Indonesia: Way Kambas National Park Declared 36th Asean Heritage Park

Ratri M. Siniwi Jakarta Globe 25 Jul 16;

Jakarta. The Way Kambas National Park in Lampung province, southern Sumatra, was officially declared the 36th Asean Heritage Park on Monday (25/07).

The national park – which serves as a home for endangered wildlife such as the Sumatran elephant and Sumatran tiger – was selected as a conservation area during the last previous Asean Heritage Park hearing.

"The inauguration of [Way Kambas National Park] as an Asean Heritage Park is the highest honor for [the park], emphasizing its importance as a conservation area," Lampung acting provincial secretary Sutono told Republika online news outlet on Monday.

According to Sutono, the Way Kambas National Park is the only conservation area in the world where the Sumatran rhino is bred semi-naturally in the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary.

"In May, the international conservation world received the good news of the birth of two-horned Sumatran rhinos at the Sumatran rhino sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park," Sutono told state news agency Antara. He added that the birth was evidence of the park's success in managing the breeding of endangered rhinos.

The Way Kambas National Park is the fourth Asean Heritage Park in Indonesia.

Two of the other national parks are also in Sumatra. They are the Mount Leuser National Park and the Kerinci Seblat National Park. The fourth is the Lorentz National Park in Papua.

Sutono believes declaring the conservation area an Asean Heritage Park – a title only given to selected protected areas with high biodiversity and unique ecosystems in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) region – is a form of commitment along with the Asean Heritage Park committee to continue preserving the flora and fauna in the area.

The fifth Asean Heritage Park committee hearing is held in Bandar Lampung and all 10 Asean members are invited to discuss biodiversity and conservation matters in the region.

According to Republika, Indonesia has listed Jakarta's Thousand Islands and Southeast Sulawesi's Wakatobi as this year's nominees for the Asean Heritage Park listing.

Launched in 2009, the triennial meeting is organized by the Asean Center for Biodiversity, whose committee members discuss, evaluate and nominate conservation areas in South East Asia.

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