Hence, to realize it, we urgently need a systemic transformation.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia has been striving to preserve its forest and marine ecosystems since they are important not only for the regional, but also the international community, Deputy Environment and Forestry Minister Alue Dohong has said.

"The forest covers around 95 million hectares or about 51 percent of Indonesia’s total land area of 187 million hectares. The forest area is useful for carbon sequestration and as the main capital for maintaining the environment and climate," he said while opening the 7th ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHP) Conference in Bogor, West Java province, on Tuesday.

Currently, there are 568 protected areas, including 55 national parks, across Indonesia.

Some of the protected areas have been acknowledged as world heritage sites (7 areas), some as biosphere reserves (64 areas), Ramsar sites (7 areas), ASEAN heritage parks (7 areas), and global geoparks (4 areas).

"The recognition shows the importance of Indonesia's forest and marine areas as well as biodiversity for regional and international interests," the deputy minister noted.

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He further said that the Indonesian government has made several great efforts, regionally and globally, to overcome the challenges to preserving the Earth's lungs, which have required reasonable expectations, great motivation, sharp vision, strong partnerships, and the will to realize successful and strategic conservation efforts.

"We understand that conservation will only succeed if the communities and various (environmental) projects around the world are able to stop and reverse the declining trend of the ecosystems. Hence, to realize it, we urgently need a systemic transformation," Dohong emphasized.

He said that this systemic transformation can be carried out by involving communities around the protected areas to conserve their biodiversity and environmental service potential.

In addition, the transformation can be implemented through tenurial conflict resolution, ecosystem restoration, as well as community empowerment.

"Biodiversity is the backbone for environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Hence, let's conserve it, protect it, as well as utilize it sustainably," the deputy minister remarked.

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Translator: Prisca Violleta, Uyu Liman
Editor: Suharto
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