Visit from Ministry of Environment & Forestry, Government of Indonesia

#Events & projects update
11 July 2023
Author : Fajar Ajie Setiawan, Nada Ainayya Ridhani
Editor : Mizan Bustanul Fuady Bisri

A delegation from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), Government of Indonesia, was in Japan on 23-30 July 2023 to study National Parks management and biodiversity-related matters. They visited Tokyo, Okayama, and Kobe. Among the delegation was the Head and management team of Danau Sentarum and Betung Kerihun National Park, Planning Bureau, and International Relations Bureau.

Danau Sentarum National Park

Danau Sentarum and Betung Kerihun are national parks with rich and unique biodiversity located in West Kalimantan. Danau Sentarum National Park covers more than 132,000 hectares of land with over 600 flora species and 700 fauna species and was designated as a national park in 1999. Since 1994, Danau Sentarum has been listed as one of the most important wetlands in the world in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. Its distinctive characteristic is that, while the lake’s depth ranges from 6 to 14 meters during the rainy season, it will be significantly shallower or even completely dry up during the dry season.


Betung Kerihun National Park

Betung Kerihun National Park, which spans over 800,000 hectares of land, is home to more than 1,200 species of plants and 700 animals, some of them being endemic and rare. It was established as a national park in 1995. As it borders Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary of Sarawak, Malaysia, it becomes part of the first trans-border parks in Southeast Asia and is considered very important for Orangutans conservation.

Both Danau Sentarum and Betung Kerihun are part of Heart of Borneo, a joint initiative of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei Darussalam to manage upland tropical forest areas in Borneo in accordance with conservation and sustainable development principles. Both of the national parks are also the water springs of Kapuas River, an essential lifeline for people in Kalimantan. Their ecosystems are not immune to threats and problems, such as climate change which causes longer dry season shifts, environmental degradation, illegal logging, decreased fish populations due to water pollution, uncertain water levels, forest and land fires, and loss of biodiversity. Therefore, efforts to improve and preserve through the collaboration of various parties must continue to be carried out to ensure that all biological components in the national parks remain thriving.

Our principal, Dr. Mizan Bisri, welcomed the Delegation from the (MoEF) and provided a lecture on 28 June 2023. It covered the topics:

  1. The potential of regulatory network mapping for bolstering biodiversity regime in Indonesia
  2. Knowledge management for biodiversity
  3. Transboundary issues in environmental management
  4. Governance and inter-relations between biodiversity, climate actions, DRR, and water management in Japan

Discussions emerged afterward, inter alia, on the need for regulatory and policy studies to support and enhance the current legal framework on biodiversity conservation in Indonesia. This legal framework is enshrined in the Indonesian Law (UU) No. 5/1990, which requires such studies to be more relevant in facing contemporary challenges and issues. For this type of study, CARI may be able to provide assistance by employing the regulatory network analysis in order to provide a regulatory “map” in navigating the complex and interconnected issues of biodiversity conservation in Indonesia.

Furthermore, discussions between Dr. Mizan and the delegate from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Government of Indonesia also touched upon the need for a study on tourism multiplier effects on Danau Sentarum, while also highlighting the need to prepare a study on its environment, nearby indigenous people and customs, and its status as both border area and the oldest Ramsar sites in Indonesia. These studies may become the enabler for developing Danau Sentarum and Betung Karihun National Parks’ potential as unique conservation sites in Indonesia.

In the final leg, our team member, Dr. Fajar Ajie, took the delegation to Nunobiki Herbs Garden, a site within the Mount Rokko mountain range that stands over the city of Kobe. Mount Rokko is a range of mountains that is a part of the larger Setonaikai National Park and has various attractions such as secluded nature trails, Nunobiki waterfalls, and wildlife, alongside cable cars, modern art installations, and the Rokko International Musical Box Museum. Offering a panoramic view of Osaka Bay, the night view from Mount Maya, a part of Mount Rokko mountain range, is considered one of the Three Major Night Views of Japan (Nihon Sandai Yakei, 日本三大夜景). Unlike common perception, Mount Rokko is located within the city of Kobe and sets an example for the coexistence of nature and city life. By visiting this, the delegation experienced firsthand how a conservation site could go hand in hand with a highly urbanized area.