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The MOU signing on Community Based Ecotourism Development in Sembilang Between Belantara Foundation and The Regent of Banyuasin

On February 2, 2018, the Executive Director of Belantara Foundation, Dr. Sri Mariati signed a MOU with Regent Supriono from Banyuasin regarding the development of a community based ecotourism in Sembilang, South Sumatra province. The signing took place at the Arya Duta Hotel in Palembang and was attended by several representatives of Banyuasin Regency’s local government; Vice Chairman of Board of Trustees of Belantara Foundation, Prof. Jatna Supriatna; Senior Adviser of Belantara Foundation, Bpk. Tachrir Fathoni; Conservation Manager, Noubbie B. Afransyah; and Conservation Coordinator of Belantara Foundation for South Sumatra, Ifran Amanda.

The signing of this MOU is a follow up of Belantara Foundation's focus plan of initiatives in 2018, one of them being the development of a community-based ecotourism in Sembilang, South Sumatra. Questions like "Why is this being focused by Belantara Foundation?"; "And what is the reason behind this initiative?" Is an interesting thing to convey. With a strategic  program regarding a Consensus for Conservation Program, Belantara Foundation initiated multi-stakeholders to synergize the environmental conservation program. Furthermore, this initiative is a form of concrete support from Belantara Foundation in supporting the green growth program of South Sumatra (South Sumatra Green Growth), South Sumatra.

The potential of this development is based on the identification of the ecotourism potential in Berbak Sembilang National Park Area. Some of the great ecotourism potential are river tourism, with the scenery and beauty of mangrove forest; migratory birds and wildlife activities; fishing villages; to forest tracking.

The projected benefits of this ecotourism development cover various aspects, such as ecological aspects, socio-cultural aspects, and economic aspects. Regarding the ecological aspects, the impact that can be significantly felt is the preservation of the environment in the ??conservation areas. As for the socio-cultural aspects, is the communities growth of positive attitude and increased commitment in maintaining and protecting the conservation area. And lastly, because this initiative is community-based, this initiative will also affect the economic aspect of the community by the increasing the welfare of Sembilang’s local people who will directly or indirectly dabble with this ecotourism initiative.

Before the signing was done, the parties surveyed the area by air.

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