Badung, 13 October 2023 – It was still fresh in people’s minds when Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and several heads of state/government attending the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali visited Grand Forest Park (Tahura) I Gusti Ngurah Rai, Denpasar on 16 November 2022. Wearing a white long-sleeved polo shirt, they carried out a mangrove planting activity at an open area in Tahura Ngurah Rai.
President Jokowi and leaders of the G20 countries, including US President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, shoveled the soil and put mangrove seedlings.
This activity caught the world's attention because it was considered interesting and had never been carried out at the previous G20 Summit. The mangrove planting was held again during the 1st HLM of the AIS Forum in Nusa Dua, which took place on 10—11 October.
Unlike the G20 Summit, mangrove planting at the 1st HLM was carried out by Balinese society. They joined the Batu Lumbang Joint Business Group (KUB) to plant mangroves in the Suwung Estuary Dam, Pamogan Village, South Denpasar District, Denpasar City on Wednesday, 11 October.
A total of 500 mangrove seedlings were prepared to be planted along the Suwung Dam coastal area. The event continued with a clean-up activity at the mangrove forest area around the Suwung Dam.
Mangrove was also a topic at the 1st HLM. Besides Indonesia, other AIS Forum participating countries, such as Papua New Guinea and the Philippines, have the largest mangrove forests in the world.
This was conveyed by the Indonesian Minister of Forestry and Environment, Siti Nurbaya Abubakar, when accompanying President Jokowi at a press conference after opening the 1st HLM at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center, Badung Regency, Bali, on Wednesday, 11 October. "This can be an initial topic of discussion that we will bring to COP 28," said Siti.
The COP or the Conference of the Parties is the supreme decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which was part of the “Earth Summit” Declaration in Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil on 1 June 1992. Currently, the COP, also known as the Climate Change Conference, has entered its 28th year and will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 30 November to 12 December.
On that occasion, the Minister of Environment and Forestry also reported to President Jokowi that delegations from several AIS Forum participating countries had visited the Bali Grand Forest Park, a mangrove ecosystem area that spans around 1,373 hectares.
"I report to the President that the delegations from several AIS Forum countries, such as ministers from Seychelles and Sao Tome and Principe, visit the mangrove nursery area planted by the G20 leaders," said Minister Siti Nurbaya.
They wanted to learn how Indonesia developed and conserved mangroves. Based on data from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia has the largest mangrove forest in the world, reaching 3,364,080 hectares or around 22.6 percent of the world's total mangrove area.
The Indonesian government is expanding the mangrove area to reach 600,000 hectares by 2024 because of the benefits of mangroves for coastal areas and climate change mitigation efforts. Mangroves are a powerful carbon sink and can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Mangroves can absorb 77 percent more carbon than land vegetation such as forests because they can store carbon in coastal and marine ecosystems (blue carbon) and have great potential. Moreover, the potential for blue carbon in Indonesia reaches 3.4 giga tonnes, or around 17 percent of the blue carbon in the world. (Anton Setiawan/Donna/Elvira Inda Sari/S/FLW)
About AIS Forum:
The Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum is a global platform for cooperation among island and archipelagic states that aims at strengthening collaboration to address global issues with four main areas of focus: climate change mitigation and adaptation, the blue economy, marine plastic waste management, and good maritime governance. The 2023 High-Level Meeting of the AIS Forum is organized to reinforce the role of the AIS Forum as a center for smart & innovative solutions and a platform for collaboration in promoting the future agenda of global maritime governance.
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Foto caption: Several participants plant mangroves in Percut Sei Tuan, Deli Serdang, North Sumatra, on Saturday, 7 October 2023 to commemorate Indian Culture Day and celebrate Mahatma Gandhi's 154th birthday. The Indian Consulate General in Medan plant 2,000 mangroves to reduce the impact of coastal erosion and tidal floods in the area. ANTARA FOTO/Fransisco Carolio/YU