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Mangrove Park: Bali

Username By Barrie | November 2nd, 2007 | Comments No Comments

mini-img_5500.jpgAs a small island, Bali is prone to erosion, but protection of its vast beaches and mangrove forests, have helped save much land. The mangrove forests along Jalan Bypass Ngurai Rai to Benoa Peninsula in Nusa Dua, for example, are known as a greater forest park, said Sudrajat Wirapraja, head of the program section of the Denpasar Mangrove Forest Management Agency. The park initially had a coverage of about 1,700 hectares, but the road works and other public facilities have reduced this to 1,100 hectares.

Participants in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference in Nusa Dua next month will visit the park.

There are two mangrove management agencies-one based in Medan, North Sumatra, and the other in Denpasar, Sudrajat said. The Denpasar-based agency, he said, covers Java, Madura, Bali, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku islands to Papua, while the one in Medan covers Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi. Indonesia has 9.2 million hectares of mangroves, he said.

Mangroves are an assemblage of different species of trees or bushes which grow in saline, inter-tidal areas. The mangrove forest vegetation in Indonesia is classified into two categories genuine and association mangroves. The genuine mangroves are categorized into 34 major and 0 minor types, while the association mangroves consist of 60 varieties.

Out of that, more than 30 mangrove varieties grow along Bali’s beaches.

“Generally speaking, the condition of mangrove vegetation is steadily increasing,” Sudrajat said, adding that since 1992 over 400 hectares of barren lands had been reforested with mangroves.

An area which needs to be reforested is located On Benoa Peninsula, covering 50 hectares, he said.

He explained that the mangrove vegetation at the mangrove park reached an average height of 5-8 meters after about 12 years.
In line with its work division, the agency is responsible for formulating plans on mangrove forest rehabilitation and protection.

Sudrajat said the was done in cooperation with various parties, including the government, communities along the beaches and others living inland as well as non-governmental organizations. Sudrajat and his staff provide 5,000 mangrove seedlings every year for planting by different groups.

Ideally, Sudrajat said, one hectare should have no more than 1,600 trees so as to enable them to grow to their optimum size. But in a rehabilitation area, up to 5,000 seedlings are planted in one hectare at an interval of 2 by 3 meters.policy is intended to anticipate dead plants, which cannot grow due to improper planting techniques or others,” he said.

Planting mangroves isn’t a simple thing to do.

“That’s why, various parties asking for rehabilitation assistance have to tell the agency far earlier than the scheduled event. We provide seedlings free of charge. During the visit UNFCCC delegates will also plant mangrove seedlings in the park,” he said.

Sudrajat added that the greater mangrove forest park had various benefits. Aside from its biological function, it contributed greatly to the economic and conservation sectors. Certain species of fish and crab use mangroves to seek food and protection. Fishermen are also able to make a living from the animals they catch there.

The park has also been developed as a recreation site.park has been a part of objects offered to tourists in the city tour,” Denpasar Tourism Agency head Putu Budiasa said.

Aside from its fresh air, the visitors have the chance to see various birds, monitor lizards and snakes. Sudrajat said up 97 bird species lived at the park, including migrating birds from Australia.
Visitors can walk along a raised wooden track or travel by boat and canoe.

Wasti Atmodjo

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