Mangrove rehabilitation program in Indonesia should gain serious support from all parties across the country.
A common natural feature of tropical and subtropical coastlines, mangrove forests are among the most biologically important ecosystems on earth.
But ground-based evidence in Indonesia shows these vital coastal forests have been decimated or damaged in many regions.
Forestry Ministry Zulkifli Hasan said mangrove has a great economic potential that can be used for the needs of industries.
“Mangrove has a great economic potential. Its shoots can be processed into livestock feed and its fruits can be used as raw materials for flour and syrup,” Zulkifli noted.
Therefore, he said mangrove forests management in the country should be stepped up because such a tropical tree that grows in the mud of at the edge of rivers could also be exploited as charcoal, firewood, wood flakes, and pulp.
Further, he explained that mangrove forest could produce clean water and fresh air.
Even a study of the Directorate General of Land Rehabilitation and Social Forestry (RLPS) from the Forestry Ministry in 2008 indicated that a total economic value of mangrove ecosystem reached Rp29.1 million per hectare per year.
“Support from private parties besides the government would mean a lot to restore our mangrove area,” the minister noted.
Further, the forestry minister explained that Indonesia still needs at least 2 million hectares of mangrove forest to add existing 3.7 million hectares.