Surabaya (ANTARA) - Chair of the steering board of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Megawati Soekarnoputri, inaugurated the Mangrove Botanical Garden in Gunung Anyar, Surabaya, East Java, on Wednesday.

She called for the proper utilization of the Mangrove Botanical Gardens in Surabaya to have a positive impact on the people.

"Thus, the functions are to protect the plants for research and to be used as part of tourism," she remarked.

Megawati arrived at the Mangrove Botanical Garden, Surabaya, at 10 a.m. local time and immediately conducted a monitoring of the area.

During the monitoring, she was accompanied by Mayor of Surabaya Eri Cahyadi, East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa, and Minister of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection (PPPA), I Gusti Ayu Bintang Darmawati.

Megawati, who was also the fifth Indonesian President, expects that the Mangrove Botanical Garden can help students in gaining greater knowledge about the environment.

"I have told the Minister of Education that it should be taught to children since kindergarten," she stated.

Meanwhile, the Head of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Laksana Tri Handoko, remarked that the garden is home to 57 types of mangroves, out of which only 17 types have been registered.

"Hence, we still have homework. We are also ready to provide guidance and assist the city government regarding this mangrove botanical garden," Laksana stated.

Laksana also shed light on the long-standing history behind the decision for the mangrove forest to serve as a botanical garden. It began in 2017 when the then-mayor of Surabaya, Tri Rismaharini, sent a letter to BRIN regarding the mangrove forest.

Thereafter, in 2018, BRIN determined the location.

"There was a letter of location determination. It continues until now, after the pandemic, and finally, we can issue it," he stated.

Mayor of Surabaya Eri Cahyadi revealed that Tri Rismaharini, as the current Social Affairs Minister, was also involved in the inauguration.

"She (Risma) with 'the bloody' defend this place, so it can become a conservation site and develop until now," he remarked.

Cahyadi also expressed his readiness for operating the mangrove ecosystem in accordance with the functions of the botanical garden.

"According to Megawati's instructions, we manage this garden for education, tourism, and other functions. Thus, it can support the young people, as they have to know and love their environment," he affirmed.

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Translator: Asri Mayang Sari
Editor: Anton Santoso
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