features, known as xeromorphic ("dry form") characteristics, such as smaller, thicker leaves, spines, dense hairiness, and water-storage organs. In colder zones plants become lower in stature, with the growing points protected at or just beneath the ground. Because of similar adaptations, plants of a given climatic zone form a characteristic vegetation type. A large area occupying a given climatic zone and with a characteristic vegetation and associated groups of animal species is called BIOME. The major biomes include the tropical rain forest, desert, and tundra.

Current Plant Research
Much of the emphasis in research is on the development and use of new techniques and equipment. In the field of classification especially, the use of new chemical methods and computers has become important in elucidating relationships and in handling data. The electron microscope, and in recent years the scanning electron microscope (SEM), are important tools of the plant at the subcellular level. The SEM is used in particular in studying the detail of leaf surfaces and pollen grains.
Studies of the structure and function of membranes, where much of the plant's activities take place, are widely pursued. Recent research in molecular botany has been in the synthesis of chlorophyll and the interrelationships of nucleic acids and hormonal functions. The role of hormones and their interactions with phytochromes in affecting flowering continues to be an intensively studied area in plant physiology. Nearly all photosynthetic plants utilize the carbon from carbon dioxide to manufacture sugar molecules by employing one specific set of chemical reactions to fix, or transfer, the carbon atoms. The series of chemical reactions is called the 
C3 (or Calvin-Benson) cycle because the three-carbon compound, phosphoglyceric acid, is formed during its operation. An area of recent interest has been the discovery of an alternative carbon-fixing pathway in a number of other plants.
This is called the C(or Hatch-Slack) cycle because four-carbon compounds are produced during this process.
In agriculture, the main emphasis is still on increased food production, with breeding programs to develop high-yield strains, especially those yielding more protein. Computers are also used to simulate the growth of several food crops and study the factors involved.

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Organisms live together in assemblages called communities. Some communities are very small, such as those composed of invertebrates and decomposers living within a rotting log. Others may be as large as an entire forest. The most extensive communities, called Biomes, occupy wide geographic areas.
The major biomes are arctic tundras, northern coniferous forests, deciduous forests, grasslands, deserts, tropical jungles and rain forests.
Chapparals (shubby forests) and coniferous rain forests are sometimes also considered biomes. The distinctive appearance of each biomes is generally determined by the predominance of characteristic plant species, but the animals that are characteristically associated with it also contribute to its distinctiveness.
Communities are composed of both plants and animals. Each species is distributed according to its own biological requirements, which may be affected by other species. For example, sugar maple seedlings required shade and may therefore mature easily in dense forests, whereas seedlings of eastern white pine require full sunlight for vigorous growth. Therefore, some species are sometimes associated with each other, but the exact degree of dependence is difficult to determine and has led to differences of opinion concerning th extent to which communities are discrete entities. By tabulating all plants found along a line passing through adjacent communities on mountainsides, it has been shown that the distribution pattern of each species is independent of most others, suggesting a continuum rather than a few discrete communities.
Communities also exhibit vertical stratification or layering in tropical rain forests, for example the tallest trees, called emergents, grow above the canopy trees; below the canopy trees are shorter trees; below the shorter trees are shrubs; and covering the forests floor is a layer of herbaceous (nonwoody) plants growing in soil inhabited by fungi and bacteria. Some charcteristic animals are also found in each of the strata, such as toucans in the canopy, but most animlas range trhough several strata.
Another aspect of communities is temporal (time) structure.
Some species of animals, are diurnal (active in daytime), some are nocturnal (active at night), and still others are crepuscular (acitve at twilight hours). This structure allows more organisms to occupy the same area without interfering with each other. In addition to these daily activity patterns, there may also be seasonal ones. In temperate areas, for example, frogs of different species use ponds to reproduce at various times throughout the spring. This prevents excessive competition between species for space and food at any one time.
The number of species within a community is called species diversity, Species diversity has two components, richness and evenness. If there are many species in a community, it is said to have a rich diversity. All species, however, are not always equally represented. If, as commonly happens, only a few species are abundant, the diversity is said to be uneven. If a community is made up of many species and each is relatively stable, because the reduction or removal of any one species would be far less important than the loss of an abundant species in a community where only a few are numerous.
If a community that has been disturbed by a disaster such as fire, flood, windstorm, volcanic eruption, plow, or bulldozer, is left undisturbed for a long time, it will eventually restore itself; this process is called succession. A forest completely destroyed by fire may take hundreds or thousands of years to become completely renewed, depending on the climate, the nature of the soil, and other environmental factors. A forest destroyed by fire in Minnesota might be restored in a few hundred years, whereas one in Mexico destroyed by a lava flow might not be restored for thousands of years. Succession also occurs very slowly in the desert and in the tundra because of climatic and soil condition.
The first species to invade a destroyed area are called pioneers. These opportunistic species usually have good means of dispersal and high reproductive capacities. Lichens, grasses, and other herbaceous species are the most common pioneers, but trees such as cottonwood, elm, aspen, and silver maple, which produce abundant windblown seeds, are sometimes found as well. Availability of sources of spores of seeds at the periphery of the disturbed area, as well the suitability of the disturbed site for each species, determines the species composition of the first community formed. THe invading species begin to change the environment by increasing the organic content of the soil with their dead parts and excreted wastes, creating shade, and changing moisture conditions. Some species harbor nitrogen-fixing bacteria that release nitrogenous compounds into the soil and thereby fertilize it.
In the course of succession, conditions are generally made more suitable for new types of organisms that use less energy for reproduction and more energy to maintain themselves. 
These species gradually win out in competition with the pioneers. Collectively, they produce a new community. The process of replacement of species may continue for a long time, the changes occur gradually. Eventually a point is reached at which the environmental and species changes are minimal and species diversity is high. This relatively stable community is called a climax community.