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Mangrove Forest in the tropical island of Numfor
Mangrove forest is able to protect small island from possible tsunami
Reforestation of shoreline of Kornasoren, Yemburwo and Rarsibo village with mangrove seedlings is an important step that Papuan people in Numfor have done to protect themselves from potential Tsunami that may hit their island in the future. Numfor is a beautiful tropical island in Cendrawasih (Geelvink) bay. On the map, it is located between Manokwari regency in the bird's head region of New Guinea and Biak island. The terrain of Numfor is quite flat with coastal areas mostly covered with pristine coral reef.
The islanders in Numfor know that mangrove forest can reduce the power of big waves such as tsunami that are created after huge earthquakes under the sea and prevents erosion. The potential tsunami may happen anytime in the future due to the geographical location of Numfor island between the Asian and Australian continents. Islands in this transition area are located in a region called "ring of fire." The ring of fire region has high number of volcanoes and tectonic activities that are the main cause of big earthquakes.
Mangrove forests maintain high percentage of fish stock
Besides its function in reducing the power of tsunami waves, mangrove forest is a safe hiding place or shelfter for small fish. Mangrove provides safe home for them to grow. When the fish are big enough to face or to escape their predators, they will leave the roots of mangrove trees for the Pacific ocean. Because of the abundant mangrove trees around Numfor island, the number of fish stock in the area is very high compared to other islands in Indonesia whose coastal areas are not covered with mangrove trees. It is not surprising to see that fishermen in Numfor island are major suppliers of fish to citizens of Manokwari city.
People in Numfor had seen the 11 March 2011 Tsunami that hit the eastern coast of Japan before starting to plant mangrove seedlings along the tidal area of northern Numfor. Reforestation of the Numfor shores is the best and cheapest solution to mitigate potential destructive waves that might hit the tropical island.
Ecotourism and Coral Reef Environment
Coral reefs of Numfor, Numpuri and Manem have various species of ornamental fish that are attractive for tourists who want to enjoy snorkeling in the area. Although Numfor is famous supplier of fresh fish to people in Manokwari city, its position as an alternative and affordable tourist destination beside Raja Ampat islands in West Papua and Bunaken of North Sulawesi is relatively unknown in the tourism industry. As a tourist guide, I have been guiding tourists to this beautiful tropical island since last year. If you want to know more information about the beauty of this tropical island, please, watch some Youtube videos that I have created for this article.
Interested in Visiting Numfor island?
To visit Numfor island, travelers need to fly to one of the major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Manado or Denpasar. After that they can take a domestic flight to Manokwari city, the capital of West Papua province. From this city, travelers can continue their trip to Numfor island by Ferry boat or by smaller airplanes operated by Merpati airlines and Susi air. You can also contact me via my email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a guide and an interpreter to accompany you while traveling in Numfor island and other parts of West Papua. by Charles Roring