Banjarbaru, South Kalimantan (ANTARA) - Some 70 percent of the 116,824 hectares of mangrove forest in South Kalimantan's coastal area have incurred destruction.

"The existence of mangrove forest in South Kalimantan is under threat. Care and concrete actions are deemed necessary to preserve the mangroves," Dean of the Faculty of Fishery and Marine of the University of Lambung Mangkurat (ULM) Pahmi Ansyari noted in a statement, Saturday.

Apt actions, including the planting of mangrove seedlings, are deemed necessary for restoration of the mangrove forest ecosystem. Mangrove is beneficial for the environment and crucial to preventing abrasion.

"As part of the concrete action demonstrating our care for mangrove forest preservation, we will organize a one thousand mangrove tree planting event dubbed 'Action for Mangrove (BUM),'" Phami Ansyari, an expert in aquaculture, stated.

The event will be held in the Pagatan Besar coastal area in Takisung Sub-district, Tanah Laut District, on September 7, 2019, to prevent abrasion and restore the condition of the coastal ecosystem and marine biota.

The mangrove seedling planting activity will involve university students, lecturers, local officials, employees of private company PT Arutmin Indonesia, and local residents, including fishermen, of Pagatan Besar Village.

The event is part of a series of activities organized to celebrate the 55th Anniversary of the ULM's Faculty of Fishery and Marine this year.

In the meantime, Indonesia currently has 3.5 million hectares of mangrove forests, making it one of the countries in the world with the largest area of mangrove forests, he stated.

"One-fourth of the world's mangrove forests are found in Indonesia. The rehabilitation of mangrove forests tops the list of the Indonesian government's priorities. The rehabilitation includes a social forestry program that President Joko Widodo has introduced," coordinator of the special staff of the illegal fishing eradication task force (Satgas 115) Mas Achmad Santosa noted in a written statement recently.

At the 5th International Panel on Sustainable Ocean Economy held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, recently, Indonesia reiterated the importance of protecting the mangrove ecosystem and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

Mangrove forests are one of the coastal ecosystems that play a role in mitigating the impact of climate change.

Mangrove forests can store five folds more greenhouse gases than inland forests, he stated.

Translator: Firman, Fardah
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2019