Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA) - Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are collaborating to build a mangrove research center in Bali named the Mohamed bin Zayed-Joko Widodo International Mangrove Research Center.

The groundbreaking of the research center construction was carried out in Denpasar, Bali, on Sunday, by Indonesia's Maritime Affairs and Investment Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan and the UAE's Minister of Climate Change and Environment Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak.

"In the future, this research center can become a whole package for research, capacity building, and international destination in Bali," Pandjaitan said.

He noted that Indonesia is home to around 23 percent of the world's mangroves, covering an area of 3.44 million hectares.

The mangrove ecosystem, he continued, has also provided several benefits, including coastal protection, high biodiversity, and economic benefits for the community through ecotourism and carbon economic value.

"This international mangrove research center will be used for cutting-edge research, conservation, and education. The research specifically covers the use of biotechnology and innovations such as artificial intelligence for mangrove identification and the use of drones for restoration in remote areas," he remarked.

Pandjaitan further said that the research center will be part of the World Mangrove Center – Bali Grand Forest Park which was initiated by the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry as an effort to develop the mangrove ecosystem by collaborating with bilateral partners.

The UAE's Minister of Climate Change and Environment Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak expressed hope that the cooperation can contribute to efforts to realize a clean and green environment throughout the world.

It is also expected that more effective actions related to the environment from both countries can be realized and all countries will benefit from the research being carried out.

The UAE government is also currently exploring collaboration with universities, researchers, and students that will benefit from the research center as well as local communities and universities in Bali and other parts of Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Bali Provincial Government's Regional Secretary Dewa Made Indra, who was also present on that occasion, stated that the planning for the research center construction is currently being finalized.

After the research center is built, it will be managed jointly and is planned to be handed over to the Indonesian government, he said, adding that it will be built in the mangrove area in the Ngurah Rai Community Forest Park, Denpasar.

According to Indra, the research center is built with the spirit of reducing carbon emissions.

"There are so many mangrove species in Bali, which of course, will be very interesting for experts to conduct studies on mangroves," he said.

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Translator: Ni Luh Rhismawati, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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