As a country dealing with massive number of coastal regions, mangrove forests become Indonesia’s most important ally. Their dense roots prevent erosion from sea waves and traps sediments carried to sea, maintaining the state and size of our coastlines. Moreover, they provide protection and favorable environment for coral reefs. Hence, mangroves forests are essential to support local fisheries as coral reefs are the place for fishes, clams, crabs and any other seafood delicacies thrive.
Indonesia has the largest area of mangrove forest in the world, yet our losses are done by conversion of mangrove forests to anthropogenic activities, e.g., fish-farming, tourism, agriculture as well as aquaculture. In fact, World Economic Forum reported that Indonesia’s mangroves were down to less than 2.4 million hectares of forests in 2015 from the initial size of 4.2 million hectares.
There might not be much we can do but we can help spread awareness and even plant more mangroves to sustain their population. That is why, on 6 July 2008, Sahabat Alam gathered children from kindergarten to high school age to know more about the issue and the nature of mangrove forests itself. Not stopping there, these children are also involved in planting mangroves at “Taman Wisata Angke Kapuk”, North Jakarta, Indonesia. This educational experience aims to educate young generations to understand the importance of mangroves, especially for Indonesia.