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Jakarta Post

Replanting alone may not stop mangrove degradation

  • Made Anthony Iswara

    Jakarta

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 20 2020   /  01:00 am
Learning by doing: A man teaches a child how to plant mangrove trees in Pekan Bada, Aceh on Aug. 4. The pandemic has inspired many nations to double efforts to conserve nature. (AFP/Chaideer Mahyuddin )

When 53-year-old Azizi is not tending to his crab farm, he would be nursing the 456-hectare mangrove forest near his home in the village of Gambus in North Sumatra’s Batu Bara regency. The former fisherman said recently that fewer than three-quarters of the nearby mangroves were in good condition, but the same could not be said for the rest of the regency’s mangrove cover, about 70 percent of which is damaged. Some areas were being converted into oil palm plantations or prawn farms, he said. The mangrove degradation had caused landslides in neighboring villages, he claimed, sinking 30 to 50 houses. He said the dwindling mangrove cover would allow strong wind to pass through, potentially damaging nearby neighborhoods in the future. “It’s a big risk,” he said on Friday. “We have to be ready to let our houses plunge [to the sea] if we are not...