The inclusion of Belambangan in the world biosphere reserve network is expected to benefit conservation ..."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi has said managing the biosphere reserves in Indonesia is part of the governments commitment to sustainable development.

The minister made the statement while receiving Indonesian Ambassador to France and the Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Hotmangaradja Pandjaitan, who delivered a certificate of UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) for Indonesia, here on Monday.

The designation of Belambangan as the worlds 11th biosphere reserve reflects the recognition that the international community accords to Indonesias natural wealth which must be protected, Minister Marsudi stated.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated Belambangan, spread over four districts---Banyuwangi, Jember, Bondowoso and Situbondo--- in East Java, as a biosphere reserve.

The decision was taken during a session of the International Coordinating Council (ICC) Program of Man and the Biosphere (MAB), held in Lima, Peru, in March 2016.

The Blambangan biosphere reserve comprises three national parks, namely, Alas Purwo, Baluran and Meru, as well as one nature reserve - Kawah Ijen.

The reserve consists of terrestrial and marine ecosystems featuring karst landscapes, savannah and different types of forests including alpine/subalpine, upper, dry and lower montane (mountain), lowland, coastal and mangrove.

The site also features seagrass beds and coral reefs. The main economic activities of the biosphere reserve are agriculture and horticulture, as well as agroforestry (teak and mahogany).

Mangroves are also present in the biosphere reserve and coral reef ecosystems can be found in the buffer zone. More than 300 species of fish have been identified and the reefs are dominated by coral species of the Acropora genus.

The region is a biodiversity hotspot with many faunal species including the Banteng or Javanese wild bull (Bos javanicus), the Christmas frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi), the green peafowl (Pavo muticus) and the endangered Javan leopard (Panthera pardus). In addition, four species of sea turtles nest on the south and east coast of Alas Purwo National Park: the olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and the green turtle (Chelonia mydas).

"The inclusion of Belambangan in the world biosphere reserve network is expected to benefit conservation and research, and to support sustainable development beneficial to local communities," she noted.

(Reported by Yuni Arisandy /Uu.F001/INE/KR-BSR/A014)

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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