Prof Jan Sopaheluwakan, chairman of the National Delta Summit 2011 Committee, told the press here on Thursday, the World Delta Summit 2011 was very important because it would discuss various issues and challenges to be faced by river deltas.

He said Indonesia was elected to host the summit because of its rich biodiversity and, more specifically, because it had a number of fertile deltas in rivers like the Ciliwung, the Batanghari, the Mahakam, the Makassar, the Brantas and Memberamo.

Indonesia was also considered able to play an important role as initiator of delta preservation efforts on a global scale, he said, adding that the summit was expected to produce a joint commitment and concrete solution to protect river deltas.

Preservation of river deltas would also contribute to the conservation of human civilization in the interest of the world`s children and future generations.

The summit would discuss issues related to river deltas, environmental problems, climate change and the role of river delta preservation practitioners as well as international institutions like the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, UN bodies and connecting Delta Cities.

Jan said the aim of the summit was to increase the people`s awareness of the future of river deltas about which there was now increasing concern.

Therefore, there was a need for greater participation of the people, governments, scientists, academics and businesspeople in river delta preservation efforts, he said.

River deltas are now also among the vulnerable parts of the Earth as about 50 percent of the world`s urban population live on or around river deltas, he said.