Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo reminded the public to work to preserve the coral reefs in Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi, since those were local assets needed to develop a blue economy.

"The coral reefs in Wakatobi must be protected carefully, lest anything be damaged at all; because this will be a great asset for Wakatobi, for Southeast Sulawesi Province, in order to build a blue economy in the future. This is the initial stages," the President said at Patuno Resort, Wakatobi District, Southeast Sulawesi Province on Thursday, as quoted from an official statement from the Presidential Secretariat.

Also on Thursday, the President and First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo participated in coral reef transplants to preserve coral reefs in the oceans around Wakatobi.

He expected that similar activities could be done in other areas so that the national marine resources could be preserved.

"I think this is a very good activity for the entire community and also environmental organizations. I think this must continue to be (pursued)," he added.

Related news: Wakatobi development creates job opportunities: Public Works Ministry

He also released hatchlings with students and the public at Patuno Resort, Wakatobi District.

The activity was one of the efforts aimed at preserving Wakatobi's marine ecosystem, he added.

"This is to protect our marine ecosystem, because Wakatobi has 1.3 million hectares established as a national park, in which there are also many stunning coral reefs," he said.

The President also left a message on coral reef preservation on a turtle-shaped board. The message is to be taken to a location called Jokowi Point, Sombu Dive, four kilometers away from Patuno Resort.

"Preserve coral reefs for the future of the earth. We are proud of Indonesia's marine biodiversity," the President wrote.

The President and First Lady's entourage include Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Sakti Wahyu Trenggono, State Secretary Minister Pratikno, Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, Deputy Minister of the Environment and Forestry Alue Dohong, Governor of Southeast Sulawesi Ali Mazi, and Head of Wakatobi District Haliana.
Related news: Wakatobi to have coral reefs conservation school
Related news: Wakatobi to reopen tourist destinations in July 2020

Translator: Indra Arief P, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Suharto
Copyright © ANTARA 2022