Nusa Dua, Bali (ANTARA) - The Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum discussed the impacts of imprudent utilization of mangroves during the 1st High Level Meeting (HLM) of the Forum in Badung District, Bali Province.

"The participating countries in the AIS Forum have paid attention to the awareness of the preservation of forest ecosystems, particularly mangrove," Indonesian Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar stated on the sidelines of the closing of the HLM on Wednesday.

The minister noted that during a side agenda of the summit, delegates of the HLM alluded to matters related to the mangrove ecosystem, whose condition had been increasingly deteriorating in several countries.

Bakar opined that the worsening condition of the world's mangrove ecosystem has been caused by the neglect of sustainability aspects in the utilization of mangroves.

In fact, various countries, including those participating in the AIS Forum, have been investing significant efforts to overcome climate change that has become a common problem of the global community, she stated.

"We spoke about mangrove in an intensive discussion," she noted.

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The minister then remarked that Indonesia is a country, with the largest area of mangrove forests in the world, measuring 120 million hectares, followed by 36 million hectares in Papua New Guinea, 18 million hectares in Suriname, and eight million hectares in the Philippines.

"Hence, AIS Forum countries wield a vast area of forests, and we can bring this as an initial topic of discussion in the COP 28," she stated.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28) is scheduled to take place in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, in December this year.

The AIS Forum participating states have taken various measures for preserving the world's mangrove ecosystem to anticipate the impacts of climate change, including by providing the Indonesian National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) with funding to develop a digital application called MonMang, or Monitoring Mangrove.

Minister Bakar also remarked that Indonesia had established the World Mangrove Center as a medium for the country to share its experiences in rehabilitation and conservation of mangroves to the world.

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Translator: Dewa Ketut, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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