The Jakarta Post
A wooden walkway stretches across mangroves in Rayong, Thailand. Mangrove forests were proposed by the Bunaken National Park as a new source of tourism. (Shutterstock/oneSHUTTER oneMEMORY)
Bunaken National Park (BTNB) in Manado, Sulawesi, is reportedly prepping for potential mangrove tourism on one of its islands, Mantehage.
Kompas reported that BTNB head Farianna Prabandari on March 24 said they were preparing the mangrove forest on the island to become an ecotourism destination.
“We will equip the area with mangrove trails, a visitor information center, a research building, toilets, a watch tower and a bird observatory,” she said in a press release.
By next year, Farianna said a number of facilities would be available.
Ecotourism activities in Mantehage can be enjoyed by strolling along the mangrove forest on a katinting (traditional boat) or through bird-watching.
“Tourists can choose to see the mangrove’s beauty by land or sea,” said Farianna.
Read also: Divers in Bunaken urged to plant coral
Mantehage is an island in the conservation area of BTNB. Four villages are on the island, along with its protected animals.
The island’s biggest potential is a mangrove forest with an area of more than 1,300 hectares.
With easy access from the Manado port, a harbor in Wori and its close proximity to Bunaken Island, Farianna is optimistic about the island’s future.
The park has started a mangrove improvement program on Mantehage Island. Around 1,500 mangrove seeds have been planted in Tinongko village, Wori subdistrict, North Minahasa regency.
The North Minahasa government, Manado VIII Naval Main Base, Wori Police head, Wori subdistrict military command, babinkamtibmas (police officers assigned to villages as advisors on security and public order), as well as local communities and students from Wori public schools were involved in the program.
Along with mangrove restoration, Farianna also stressed communicating to the public about the necessity of the mangrove ecosystem.
“Mangroves are essential habitats where fish live. They also protect the shoreline and are a component of the ecosystem that can absorb carbon,” she said. (wng)