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Inviting MAB-ICC UNESCO Participants to See the Beauty of the Sembilang National Park

The 30th annual meeting among UNESCO members, The Man and Biosphere International Co-ordinating Council (MAB-ICC) was successfully held on July 23rd through 30th of 2018 in Hotel Novotel Palembang, South Sumatra Province in cooperation with the South Sumatra Provincial Government, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).

The focus of the annual meeting was the development of biosphere reserves in restoring ecosystems and the MAB program as a means to achieve sustainable development. As the host, Indonesia proposed and recommended in nominating three new biosphere reserves, namely Berbak Sembilang National Park in South Sumatra and Jambi, Betung Kerihun Danau Sentarum Kapuas Hulu in West Kalimantan, and Mount Rinjani National Park in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. The biosphere reserves were proposed as a way to promote Indonesia’s beautiful landscape and nature through its biosphere reserves.

As a result, the 30th UNESCO MAB-ICC officially marked the designation of Berbak Sembilang National Park, Betung Kerihun Danau Sentarum Kapuas Hulu National Park, and Mount Rinjani National Park into UNESCO's Directory of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). With the addition of three new biosphere reserves, Indonesia is now home to fourteen biosphere reserves.

As a partner in this event, Belantara Foundation invited all participants to visit one of the newly established biosphere reserve, Berbak Sembilang National Park. Joined by 190 participants from 124 countries, the trip journeyed through the beautiful scenery of the coastal area of Banyuasin Regency’s peninsula, a natural place of mangrove forests plants, as well as habitat for various types of animals such as Sumatran tigers, saltwater/estuarine crocodiles and various bird species, especially migratory birds originating from Siberia which are often found in the final months of the year.

In this field trip, the participants were also invited to visit one of the villages in Banyuasin District, Sungsang Village. Here, the participants were presented with traditional dances as well as given coconut ices as a welcome drinks. There were also various kinds of local products from the community of Sungsang Village, which came as a result from Trisakti School of Tourism's collaboration with Belantara Foundation's community development programs.

The enthusiasm of the field trip participants had a positive impact on the community, the government, and all stakeholders involved as they could spread their experience with their friends, relatives, and relations in their respective countries and inform them that  Berbak National Park is a wonderful and a must-visit destination when visiting Indonesia.

This field trip was also a promotional event to promote Berbak Sembilang National Park as a destination for ecotourism that is open for local and foreign tourists.

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