Personnel and visitors at the botanic gardens must adhere to health protocols under the new normal phase to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, Head of the Botanical Garden and Plant Conservation Research Center of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) R. Hendrian noted in a statement here on Monday.
The reopening of the two botanical gardens, serving as LIPI's research and public education platforms, must comply with better service standards in line with the health protocols, LIPI Chairman Laksana Tri Handoko stated.
"We are optimistic that visitors would be able to adjust to the protocols and jointly create a botanical garden environment that is safe, comfortable, and also environment-friendly in all aspects," Handoko expounded.
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Situated in downtown Bogor, West Java, the Bogor Botanical Gardens, Indonesia's oldest and largest botanical garden, ushered in its 200th anniversary on May 18 this year.
The gardens are a source of immense pride for Indonesians, as they are also the oldest in Southeast Asia and the third-oldest in the world after the three-century-old Pandova Botanical Garden in Italy and the Royal Botanical Garden of Sydney in Australia, which had just turned 200 in 2016.
Originally, the botanical gardens served as the backyard of the Dutch colonial governor's office, and currently, they have been converted into one of Indonesia's largest biological diversity study centers.
The Government of Indonesia has allowed the application of transitional large-scale social distancing (PSBB) measures toward the new normal for regions with less reported cases of COVID-19. However, the regions should apply stringent health protocols that necessitate officers and visitors to wear masks, ensure physical distancing measures are applied, and frequently handwashing is practiced.