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Jakarta Post

Belitung boosts tourism with mangroves

The Jakarta Post
Jakarta   ●   Fri, January 23, 2015

The Forestry Office of Bangka Belitung Province is developing 500 hectares of mangrove forests on Belitung Island to conserve the areas and boost ecotourism.

'€œThis 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.

'€œWe 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.

'€œThe 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.

'€œI 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. (***)