Ecotourism in Blekok Village is a Real Synergy of Conservation and Economic Improveme

Jakarta, September 28, 2021 - Through the development of Tourism Villages, the government is trying to restore the economy affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has the full support of PT Paiton Energy (the “Company” or “Paiton Energy”) through an ecotourism program in Blekok Village, Situbondo Regency, East Java.

Blekok Village ecotourism is a real manifestation of the synergy between conservation and economic improvement. This is also a concrete part of tourism for inclusive growth, such as the 2021 World Tourism Theme. Kampung Blekok involves all parties and provides benefits for everyone

Initially, Blekok Village was a residential area that really needed special efforts to support the sustainability of the mangrove forest that grew there and the Blekok bird that lived in the mangrove forest.

Since 2018 Paiton Energy has collaborated with local governments, especially the Situbondo Environment Department, universities, and also the community to start implementing conservation and building community-based ecotourism in Blekok Village.

Paiton Energy's focus is on Mangrove and Blekok Bird conservation through Mangrove Center, Mangrove Planting Program, and Conservation Campaign. Also, the capacity building program for tourism managers and surrounding communities, as well as other infrastructures.

Now Blekok Village has become an integrated ecotourism area. The 27 Hectares conservation area of mangroves and Blekok birds is now integrated with the economic activities of the surrounding residents. The manufacturing and marketing of creative economy products in the form of wooden crafts able to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Financial Officer of Paiton Energy, Bayu Widyanto said integrated ecotourism development such as Kampung Blekok is very important because it is a real example of sustainable tourism. This means that tourism development can ensure the sustainability of natural resources and socio-cultural life, as well as provide economic benefits to the community.

Bayu Widyanto said, the ecotourism of Kampung Blekok is also tourism for inclusive growth, according to the theme of World Tourism Day 2021. "From the beginning its development involved all parties, and the benefits it generates can be enjoyed widely," he said.

While the CFS Manager of PT Paiton Energy – POMI Bambang Jiwantoro said that ecotourism in Blekok Village has superior value, which is a vehicle for nature education to get to know mangroves and various bird species, one of which is the Blekok bird. This is something no other place has. So, he hopes that Ecotourism of Blekok Village can enter the Top 10 Best Tourism Villages in Indonesia.

Kholid Maulana, Head of the Tourism Awareness Group (Pokdarwis) of Blekok Village, said the ecotourism program in Blekok Village can improve the welfare of local residents and increase public awareness to conserve mangrove trees. "Mangrove trees are very useful for protection from abrasion, as well as being a home for Blekok birds," he said.

Currently, ecotourism in Blekok Village has entered the top 50 of the Indonesian Tourism Village Award from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenparekraf).

The team from Kemenparekraf has assessed which categories are favored by Kampung Blekok on Thursday, September 16, 2021.

Furthermore, on Friday, September 17, 2021 the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy (Menparekraf), Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, made a visit to Blekok Village to see firsthand of the flora and fauna conservation program there, as well as visit the creative economy products of the local community. He also said that Blekok Village could be a tourist attraction that could create jobs.

The community-based ecotourism and conservation program in Kampung Blekok is one of Paiton Energy's many Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs which are categorized into three focuses, namely supporting the sustainability of the Company (plants), socio-economic sustainability, and energy and environmental sustainability.

Paiton Energy commits and works hard to make sure the electricity supply from the units 7, 8, and 3 are well maintained during the challenging pandemic situation in order to support the efforts of PT PLN (Persero), to maintain the reliability of the Java, Madura, and Bali grid.     

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