The Forestry Office of Bangka Belitung Province is developing 500 hectares of mangrove forests on Belitung Island to conserve the areas and boost ecotourism.
'This year, we are developing the mangrove forest areas in Selat Nasik, Pengantungan, and Tanjung Pandan,' Nazarliyus, the head of the forestry office, said in Pangkalpinang on Thursday.
He said the mangrove forests on Belitung Island are still not affected by offshore lead mining and encroachment activities.
'We are managing the mangrove forests and building the facilities, so that visitors can enjoy the beauty of the island,' Nazarliyus said as quoted by Antara news agency.
According to him, the mangrove forest areas in Belitung are still well-conserved, as the administration has formulated policies to protect its biodiversity potential.
In contrast, the mangrove forests on Bangka Island have been severely damaged.
'The mangrove forests on Bangka Island are damaged because of offshore lead mining and land conversion for residential and industrial areas,' Nazarliyus said.
The mangrove forest development plan is part of the green city program to protect natural habitat and to increase green open areas in the coastal region, he added.
'I hope that by developing the mangrove forests, we can protect the natural resources and increase the tourist arrivals and improve the local people's welfare,' he said. (***)