Indonesia: Researcher says Shrimp Farm Damages Mangrove Forest the Most

Tempo 25 Apr 18;

TEMPO.CO, Yogyakarta - A researcher at the Research, Development and Innovation Agency of Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Virni Budi Arifanti, stated Indonesia has the fastest rate of mangrove deforestation in the world. Virni said that the one that cause the most damage to mangrove ecosystem is the massive shrimp farm.

The shrimp farming methods removed mangrove which leads the land decomposes rapidly, as revealed on Virni research in 2013-2015 in Delta Mahakam, East Kalimantan. “At least, it needs 226 years to recover the land [for mangrove],” she said.

Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s director of soil and water conservation Muhammad Firman said Indonesia has lost 52,000 hectares of mangrove land per year. The number is equal to three football fields in a week.

“The most significant cause is farming land, pond, and followed by infrastructure,” said Firman in the Asia Pacific Rainforest Summit in Yogyakarta, Tuesday, April 24.

Firman further explained the other causes that highly damaged mangrove is waste, chemical pollution, illegal logging, mangrove exploitation, and abrasion. From a total of 3.49 million hectares of mangrove, almost half of it at 1.82 million hectares were severely degraded.

The government, in a bid to suppress the high rate of the damaged mangrove, will issue a regulation on restoring and rehabilitating mangrove forest. Firman mentioned, the strategic plans are minimalizing mangrove conversion, promoting the function of biodiversity-ecosystem and protecting the coastal area.

SHINTA MAHARANI

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