Surabaya's Mayor Tri Rismaharini here on Friday said the development of Mangrove Botanical Garden has been discussed with a team from the Ministry of Public Works and People's Housing.
"The team from Jakarta will help realize the botanical garden which is expected to be built in more than one year," she said.
According to the mayor, the Mangrove Botanical Garden will be expanded from about 50 hectares to 200 hectares.
She said the existing mangrove tourism site is intended to be a natural mangrove area without any arrangement.
"It is different with the concept that we will apply on the Mangrove Botanical Garden," he said, adding that the botanical garden will also be a special research center for mangroves.
A mangrove species grouping will also be conducted so that people can understand the types of mangroves that grow on the coast, she said.
Mangrove ecosystem preservation, according to Risma, is one of the reasons for developing the Mangrove Botanical Garden. This is because mangrove can naturally prevent Surabaya from tidal floods.
In addition, she continued, there are many people visiting the mangrove tourism sites that should be appreciated. "In the new year holiday the number of visitors reached 1,500 people," she noted.
Risma said the development of Mangrove Botanical Garden is expected to make the visitors more comfortable. "Not just to relax, but the new concept will also provide knowledge to the people," she added.
Indonesia has the largest mangrove ecosystem in the world with high biodiversity.
With a coastline of 95,181 square kilometer long, Indonesia has a mangrove area of 3,489,140.68 hectares in 2015. This area is equivalent to 23 percent of the world's mangrove ecosystems of the total area of 16,530,000 hectares. Of the mangrove area in Indonesia, 1,671,140.75 hectares is in good condition.
With good conditions, mangrove can contribute at least US$1.5 billion from fishery alone to the national economy. This does not include other benefits such as timber, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and coastal protection.(*)