Jokowi Targets Rehabilitation of 600 Thousand Hectares of Mangrove Forest by 2024

President Joko Widodo targets the rehabilitation of mangrove forests in the country to reach 600 thousand hectares within the next three years.

“Our target is that in the next three years we will repair it, we will rehabilitate 600 thousand hectares of our total mangrove forest area,” said the man who is familiarly called Jokowi after planting mangroves in Bebatu Village, Sesayap Hilir District, Tana Tidung Regency, North Kalimantan. , on Tuesday (19/10).

He explained that the replanting of mangroves is in order to repair the damage that has occurred to mangrove forests in the country, especially since Indonesia is a country that has the largest mangrove forest in the world.

Data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in 2015 shows that currently the area of ​​mangrove forests in the country reaches 3.4 million hectares, of which about 1.8 million hectares are in a damaged condition.

Jokowi said that the rehabilitation of mangrove forests is needed to protect the land from sea waves, sea water intrusion which can cause mixing between sea water and groundwater and to protect the habitats and species that exist in the forest area.

“And in North Kalimantan, there are 180 thousand hectares of mangrove forest which we will look at in more detail and will rehabilitate,” he said.

Appreciation for Ambassadors of Friendly Countries

On this occasion, Jokowi replanted mangrove forests in North Kalimantan with a number of ambassadors from friendly countries and the surrounding community. The Ambassadors also appreciated the government’s efforts to repair damaged mangrove forest areas.

Brazil’s Deputy Ambassador to Indonesia, Daniel Barra Ferreira, said the plan to rehabilitate mangrove forests in a number of areas proposed by President Jokowi demonstrates Indonesia’s serious commitment to sustainable development.

Meanwhile, the Finnish Ambassador to Indonesia Jari Sinkari also said that the rehabilitation of the mangrove forest would bring many benefits to Indonesia.

“I come from a country that has a lot of forests, but we don’t have mangroves. But I understand that these mangroves are very efficient at absorbing carbon dioxide. So in my opinion if you want to expect a lot of benefits from one type of forest, mangroves are a very good choice. And I congratulate the Indonesian government for choosing mangroves,” said Sinkari.

President Jokowi (center) talks with Ambassadors of friendly countries after replanting mangroves in Bebatu Village, North Kalimantan, on October 19, 2021. (Photo: Setpres Bureau)

President Jokowi (center) talks with Ambassadors of friendly countries after replanting mangroves in Bebatu Village, North Kalimantan, on October 19, 2021. (Photo: Setpres Bureau)

In addition, the Director of the World Bank for the territory of Indonesia and Timor Leste, Satu Kahkonen, said that the program is not only to save Indonesia, but also to save the world.

“This program that has been initiated by President Jokowi and the Indonesian government is very important for Indonesia and the whole world. This is the largest mangrove restoration program in the world, and therefore we applaud the efforts of the Indonesian government,” said Satu.

WALHI: Fixing Sources of Mangrove Forest Destruction

The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI) Campaign Coordinator, Ode Rakhman, appreciated the government’s efforts to rehabilitate the mangrove forest. However, he emphasized that in addition to replanting efforts, the government must also find out the main cause of the damage to the mangrove forest.

“Because if the rehabilitation process is carried out, but if the source of the damage is not resolved, the figure of 600 thousand hectares is actually nothing,” Ode told Mouab.

He added that the 600 hectare figure listed in the mangrove forest rehabilitation plan would not have much meaning if the damage and exploitation of the mangrove forest continued.

According to WALHI’s monitoring, the main sources that cause damage to mangrove forests include the expansion of pond areas, infrastructure development, development of tourism areas, and the development of special economic zones (SEZ) targeting coastal areas in which there are mangrove ecosystems.

Therefore, Ode appealed to the government to abolish government policies, especially for infrastructure development targeting mangrove ecosystems. In addition, he said law enforcement must also be firm and not indiscriminate.

“Whether it’s for a national strategic project, but if it then targets the mangrove ecosystem and then violates the rules, the government must be firm that the development policy must not eliminate the mangrove ecosystem,” he said.

In the future, he hopes that the government can move quickly to rehabilitate the mangrove forest. According to him, the target to rehabilitate 600 thousand hectares within three years is quite slow.

“It should be wider than 600 thousand hectares, this is very small. Why not declare 2 million hectares, for example, as at the beginning of the Peat and Mangrove Restoration Agency (BRGM) which announced 2 million hectares. If it’s a budget issue, does the government have no budget? Our forest is so big, so where are our forests being taken?” he concluded. [gi/rs]

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