Webinar series "Soil and Water Conservation" Series#3 Rehabilitation and New Facts of the Country’s Shield

Webinar series "Soil and Water Conservation" Series#3 Rehabilitation and New Facts of the Country’s Shield

Indonesia - 06 April, 2021

As the coastal shield of our country, mangroves protect against high waves, tsunamis, abrasion, and define the 200 miles Indonesia's exclusive economic zone. If mangroves are eroded, so will Indonesia's exclusive economic zone. It was said by the Director of Tropenbos Indonesia, Edi Purwanto, at the opening of the 3rd event of the webinar series "Conservation of Soil and Water" entitled "Rehabilitation and New Facts of the Country’s Shield". As a climate shield, mangroves also act as carbon storage and absorbent, which are 3-5 times higher than tropical forests. Around 600 participants attended this webinar via zoom and youtube.

According to M. Zainal Arifin, Director of Soil and Water Conservation, Directorate General of Watershed Management and Forest Rehabilitation - Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), who gave a presentation entitled "Mangrove Rehabilitation Policy", with a mangrove area of 3.31 million ha, Indonesia has the largest mangrove in the world. Not only that, Indonesia's mangrove ecosystem has the richest species. Unfortunately, nearly 20% of Indonesia's mangroves are now in critical condition. It is not surprising that through Presidential Decree No.120/2020 the government has determined to put a target to rehabilitate mangroves/coast covering an area of 600,000 ha in 9 priority provinces that will be carried out by BRGM (the Restoration Agency for Peatlands and Mangroves) in collaboration with KLHK and KKP (the Ministry of Maritime and Fishery).

Currently the existing national mangrove map came from different years, so according to Zainal, there needs to be an in-depth review so that what is displayed on this national map can truly describe the true condition of national mangroves. "The review of the national mangrove map is very important as a baseline data for future mangrove management and determines the direction of decisions taken by the government," he said.

According to Haruni Krisnawati, the main expert researcher of the Research and Development and Innovation Agency of KLHK in her presentation entitled "The role of mangroves in KTA (Soil and Water Conservation), mitigation and adaptation to climate change", mangroves are found in 118 countries in the world, where 23% of the world's mangroves exist in Indonesia (Giri et al, 2010). Mangroves in Indonesia store one-third of the world's carbon reserves and every 1 ha of mangrove forest can store 4x more carbon than terrestrial forest, and absorb 20x more CO2 emissions than terrestrial tropical forest.

As a provider of ecosystem services, mangroves have 5 roles as a supporting, biological, provisioning, regulating service, and cultural services. "We can all feel these benefits, not only those who live around the mangroves," said Haruni. As a provisioning service, for example, humans benefit from mangroves in the form of clean water, firewood, medicinal and herbal ingredients (herbal tea), food sources, NTFPs and even batik dyes. "It can be used as a natural dye for batik cloth," she said. Meanwhile, as a regulating service, mangroves make humans survive because they protect the land from the threat of abrasion, tsunamis, rising sea levels, maintain water quality, store and absorb carbon, and play a role in controlling climate change, as well as water purification by trapping sediment, as well as filtering out polluting waste.

Two things that can affect mangroves are climate stressors and anthropogenic stressors. "Vulnerability to climate change and anthropogenic pressure needs to be balanced with mitigation and adaptation efforts through conservation, rehabilitation, restoration, sustainable management and adaptation measures, as well as the importance of monitoring and cooperation with parties in protecting our mangroves," said Haruni.

Nyoman Suryadiputra, Senior Advisor of the Wetland Foundation (YLBA) who gave a presentation entitled "Mangrove Forest Rehabilitation Strategies" agreed, "Mangrove forest is the stronghold of our land, the face of Indonesia's coast." By knowing the condition of Indonesia's coast, according to him, we can find out the causes, actors, and approaches that must be taken to overcome the damage that has occurred. “Whether the damaged mangrove should be rehabilitated or let it grow again naturally, as well as the location and the kinds of technology used to rehabilitate,” he added.

Among a number of challenges faced in coastal rehabilitation in Indonesia today are coastal policies that are not yet understood and low law enforcement, spatial planning has not accommodated the need for coastal protection, subsidence of coastal land due to uncontrollable groundwater extraction and erosion, and rising sea levels due to climate change.

A number of things that need to be concerned in mangrove rehabilitation are land cover and land use changes (spatial and temporal changes), land status and legality of ownership, biophysical conditions and threats, demographic data in order to involve the community, policies related to coastal boundaries, and so on. In addition, mangrove rehabilitation must also provide clear economic benefits by involving the community and their family members. Nyoman gave an example of a contract he had made with the community where the fund given could become a grant if the planted mangroves grew well, but the funds had to be returned as a debt if the surviving planted mangroves were less than 75%. Nyoman also shared a number of his experiences in rehabilitating mangroves all over Indonesia done since 1998 covering an area of 4,000 ha using various technologies including substrate trap, mud trap, and breakwater.

The presentations available for dowdload HERE

Check out more in-depth presentations and discussions in the webinar via the following link: