Birds flock to a mangrove forest near Lampulo Port in Banda Aceh. (Antara Photo/Ampelsa)

Indonesia Falling Way Behind in Mangrove Rehabilitation


JANUARY 10, 2018

Jakarta. Indonesia is still far behind its target of rehabilitating 1.8 million hectares of degraded mangrove forests by 2045 due to a lack of money and human resources.

According to data from the Environment and Forestry Ministry, Indonesia has 3.5 million hectares of mangrove forests, 1.8 million of which are in extremely degraded condition.

Muhammad Firman, the ministry’s director of soil and water conservation, said from 2010 to 2016 it has only managed to rehabilitate 32,653 hectares of degraded mangrove forests.

Firman said the government only sets aside enough money to rehabilitate 500 hectares of mangrove forests each year from the state budget (APBN).

"We are looking for more funding from other stakeholders [so we can achieve our target]," Firman said in Jakarta on Tuesday (09/10).

Firman pointed out other factors that have slowed down rehabilitation of mangrove forests: illegal logging, the charcoal industry, land conversion for development, aquaculture and pollution.

According to Firman, Indonesia desperately needs mangrove forests to fight pollution, prevent abrasion from rising sea levels and reduce carbon emissions.

Mangrove forests can also be turned into attractive tourist destinations since marine life flourishes where there are a lot of mangrove trees.

Firman also said that more economic empowerment programs for communities living near mangrove forests will be needed to prevent them from spoiling the forests for money.