South Sulawesi’s Bantimurung-Bulusaraung National Park has been officially declared an ASEAN Heritage Park. The park, which is located in Maros Regency around 50km to the north of Makassar, is the world’s second-largest karst area, home to prehistoric caves and rich biodiversity.
The official declaration certificate from was presented to Yusak Mangetan (head of the national park) by Theresa Mundita S. Lim (executive director of the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity) during the sixth ASEAN Heritage Park Conference, which took place in Laos from 21-25 October. The event also featured a lecture entitled “Ecotourism: Business and Conservation”, presented by Mr. Mangetan, who was accompanied by a resident of Pattanyamang village in Maros Regency, named Nurhidayah.
The Bantimurung-Bulusaraung National Park is home to the Rammang-Rammang karst area, along with dozens of prehistoric caves that feature some of the earliest known examples of cave paintings such as hand prints, figurative drawings and representations of animals that have been dated to more than 40,000 years old. The park’s modern fauna includes animals such as the Sulawesi moor macaque, red-knobbed hornbill, cuscus and Sulawesi palm civet, along with endemic butterfly species such as Papilio blumei, Papilio polytes, Papilio sataspes and Graphium androcles.
Read more: Panorama Destination’s travel blog documents a trip through Maros Regency – click here.
Since its inception in 1978, the ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHP) Program has set out to support protected areas and their strategic importance for global conservation efforts. The ASEAN Center for Biodiversity currently serves as the secretariat of the AHP Program and the AHP Committee.
At present, there are a total of 49 protected areas listed in the ASEAN Heritage Parks Program, several of which are in Indonesia. These include Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and Way Kambas National Park.