Source: ANTARA
Date: November 8, 2021.

 Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Traditional Fishers Association (KNTI) has encouraged to expedite and expand policies pertaining to the restoration of mangrove ecosystems or forests in regions.

"The KNTI itself has long pushed for the restoration of mangrove ecosystems, especially in the northern coast of Java that is damaged," KNTI Daily Chairman Dani Setiawan stated when contacted by Antara here on Monday.

Setiawan emphasized that mangrove ecosystems can support marine biota.

"Coastal mangrove forests are very important. Fish can lay eggs, forage, grow, and even play there," he remarked.

Setiawan noted that in the archipelago, mangroves are able to provide food containing fish protein.

The KNTI daily chairman explained that mangrove ecosystems also function as filters for pollutant materials, thereby reducing the volume and energy of waves in the event of disasters, such as tsunamis.

Hence, he called on the government to prevent damage to coastal areas due to large-scale industrial and plantation expansion that had a dire impact on the coastal environment.

"If mangrove ecosystems are damaged or lost, it will damage the life chain of water resources," he cautioned.

Setiawan pointed out that if the life chain in water resources is not normal, it could impact fishers and other coastal communities since they would find it difficult to catch fish.

Some practices of the community-based mangrove management also need to be encouraged, including the social forestry schemes.

In addition to involving the community in the conservation efforts, the scheme offers economic opportunities through local-based ecotourism.

Earlier, member of Commission IV of the House of Representatives, Johan Rosihan, pressed for greater involvement of fishers residing in coastal areas in mangrove planting being encouraged by the government.

"Thus, the government always involves fishers in the efforts to rehabilitate and manage mangroves to help support their welfare," Rosihan affirmed.

He also reminded that Indonesia had lost 900 thousand hectares of mangroves despite them playing an important role in reducing carbon emissions.

Rosihan claimed to be concerned about the condition of mangrove forests in Indonesia that had kept decreasing.

The mangrove area lost each year reached 530 thousand hectares, while the rate of mangrove rehabilitation is still much slower than the rate of damage, he added.