The Kepulauan Seribu National Park (KSNP) and Wakatobi National Park (WNP) of Indonesia joined the growing network of Asean Heritage Parks (AHPs). AHPs are protected areas of high conservation importance, preserving in total a complete spectrum of representative ecosystems of the Asean region.
Environment ministers of the Asean member-states approved the nomination of the two parks as AHPs during the 14th Asean Ministerial Meeting on the Environment held in Brunei Darussalam in September.
“I would like to congratulate Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry, for the two newly approved Asean Heritage Parks, Wakatobi National Park and Kepulauan Seribu National Park. We are elated to have new marine-protected areas as most of the AHPs are terrestrial,” said Atty. Roberto Oliva, executive director of the Asean Centre for Biodiversity (ACB).
Located in the Southeast Sulawesi Province and Kepulauan Seribu Utara Sub District, respectively, the parks have diverse flora and fauna and rich cultural heritage.
Kepulauan Seribu National Park
Located approximately 45 kilometers from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, the park is composed of 78 islands, and has unique vegetation and coastal ecosystem, where numerous marine and terrestrial species of high conservation importance live.
KSNP has four complete coastal ecosystem coastal forest, mangroves, seagrass and coral reefs.
A number of the islands that comprise this national park serve as the nesting area to the hawksbill sea turtle and the green sea turtle, which stretches from Peteloran Timur Island, Penjaliran Barat Island and Penjaliran Timur Island.
Additionally, rehabilitation program in KSNP combats the decline of the three species of eagles that can be found in the park.
Wakatobi National Park
WNP is located in the province of Southeast Sulawesi and within the Coral Triangle, known for having the highest diversity of corals and marine resources in the world.
It is also home to two endangered turtles—the green sea turtle and the hawksbill sea turtle.
In 2012 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) recognized WNP as part of the “World Network of Biosphere Reserves.”
The ACB serves as the secretariat of the AHP Programme. Protected areas benefit from being declared as an AHP through capacity-building activities for park managers and stakeholders in the form of various learning events, such as trainings and workshops.
AHPs also receive technical assistance from the AHP secretariat, through ACB in-house experts and network of partners.
Being an AHP also increases the protected area’s visibility as a prime ecotourism destination and model for effective protected area management through the Communication, Education and Public Awareness program of ACB.
Participation of, and collaboration among AHP stakeholders in the implementation of research and development programs and projects are also maximized and strengthened when a protected area is declared as an AHP.
The AHP Programme also serves as a regional platform for information sharing among AHPs by way of AHP Committee Meetings and AHP Conferences. Parks declared as AHPs are first in line for available funding through ACB programs and projects.