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Indonesia's Coastal Ecosystem Is Our Planet Saver. Here’s Why.

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Indonesia is the home to around 3 million hectares of mangroves along with nearly 1 million hectare of seagrass meadows, cementing its position as the world’s richest coastal ecosystems [1].


As we know, mangroves and seagrass meadows contribute significantly to the world’s carbon cycle as carbon sinks, which means our coastal ecosystem plays such an important role in protecting our planet! Pretty cool, right?


 
 

Now let’s take a look at what Indonesia has contributed as the planet saver!



Indonesia’s marine coastal habitat


Do you know that more than 40 percent of the global area of mangroves is only located in four countries? Amongst countries like Brazil, Nigeria and Mexico, Indonesia owns 19% of the global area of mangrove [2].


Mangrove Forest in Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

Source: Joel Vodell [7]


Adding to that, Indonesia also has the most diverse seagrass habitat, as the country is the home of 13 out of 60 species of seagrass found across the globe, with a potential carbon absorption of 7.4 megatons of carbon per year [3]!


But they are on decline


Unfortunately, increased population and logging have contributed to a massive decrease in the global area of mangroves and seagrass. In 2020, it was recorded that about 749.9 km2 of mangroves area in Indonesia has been deforested [4].


Furthermore, out of all validated seagrass habitats, only 5% was recorded with adequate health index [5].


Seagrass habitat in Wakatobi, South East Sulawesi, Indonesia

Source: Benjamin Jones [8]


So our planet saver is no longer saving the planet?


The Indonesian government has made several commitments to rehabilitate our precious coastal ecosystems by initiating national conservation programs, such as mangrove restoration and seagrass blue carbon reset. Apparently, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries has targeted 1800 hectare of mangrove restoration, which will be done gradually over years until 2024 [6].


Even though the government has made efforts to conserve Indonesia’s coastal ecosystems, the government can’t do it alone without our help. Sharing knowledge and spreading awareness regarding the importance of our coastal habitats are the easiest things we can do to conserve our planet saver!


 
 

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