Ranks 13th world as the largest country in the world with an area of 1.990.250 KM2, of course, Indonesia has thousands of potential islands to be a biosphere-reserve destination that can attract tourists and encourage the domestic economy and also conserve biodiversity. Because of the large number of islands, Indonesia took the initiative to register important areas to preserve and care for ecosystems in Indonesia at UNESCO as Biosphere Reserves or Biosphere Reserves. Indonesia will add biosphere reserves in the world where there are now 669 biosphere reserves in 120 countries around the world.
Through the annual meeting of the 30th session of UNESCO’s “The Man and Biosphere International Co-ordinating Council (MAB-ICC)” Indonesia has the opportunity to prove the recognition and role of Indonesia as a biodiverse-rich country in the world and coincidentally at its 30th session Indonesia is given the honor of being the host. The holding of this 30th session was held at Hotel Novotel Palembang 23-28 July 2018.
The event was attended by South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin, Director General of KSDAE Ministry of KLHK, Ir. Wiratno MSc., Deputy of Life Sciences LIPI, Prof. Dr. Enny Sudarmonowati, as well as about 300 participants from 45 countries, who are members of the World Network of Biosphere Reserve (WNBR) from Asia, Australia, Africa and America and representatives of UNESCO’s main office in Paris.
Being an honorary conclusion of the trial UNESCO inaugurated three areas in Kalimantan to become a single biosphere reserve. The three areas are Betung Kerihun National Park, Danau Sentarum National Park and Kapuas Hulu District. So the Biosphere Reserve has the name of Biosphere Reserve Betung Kerihun Danau Sentarum Kapuas Hulu.
This biosphere reserve is the 14th biosphere reserve owned by Indonesia which is proof that these areas have concern for nature conservation.
As reported in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Head of Kapuas Hulu District, A.M Nasir said that this recognition is expected to provide benefits for improving the welfare and quality of Kapuas Hulu community.
“On behalf of the Kapuas Hulu District Government, I am very supportive and proud that Kapuas Hulu regency has been named one of biosphere reserves namely Biosphere Betung Kerihun Danau Sentarum Kapuas Hulu,” said Nasir.
Establishment of Biosphere Reserve Betung Kerihun Danau Sentarum Kapuas Hulu was conducted with 23 other Biosphere Reserves from 19 countries in the world. And Indonesia is currently the second Asian country to have the largest number of Biosphere Reserves after China.
Meanwhile, the Director of MAB-Indonesia, Prof. Dr. Ir Y Purwanto also explained that the determination of the new status of the three regions is expected to be a new identity for the welfare of the people around. “New branding to improve people’s welfare, better quality of life and environmental conditions also support Kapuas Hulu’s status as a Conservation District,” he said.
Kapuas Hulu District is a district declared a conservation district since 2003. This declaration is one of the earliest conservation districts in Indonesia. As much as 65% of Kapuas Hulu area is a forest, either conservation forest, protection forest and also production forest.
The size of the forest area for Kapuas Hulu regency has made hundreds of thousands of people in Kapuas Hulu very dependent on forest sustainability. Both used as non-timber forest products, such as gaharu, honey and other potentials such as tourism and water sources.
The biosphere reserve itself based on the UNESCO provisions constitutes the division of conservation areas consisting of 3 zones, namely core zone, buffer zone and transition zone. The core zone is a protected area for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems. In this zone the only activities allowed are non-destructive research and other activities that have low impact on the environment, such as education.
As a biosphere reserve, Biosphere Reserve Betung Kerihun Danau Sentarum Kapuas Hulu has three core zone areas. They are located in these three areas with protected forests and production forests as buffer zones. As well as the transition zone located in the rest area. So that harmony between the three regions will be indispensable for the sustainability of this new biosphere reserve belongs to Indonesia.