Bunaken National Park (BTNB) urged divers, both local and foreign, at Bunaken Island, North Sulawesi, to plant coral following years of accumulated damage.

According to the park's announcement letter, dated March 2, the efforts aim to expand coverage of the coral and increase the quality of diving in the area.

BTNB North Sulawesi head Fariana told kompas.comthat so far tourists rarely were involved with coral planting.

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"Many tourists, especially from China, have come here. But they are still uninformed about our efforts to preserve the environment. Only several of them plant coral," Fariana said, adding that she hoped the announcement would improve the tourists' awareness of preserving coral reefs.

As it is only an announcement, there is still no sanction to be applied to tourists who do not participate in the activities. However, those who are caught damaging the coral will still be punished.

Fariana has coordinated with several travel agents in spreading the announcement and is ready to collaborate with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that support the efforts.

"We will prepare seeding and locations [to plant] coral seeds," she said, adding that technology is required to provide coral seeds. (wir/wng)