The three Indonesian biosphere reserves were included in the list of UNESCO biosphere reserves after securing a positive assessment from the Advisory Committee and approval from all ICC-MAB members, Indonesian Ambassador/Permanent Delegate to UNESCO Surya Rosa Putra told a London-based Antara journalist on Thursday.
The three biosphere reserves are Bunaken Tangkoko Minahasa, Karimunjawa Jepara Muria, and Merapi Merbabu Menoreh.
The meeting approved 24 proposals for the inclusion of biosphere reserves into the UNESCO list, including three from Indonesia. To date, there are 714 UNESCO biosphere reserves in 129 countries.
The three Indonesian biosphere reserves have their own distinctiveness. Bunaken Tangkoko Minahasa biosphere reserve is a volcanic ecosystem endowed with underwater biodiversity.
The Karimunjawa Jepara Muria biosphere reserve is a unique ecosystem encompassing a mosaic of islands, lowland, and mountain range, while the Merapi Merbabu Menoreh biosphere reserve is a mountain forest ecosystem that is home to Javanese typical flora and fauna species.
Putra echoed the Indonesian government's commitment to preserving the three biosphere reserves.
For Indonesia, the naming of the biosphere reserves aims to not only protect and preserve the environment but also to proffer social benefits to residents near the biosphere reserves.
Being part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserve (WNBR) has presented an opportunity to Indonesia to forge scientific and socio-economic cooperation with fellow UNESCO member states, he affirmed.
Executive Director of the Committee for MAB Indonesia, Prof. Dr. Ir. Y. Purwanto DEA, who also partook in the virtual meeting, noted that the UNESCO had initiated the concept of biosphere reserves since 1971. The concept lays emphasis on managing an area, with focus on striking a balance between biodiversity conservation requirements and sustainable socio-economic activities.
With the naming of the three biosphere reserves, Indonesia currently has 19 UNESCO biosphere reserves.
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