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To promote mangrove restoration, Indonesia promotes tourism

To promote mangrove restoration, Indonesia promotes tourism

As the Indonesian archipelago works to replant or preserve carbon-rich coastal areas that have been destroyed by human activity, tourists are learning about the advantages of mangroves.

Connie Sihombing, a 50-year-old Jakarta resident, paddles her kayak through murky waters and the arching roots of mangrove trees without minding that she can hear cars or planes soaring above.

She spoke to a protected mangrove forest along the northern coast of the nation’s capital and stated, “I’ve been far, yet I had no idea that close to home lay this intriguing and beautiful park.

As urban expansion or seafood farming replaces what was once a natural barrier against increasing sea levels and saltwater intrusion, mangroves in Indonesia, a country with more than 17,000 islands and kilometers of coastline, have decreased to roughly 4.1 million hectares (10.1 million acres).

According to Indonesia’s Mangrove and Peatlands Restoration Agency (BRGM), the nation lost 700,000 hectares of mangroves just last year.

Along with government initiatives, Indonesia hopes that “ecotourism,” which involves visitors exploring, planting, and caring for the forests, would help people recognise the value of these areas as carbon sinks and biodiversity hotspots.

“Many people and corporations level these mangrove forests, then develop a tourist destination above it by building artificial beaches out of sand. According to Muhammad Saleh Alatas, owner of The Mangrove Paddling Centre, which arranges trips in Jakarta’s mangroves, “that goes against the preservation of nature.”

Environmental experts argue that in order to repair the harm done to mangroves and other wetlands, more space is needed than the 98-hectare Angke Kapuk Nature Reserve Park now has.

According to Muhammad Ilman, director of Nusantara Nature Conservation Agency, even though government financing has increased over the previous five years, assistance from commercial groups and non-governmental organizations is still required.

Source: theprint

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