Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The Prince of Wales plans to visit Jambi forest in early November to oversee a project aimed at restoring the forest's ecosystem and saving endangered species, the Indonesian Forestry Ministry says.
"Minister MS Kaban is expected to join Prince Charles' trip," the ministry's director of forest management Listya Kusumawardhani told reporters in Jakarta on Monday.
The British Embassy in Jakarta said earlier Prince Charles would visit Indonesia from Nov. 1 to Nov. 5. The last time the heir to the English throne visited the country was in 1989.
The Harapan Rainforest project, dubbed BirdLife -- developed by a consortium of Burung Indonesia, International Bird Life and the London-based Royal Society for the Protection of Birds -- operates on a 50,000-hectare forest plot. The project is part of the Prince's Rainforests Project.
The project, located about 100 kilometers from the city of Jambi, is home to about 260 species of forest-dwelling birds.
Listya said the project would be an experiment in protecting a forest ecosystem and combating climate change.
The government granted the consortium permission in April to manage the wildlife-rich lowland rainforest area in Sumatra for 100 years.
Under the license, she said, the project workers must prevent the land from being developed.
The consortium of BirdLife is currently undertaking a forest restoration project on a 52,000-hectare plot of forest in South Sumatra.
"We haven't received information on whether Prince Charles will also visit the BirdLife forest project in South Sumatra," Listya said.
The consortium aims to restore the forest's ecological balance and to protect hornbills and other forest-dwelling birds by preventing the destruction of their natural habitat and to provide a foundation for the depleted population of Sumatran tigers to stabilize, BirdLife's web site says.
It says the consortium has set up camps on the ground and hired about 60 staff to patrol the area.
Indonesia has the third-largest rainforest area in the world, with 120 million hectares.
Listya said her office had received dozens of proposals to host forest restoration projects in Indonesia.
"Demand has been booming because of global intensive talks on combating climate change through forest projects," she said.