Another recreational and educational vehicle is present in Wakatobi Regency, Southeast Sulawesi. Precisely in Tampara Village, South Kaledupa District, with the inauguration of the mangrove ecotourism area on Wednesday (27/11). The presence of a mangrove ecotourism area in Tampara Village is supported by the Wakatobi Regency Government, Wakatobi National Park, Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) and PT First State Investment Indonesia, through philanthropy funds, one of which is the First State IndoEquity Peka Fund which actively distributes social funds since 2011.
Not only enjoying the beautiful vast of mangroves, visitors can also get to know more about the mangrove ecosystem. This mangrove ecotourism area in Tampara Village is equipped with a footbridge, an information center and the sale of souvenirs made by local residents. In addition, there is also a floating monitoring tower to conduct bird monitoring tours and boat facilities if visitors are interested in exploring the mangrove area.
Mangrove forest is one of the most important ecosystems in coastal areas. In many coastal areas, communities are highly dependent on the environmental services provided by mangrove ecosystems. “A healthy mangrove ecosystem supports fishery productivity. In addition, the mangrove ecosystem also has potential that can be utilized optimally related to sustainable livelihoods and income-generating initiatives, including ecotourism and other recreational activities,” explained YKAN Director of Oceans Program Muhammad Ilman.
Located on Kaledupa Island, the southern part of Tampara Village has a dense mangrove forest cover. The total area is 37.5 hectares, with 9 types of mangroves. For bird-watching enthusiasts, the mangrove forest in Tampara Village is home to 33 species of birds. Especially in the mangrove vegetation can be found Columbidae birds, Zosterops palpebrosus, Scarlet-headed flowerpecker, Black-naped oriole, and eagles. In addition, in the mangrove path, you can also find Calonectris leucomelas at a vulnerable status, as well as the Far Eastern Curlew and Calidris with critical status, especially at low tide and in muddy areas (International Union for Conservation of Nature, 2019).
With all its natural potential, Tampara Village is preparing to become a tourist village. “I would like to thank the Wakatobi Regency Government, Wakatobi National Park, and Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) who have been accompanying us all this time. In the future, of course, we still need a lot of support, including technical assistance related to the management and development of ecotourism in this village," said the village head of Tampara Sirajudin.
Tourism in Indonesia has now become one of the pillars of the economy. Natural and cultural wealth is an important component in tourism, so management is the key word. "As a new ecotourism destination, I hope that the mangrove ecotourism area in Tampara Village can be managed professionally by the Village-Owned Enterprises (BUMDes) so that the results and benefits can be sustainable," said South Kaledupa Sub-District Head La Salama.
Wakatobi Regency is rich in natural resources, historical heritage, art, and culture that has the potential as a tourist attraction, both for domestic tourists as well as abroad. However, the status of Wakatobi Regency which is also a National Park with an area of 1,390,000 hectares of course requires special treatment in terms of area conservation to preserve its natural resources.
“Tourism development in Wakatobi Regency must be carried out by prioritizing conservation principles. Therefore, with a sustainable tourism approach and conservation partnerships, it will create tourism activities that support sustainable livelihoods and protect natural resources, traditional values, and social culture of the community," concluded the Head of Section II of the Wakatobi La Fasa National Park.
Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) is a scientific-based non-profit organization that has been present in Indonesia since 2014. With the mission of protecting lands and waters as life support systems, we provide innovative solutions to realize the harmony of nature and humans through effective natural resource management, prioritizing a non-confrontational approach, and building a network of partnerships with all stakeholders for a sustainable Indonesia. For more information, visit ykan.or.id.