Belitung (ANTARA) - Delegates from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) participated in a mangrove-planting activity in Seberang Bersatu Community Forest area, Belitung District, Bangka Belitung Islands Province, to help preserve mangroves in the region.

"Earlier, the delegates planted mangroves and witnessed the process of recycling plastic waste into oil. This is an interesting development," Deputy Head of Belitung District Isyak Meirobie said in Tanjung Panjang Sub-district on Friday.

He informed that the delegates came to Belitung accompanied by officials from the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment (Kemenko Marves) to review the plan for developing a world-class mangrove research center in Belitung.

"Praise be to God, Kemenko Marves has designated Belitung as its locus," he said.

He claimed that the delegates' visit also indicated the UAE's willingness to help Belitung realize sustainable tourism and build the district's capability to handle the effects of climate change.

"They came to visit to see what they can do to help us develop sustainable tourism," he said.

On the occasion, the delegates were also invited to see a mangrove nursery run by the management of Seberang Bersatu Community Forest.

"Then, they also surveyed the damage to mangroves caused by erosion and abrasion on the beach following the burst of westerly wind. The damage encouraged them to offer help to Belitung in the efforts to inherit a sustainable ecosystem for its future generations," he said.

The district felt honored by the visit of the delegates, he added.

He then affirmed the local government's staunch commitment to supporting the development of the world-class mangrove research center in the hopes of designing Belitung as a high-valued eco-tourism destination.

"So, we should talk about tourism within a global scope, especially considering the UAE has been involved here. Therefore, Belitung tourism must be able to ascend to the next level," he added.

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Translator: Kasmono, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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