Indonesia wants to turn three of its beautiful national parks – Sembilang National Park, Betung Kerihun National Park, and Mount Rinjani National Park – into new biosphere reserves.
The massive Sembilang National Park lies in South Sumatra and covers over 2000 square kilometers. Primarily made up of swamps and peat forests, it hosts vast communities of birds. Thousands of birds from places as far away as Siberia migrate here annually. This includes the world’s largest colony of the endangered milky storks.
The mountainous Betung Kerihun National Park in Borneo is made up of rainforest habitats. It is home to the endangered Bornean orangutan, among other species. Located on the island of Lombok, the Mount Rinjani National Park isn’t just full of wildlife, it is also the third highest volcano of Indonesia. Its peak is considered to be a sacred place.
What Does This Mean For The National Parks?
Biosphere reserves, as designated by UNESCO, are ecosystems with plants and animals that are of “unusual scientific and natural interest”. Their designation helps to promote their sustainable use of natural resources and the continued conservation of the biodiversity. There are currently 669 biosphere reserves spread across 120 countries.
Indonesia’s proposal will be announced at the Man and the Biosphere Programme’s International Coordinating Council that will take place this July. The Man and the Biosphere Program has been building reserves to restore and conserve biodiversity since 1971. They have already helped in creating 11 separate reserves in Indonesia alone, the first in 1977 for Komodo, home of the famous Komodo dragons.