The mangrove ecotourism area located in Kampung Teluk Semanting, Pulau Derawan District, was inaugurated by the Government of Berau Regency on 3 May 2023 with the support of the Nusantara Nature Conservation Foundation (YKAN) and the Ministry of Finance's Special Missions Vehicles (SMV), which consists of PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur ( Persero), PT Sarana Multigriya Financial (Persero), PT Geo Dipa Energy (Persero), PT Indonesia Infrastructure Guarantee (Persero), PT Indonesia Infrastructure Finance, and the Indonesian Export Financing Agency.
The mangrove ecotourism area in Kampung Teluk Semanting has an area of around 750 hectares. Here visitors can enjoy the beautiful expanse of mangroves and learn about mangrove ecosystems. This ecotourism area is also equipped with footbridges, information centers and souvenir sales made by residents, monitoring towers for bird-watching tours, and camping facilities for visitors who want to stay overnight.
"Regarding the development of the ecotourism program, on 27 September 2022, the Berau District Government issued a Decree of the Berau Regent number 483 of 2022 concerning the Establishment of a Mangrove Ecosystem in the Other Use Area (APL) of Teluk Semanting Village as a Community-Based Sustainable Mangrove Ecotourism managed by the Management Team. Teluk Semanting Village mangroves," explained Berau Regent Sri Juniarsih Mas.
Juniarsih added that developing mangrove ecotourism in Teluk Semanting Village aligns with the 2016-2031 Regional Tourism Development Master Plan for Berau Regency.
Mangrove forests are one of the most essential ecosystems in coastal areas, providing various environmental services for local communities. "There are not many districts like Berau, which has a mangrove area of almost 80,000 hectares, and most are in good condition. It makes Berau Regency an important area in protecting the remaining natural mangroves in Indonesia. In addition, the function of mangroves which is very important for the community's economy, causes the need for management in non-destructive ways, including the ecotourism program and sustainable Shrimp-Carbon Aquaculture (SECURE) aquaculture which the Ministry of Finance's SMV supports," explained YKAN Marine Program Director Muhammad Ilman.
The preservation of mangroves requires the support of all parties in various actions. "The Ministry of Finance makes various policies, one of which is fiscal policy to support sustainable development in tackling climate change. At the Directorate General of State Assets (DJKN) of the Ministry of Finance, we translate it by optimizing SMV's role in environmental preservation programs. In Berau District, we are collaborating with YKAN to support SECURE's sustainable aquaculture activities and sustainable mangrove ecotourism in Pegat Batumbuk Village and Semanting Bay," said Berdik Dili Guntoro, a representative from DJKN, in his written remarks.
The hope is that mangrove ecotourism in Kampung Teluk Semanting can have a sustainable impact. "Recognizing the importance of environmental balance, we hope that this mangrove ecotourism can bring many benefits to the wider community while maintaining and preserving its nature," concluded the Head of Teluk Semanting Village, Abdul Gani.
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.