Teluk Pangpang Banyuwangi: Home to Hundreds of Thousands of Migratory Birds

22 January 2021

By A. Rozik Fanani and Ark

NUSADAILY.COM - BANYUWANGI - Banyuwangi Regency is indeed famous for its natural tourism sector, starting from the mountains, beaches, forests and various other natural attractions in the city, nicknamed as “The Sunrise of Java". But did you know that Banyuwangi also has a shelter for hundreds of thousands of migratory birds who visit Bumi Blambangan every year? The name Pangpang Bay is an area that stretches widely in two districts, namely Muncar and Tegaldlimo Districts.

The approximately 3,000-hectare area has so much potential and beauty. The stretch of mangrove forest is well preserved, making Pangpang Bay a favorite place to host hundreds of thousands of migratory birds.

"In Pangpang Bay, there are 42 species of birds and 9 species of nekton and 15 types of macrozoobenthos. Among them are protected animals," said Director of ARuPA, Edy Suprapto during the Workshop on Teluk Pangpang as an Essential Economic Zone, at Hotel Santika, Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

According to Edy, the Governor of East Java has designated Pangpang Bay as an Essential Economic Zone (KEE). This area is expected to be a source of livelihood for the local community while still paying attention to environmental sustainability.

"There is a lot of potential in Pangpang Bay. From the fisheries sector, eco-tourism and so on. This includes the hundreds of thousands of migratory birds that stop by at Pangpang Bay every year, which has its own potential to be explored," added Edy.

To achieve this, ARupa and USAID BIJAK, together with the local government and related stakeholders, are currently working on a blueprint for the development of the Pangpang Bay area.

"We have formed a forum consisting of several agencies including the village government, the Fisheries Service, Bappeda, Perhutani and community elements. So, Pangpang Bay can provide economic value for the welfare of the surrounding community while maintaining its environmental and biological preservation," he added.

A Tourist Attraction

According to the Lecturer at the Faculty of Forestry at Gajah Mada University, Muhammad Ali Imron, Pangpang Bay could be one of Banyuwangi's leading natural tourist destinations. The hundreds of thousands of migratory birds that stop there every year are certainly a show that has a special attraction for tourists.

“Migratory birds are an advantage. Many migrate in Pangpang Bay. Sustainable use is the concept in the KEE. This is an advantage for Banyuwangi, which relies on the tourism sector as the backbone of the economy,” said Imron as a speaker at the Workshop.

"Of course, it must be properly conceptualized. Don’t let the use of Pangpang Bay destroy the biodiversity there. For example, there is a limit in the number of activities and visitors who want to enjoy migratory bird attractions," he added.

According to Imron, there are several species of migratory birds that often stop at Pangpang Bay. Among them, are the common tern (Sterna hirundo), the greater crested tern (Thalasseus bergii), the Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata), the Eurasian whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus).

"Apart from that, there are also the great egret (Ardea alba) and lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus)." The birds usually stop at Pangpang Bay from November to February," he said.

Prepared as the Ijen Geopark Area

Meanwhile, Head of the Spatial Planning Sub-Division of Banyuwangi Development Planning Agency at Sub-National Level, Rudiyanto, said that the Pangpang Bay area does have a conservation function to protect biodiversity as well as produce oxygen.

"Apart from that, the area produces oxygen and absorbs CO2 to reduce greenhouse emissions. Hopefully, this mangrove forest can reduce the impact of climate change due to global warming,” he explained.

For this reason, the Banyuwangi Regency Government has made a blue print to establish the essential ecosystem area of Pangpang Bay the Ijen Geopark area.

"We are preparing Pangpang Bay as the Ijen Geopark area. We will submit it to the Unisco Global Geopark. Thus, Pangpang Bay can become an attractive nature tourism destination, not only for domestic tourists but also for foreign tourists,” he concluded. (ozi)

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