Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Government of Indonesia is planning to develop marine botanical gardens to preserve coral reefs.

"We will develop marine botanical gardens jointly with the coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment," Laksana Tri Handoko, chairman of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), stated at a virtual press conference here on Thursday.

The coordinating minister has, since the past two years, initiated a coral reef conservation area in Nusa Dua waters, Bali Province, by involving the local community.

The Nusa Dua coral reef conservation area will be developed as a marine botanical garden, he remarked.

A marine botanical garden will promote a sustainable coral reef ecosystem to be reinforced with strong legal aspects.

Sustainable coral reef ecosystem conservation is part of the efforts to conserve coastal regions, he stated.

"We are pondering over the need to conduct ex-situ conservation for preservation of this country's coral reefs," he remarked.

LIPI is in charge of managing five botanical gardens in Indonesia: Bogor Botanical Garden, Cibodas Botanical Garden, and Cibinong Botaniacal Garden in West Java Province, Purwodadi Botanical Garden in East Java, and Bali Botanical Garden. Being the world's largest archipelagic nation, with a 260-million population and over 17 thousand islands, Indonesia has 5.8 million square kilometers of marine territory and some 92 thousand-km-long beach and coastal areas, or the world's second-longest coastline after Canada.

Indonesia has various coral reefs spanning an area of 25 thousand square kilometers, or some 10 percent of the world's coral reefs measuring 284,300 square kilometers.

Moreover, Indonesia has the highest number of coral reef species on the planet, notably 569 species from 82 families and 15 tribes, out of the total 845 coral reef species in the world.

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Translator: Martha HS, Fardah
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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