Mangrove Restoration Could Boost Indonesia’s Tourism

Mangrove restoration can help boost ecotourism in Indonesia.

Travellers in Indonesia recognise the several advantages of mangroves. The beautiful ASEAN country started replanting and conserving carbon-rich coastal areas, once destroyed by human activities. Mangrove restoration is the answer.

Mangrove Restoration in Indonesia

This country has over 17,000 islands and boasts about 10.1 million acres of shoreline. However, about 4.1 million hectares remain due to urban development. Sea farming also replaces what should be the natural defence against rising tides and saltwater infiltration. According to Indonesia’s Mangrove and Peatlands Restoration Agency (BRGM), Indonesia lost 700,000 hectares of mangroves.

Government funding isn’t enough, and aid from private institutions and non-governmental organisations is still needed. This is according to Nusantara Nature Conservation Agency director Muhammad Ilman.

Angke Kapuk Nature Reserve Park envelops 98 acres of land where tours operate. However, it’s just a small section of what environmental authorities say the planet needs to regress the damage done to mangroves.

“A lot of people and businesses have these mangrove forests levelled down and then build a tourist spot above it by piling sand to make artificial beaches. That contradicts nature preservation,” said Muhammad Saleh Alatas, The Mangrove Paddling Centre owner.

Recognising the Benefits of the Mangrove Forest

Jakarta, one of the fastest-sinking cities in the world, will benefit from mangroves. These coastal trees will help hold off rising tides. It sinks around six inches each year because of flooding and groundwater extraction.

The Angke Kapuk Nature Reserve Park is a sanctuary fragment of the country’s almost 16,000 square-mile mangrove area spread across the coasts. However, coast development, including artificial beaches, threatens the proliferation of mangroves. In fact, nearly 2,700 square miles of mangrove tracts went down to destruction.

“This tourist park still retains its conservation area status, so supposedly when you come you learn what sort of area this is, what’s the story behind it, and what can we do to preserve and nurture the forests, so that coming generations can still enjoy this, as opposed to letting the forests turn into a steel jungle. In Jakarta this is one of the biggest oxygen producer – urban forests and mangrove forests in the coasts,” said Andika Danangputra, Angke Kapuk Nature Reserve Park Vice Director.

The government initiated a program to rehabilitate thousands of square miles of mangrove acres to offset the damaging deforestation. But this resolution won’t be visible for the next five years. The trees must be sufficiently strong to hold back the ocean.

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