On July 14, 2021, Jakarta Natural Resources Conservation Agency (Balai Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam or BKSDA), Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN), and Mangrove Ecosystem Restoration Alliance (MERA) partners, consisting of APP Sinar Mas, PT Indofood Sukses Makmur, Tbk, PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia, and PT Djarum began the construction of the gate and 240 meters footbridge at the Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve (Suaka Margasatwa Muara Angke or SMMA). This ceremony conducted under the COVID-19 protocol was highlighted with a foundation stone laying by Wiratno, Director General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation of Ministry of Environment and Forestry (Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam dan Ekosistem (KSDAE) Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan (KLHK)).
The construction of these facilities and infrastructures are a part of stages in strengthening SMMA function as the center of environmental education and mangrove ecosystem restoration in Jakarta. “Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve is a conservation area in the north coast of Jakarta, a part of Angke Kapuk Forest group. This area of 310 hectares becomes one of the remaining mangrove ecosystems in Jakarta, as well as the habitat for saltwater crocodiles, lizards, long-tailed macaques, snakes, and 15 species of mangroves. This area is also important for birds in Java, as 91 species, in which 17 of them are protected, can be found here,” explained Karyadi, Head of Jakarta BKSDA.
Based on the study results conducted by Jakarta BKSDA and YKAN in 2019, mangrove forests in Jakarta Bay were under high pressure from land conversion, as seen in the high increase of deforestation in the 1980s. Ecosystem-based solutions in the context of climate change can give ‘triple-win’ benefits, which are reducing disaster risk effectively from the financial aspect, supporting biodiversity conservation, and increasing economy and human welfare. Therefore, harmonious cooperation between all people is needed.
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“A collective action is very needed to save the mangrove ecosystem in Jakarta. MERA is the answer for integrated and collaborative management that unites all parties who are concerned about mangrove conservation,” explained Herlina Hartanto, Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara Executive Director.
This concern about mangrove ecosystem conservation is also under the attention of private sectors in the MERA alliance. “Mangrove is very important for lives. I invited all partners from private sectors and the public to not only care but also collaborate in the sustainable mangrove management in Indonesia,” said Wahyu Budiarto, Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs of PT. Chevron Pacific Indonesia, representing MERA partners in this event.
At present, mangrove ecosystem resources conservation provides solutions to four strategic challenges. These challenges are developing a scientific approach to protecting and restoring mangrove forests, involving key stakeholders in drafting policy and regulation, implementing integrated and effective management for restoration, protection, and sustainability in terms of funding, and carrying out partnership and outreach programs.
As a measure to those challenges, the Directorate General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, through Jakarta BKSDA, cooperated with YKAN in committing to restore the mangrove ecosystem and conducting an integrated management program through the MERA program. Launched in 2018, MERA is an alliance that prioritized ecosystem-based adaptation strategy, including mangrove conservation and restoration, which are the priority action to increase the welfare of coastal communities and conserve biodiversity. All related stakeholders are hoped to support its sustainability actively.
“Ministry of Environment and Forestry, through BKSDA, is very supportive to the integrated management that is conducted collaboratively by all parties, like MERA, to sustain and improve the mangrove condition in Indonesia,” said Wiratno, Director General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation of Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
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.