Source : Antara – September 16, 2011
By Priyambodo RH
East Kalimantan province has made an 18-hectare plot of land available for the construction of a mangrove forest information and research center in Sepatin village, Anggana sub district, Kutai Kertanegara district, a local official said. “The physical shape of the building and the concept of its natural setting will be determined after a deeper study,” East Kalimantan Vice Governor Farid Wadjdy said here Friday. “One thing we wish to make clear is that we want to save the many mangrove forests in East Kalimantan that are in damaged condition,” he said.
He said East Kalimantan needed to have a research, exhibition, information, breeding as well as education center on mangroves in order to be able to rescue the mangrove forests in the Mahakam Delta. “Bali has a research center on mangrove forests, even though its mangrove forest area is not so wide. Hence it would not be a mistake if East Kalimantan had a similar research institution, because it has a very extensive mangrove forest area in the Mahakam Delta that is also a potential tourist resort,” Farid said. He explained the idea was actually very simple. If someone wanted to see mangrove forests, he or she would be taken to the Mahakam Delta region. So would parties that were engaged in mangrove forest research.
Starting from these research activities, then gradually the mangrove forests in Mahakam Delta will be more widely known, so it will attract a number of foreign tourists visiting the region for natural attractions. Through the simple idea, the Vice Governor hoped that East Kalimantan will have an information and research center which is expected to strengthen mangrove mangrove forest rescue efforts in the province, especially in Mahakam Delta.
Related to mangrove forests destruction which is partial caused by the opening pond by the community, according to Farid, it happens due to the ignorance of the local people. Therefore all the relevant parties must provide information and counseling on the importance of mangrove forests functions. “Mangrove can be optimally used. Its fruit can be processed for syrup, the leaves as natural dyes and the trees can withstand abrasion, so that the people will maintain and preserve the forests,” Farid noted. (T.KR-LWA/HAJM/A014)