Belitung, Bangka Belitung (ANTARA) - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has planned to build an international mangrove research center (IMRC) in Belitung, Bangka Belitung Islands.

"The UAE delegation's visit today is to see the construction site for the IMRC in Belitung," the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment's Assistant Deputy for Climate Change and Disaster Mitigation Kus Prisetiahadi stated here on Friday.

Prisetiahadi remarked that the UAE delegation visited the Seberang Bersatu Community Forest, Belitung, to inspect a construction site of the world-class mangrove research center.

"They want to evaluate the field condition and the feasibility, so they could access and evaluate the feasibility of the development," he remarked.

According to Prisetiahadi, the delegation also checked the sustainability of the IMRC post-construction.

"They ask what the operation is like later (after construction), so Belitung can be suitable as the location of the mangrove research center whose sustainability must be maintained," he remarked.

He revealed that several locations, such as in Kalimantan and Java Islands, were planned to be the location of IMRC.

"But we prefer Belitung because it is more suitable for tourism, which is expected to increase income and maintain sustainability," he remarked.

Prisetiahadi said, after the visit, the delegates will return to their country and give follow-up information related to the IMRC construction.

"Usually, they will return and assess (the inspection results) and inform us later," he noted.

The delegation also planted mangrove seedlings in the Seberang Bersatu Community Forest area.

"Earlier, the delegates had planted mangroves and saw the processing of plastic waste into oil," Belitung Deputy District Head Isyak Meirobie stated.

Bangka Belitung Islands is one of the nine provinces that has been mandated to conduct mangrove rehabilitation, according to Presidential Decree No. 220 of 2020.

According to the government, some 80,761 hectares of mangrove ecosystems in the Bangka Belitung Islands are in a state of damage.

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Translator: Kasmono, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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