Krjogja.com – JAKARTA – Deputy Minister of Environment and Forestry Alue Dohong said Indonesia has made efforts to overcome challenges in preserving forest and marine areas as the lungs of the earth.
This was conveyed by Alue Dohong when opening the 7th ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHP) Conference, which took place from October 31 to November 3, 2022 in Bogor, West Java, Tuesday, November 1, 2022.
“Forest cover in Indonesia is approximately 95 million hectares or about 51% of the total land area of 187 million ha. This forest area is a carbon reserve as well as the main capital in environmental and climate protection,” explained Alue.
According to him, there are currently 568 protected areas, including 55 National Parks in Indonesia spread from Sabang to Merauke. They range from coral reef ecosystems in marine waters to alpine forests at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters above sea level.
Some of them are recognized as International Recognition such as World Heritage Site (7 units), Biosphere Reserve (64 units), Ramsar Site (7 units), ASEAN Heritage Park (7 units) and Global Geopark (4 units).
“This recognition is a testament to the importance of Indonesia’s forest and marine areas and biodiversity to regional and international interests. And the Indonesian government has tried to overcome that challenge,” said Alue Dohong.
Nevertheless, it takes reasonable expectations, great motivation, a keen vision, strong partnerships and a willingness to create successful and strategic conservation efforts as a global movement.
“We understand that conservation will be truly successful if communities and projects around the world are able to stop and reverse the downward trend of species and ecosystems. Therefore, to make it happen, we urgently need systemic transformation,” explained Alue Dohong.
He explained that there are several ways to implement this systemic transformation, namely protecting the potential for biodiversity and environmental services in national parks by involving communities around protected areas.
Then deal with open areas through tenurial conflict resolution policies and ecosystem restoration. Increase community participation through conservation partnerships and community empowerment, as well as increase public awareness to maintain forest and marine ecosystems.
Furthermore, optimizing multi-stakeholder coordination such as other ministries/institutions, local governments, the private sector or other parties in supporting regional development policies that intersect with protected areas. In addition, improving the management of protected area development through increasing the effectiveness of protected area management.
“Biodiversity is the backbone for environmental, economic and social sustainability,” he said.
Therefore, he invites all parties to maintain and protect conservation, then use it sustainably.
He also hopes that this conference will expand AHP’s role in ecosystem protection and pandemic recovery. He said it is very important to raise awareness of effectively managing areas rich in biodiversity.
It then promotes greater cooperation among ASEAN Member States (AMS) in conserving and managing protected areas. (*)