"The mangrove planting program is very beneficial for farmers. They feel that mangroves create living space for fish and crabs. Let's hope that farmers can yield the benefit and the forest can become green once again," head of a fish farmers group Borneo Mangrove Lestari, Ilham, said.
In a written statement issued here on Saturday, BRGM stated that it has developed mangrove planting programs in Muara Badak, Ulu, and Kutai Karta Negara in East Kalimantan over an area of 162 hectares.
At present, mangroves have been planted in 101.7 hectares in two sectors -- sector 1 (around 64.5 hectares) and sector 2 (around 37.2 hectares), Ilham informed.
In addition to the planting process, Borneo Mangrove Lestari has also been sowing mangrove seeds since June 2021 and is now waiting for them to become ready to be transplanted, he added.
The group has been planting Rhizopora mangroves since they are tall enough to grow above the water level in ponds, he explained.
Meanwhile, the Tanger (Ceriops sp) mangrove is shorter, so it can drown easily if the water level in a pond is higher, he added.
Awareness on planting mangroves in this region has grown ever since people saw a couple lands that needed to be rehabilitated, Ilham opined.
Those lands had become barren since the trees had been chopped down to sell wood, he said.
"In addition, farmers were beginning to feel the lessening of income and they began to realize how mangroves can act as a buffer from abrasion," Ilham elaborated.
The collaboration with BRGM is expected to boost the farmers group's experience so that, in the future, a beneficial program for citizens can be created, he added.
"I hope that this program can continue and bring benefit to us all and our grandchildren. Let's hope that our ecosystem can recover," he remarked.
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