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BKSDA, YKAN, and Partners Held Mangrove Volunteers Day 2019

Eceng gondok
Water hyacinth Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve © Ahmad Fuadi
Eceng Gondok
Water hyacinth Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve © Ahmad Fuadi

Jakarta Natural Resources Conservation Center, Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN), and partners consisting of APP Sinar Mas, PT Indofood Sukses Makmur, Tbk, PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia, and PT Djarum held the “Mangrove Volunteers Day 2019 in the Muara Angke Mangrove Ecosystem Area, North Jakarta, on Thursday, August 15, 2019. In this activity, mangrove planting activities were carried out in the Arboretum area, nurseries in the Angke Kapuk Mangrove Nature Tourism Park area, and cleaning of garbage in the Muara Angke Wildlife Sanctuary.

A total of 270 seedlings from 5 types of mangroves, namely Rhizophora mucronata, Rhizphora stylosa, Rizhophora Apiculata, Sonneratia alba, and Bruguiera were symbolically planted in this activity. In total, there will be 1,000 stems representing all types of mangroves that grow naturally in Jakarta Bay.

This is an important step considering the condition of mangroves in Jakarta Bay continues to be depressed. "The area of mangrove land continues to decrease, industrial and household waste that pollutes the mangrove forest accelerates the destruction of this area," said Head of the DKI Jakarta Provincial Environmental Service Andono Warih on Thursday (15/8). Moreover, Jakarta is downstream of 13 watershed systems, which in addition to carrying water, also carry plastic waste that threatens mangrove forests.

In fact, mangrove forests are areas of protection and development for marine biota that are very diverse, such as fish, crabs, shrimp and mollusks, as well as forest fauna such as monkeys, birds and reptiles. The mangrove ecosystem also provides various benefits for the lives of the surrounding residents. Namely as a source of income and a source of food for coastal communities, for commercial fishery services, as well as tourist destinations, conservation, education, and research.

“Mangrove forests contribute to the economic sector by contributing IDR 40 trillion per year from the aquaculture sector. From an ecological point of view, mangroves are a support for life," said the Director of Essential Ecosystem Management at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Tandya Tjahjana in his remarks at "Mangrove Volunteers Day", Thursday (15/8). He also hopes that this event can be a place to spread the importance of the mangrove ecosystem to all parties.

Warih also expressed similar expectations. "In the urban context, mangroves are important to improve air quality in Jakarta with their ability to absorb 24 metric tons of carbon per year," he added.

Various efforts to rehabilitate mangroves are carried out to increase the area of mangrove forests in Jakarta which is part of the green open land. Moreover, this area has also become a protective fortress in the coastal area. “Flash floods, rising sea levels, have threatened the capital. Real action is needed for mangrove conservation," added Tandya.

In this regard, the Directorate General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation-Ministry of Environment and Forestry, through the Jakarta Natural Resources Conservation Center, is collaborating with Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN), is committed to restoring mangrove ecosystems and implementing an integrated management program through MERA (Mangrove Ecosystem Restoration Alliance) program. MERA, which was launched in 2018, is a partnership alliance that puts forward an ecosystem-based adaptation strategy, including mangrove conservation and restoration, which is a priority action for improving the welfare of coastal communities and preserving biodiversity.

The chairman of Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara, Rizal Algamar, said, “Management of the Muara Angke mangrove forest is the initial area of the MERA program. We see that collective action is urgently needed to save the last mangrove ecosystem in Jakarta. MERA is also the answer for an integrated and collaborative management that unites all parties who care about mangrove conservation.”

This concern for the preservation of the mangrove ecosystem is also a concern for private parties who join as MERA partners. Representing the MERA partner alliance, PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia (PT CPI) President Director Albert Simanjuntak said, "We are very pleased to be partnering with KLHK, YKAN, and other organizations in the MERA program."

Albert further added that environmental protection is one of the company's values that is implemented wherever PT CPI operates throughout the world. “Since 2003, we have been actively participating in the restoration and preservation of mangrove forests in Penajam, East Kalimantan. Through MERA, we are not only committed to rehabilitating mangrove forests in Jakarta Bay, but also launched the Integrated Coastal Management Development program in Pangkalan Sesai, Dumai City, and Teluk Pambang, Bengkalis Regency, Riau. Currently, a study on the design of the coastal restoration plan for the two locations is underway. We hope that the results of the study will be completed by the end of this year, so that program implementation can begin in 2020.”

“Mangrove Volunteers Day”, which is a series of commemorations of World Mangrove Day, involves around 300 volunteers consisting of leaders and representatives of MERA and YKAN partners. Also attending this activity were YKAN's Nature Ambassador Richard Kyle and Wolftank consisting of Ariyo Wahab, Tyo Nugros, Noey Jeje, and Kin Aulia. On this occasion they also conveyed the message of the importance of mangrove conservation and encouraged all levels of society to take part in this movement.

For the record, Indonesia is a country with the largest mangrove area in the world. Its area covers 75 percent of the total mangrove area in Southeast Asia and 27 percent of the total mangroves worldwide.

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.