Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Government Asked to be Serious in Handling Environmental Problems

Wednesday, 14 October, 2009 | 17:23 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The next five-year period of government is urged to be serious in handling environmental problems that have been increasing due to global climate change.

A member of the Supreme Advisory Council (DPA), Emil Salim, warned the government about potential disasters if Indonesia does not prioritize management over climate change phenomenon because of global warming.

He mentioned illegal logging as an evidence of government's inability to handle environmental problems. This has caused forest fires every year in many regions.

The largest release of carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming come from forests that are used widely. Moss land and tropical rain forest keep the carbon dioxide.

“If this is ignored, Indonesia will not be known anymore as a country with its maritime resources and tropical rain forests,” he said during the national seminar on the prospects of long-term national security at the office of National Development Planning State Ministry, Wednesday (14/10).

According to Department of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, 29 islands out of 17,508 islands in the country has been sunk due to the higher sea surface. It is estimated that more than 2,000 islands will be sunk as well by 2030.

“We lose the islands without having wars,” he said.

State Minister of National Development Planning, Paskah Suzetta, admitted that Indonesia’s geographic position was sensitive to climate change including sea surface, drought, flood, and even national security problems.

“Higher sea surface will make small islands disappear that actually own strategic values as they mark exclusive economic zone, continent lines, and the country's security belt,” he said.

AGOENG WIJAYA,20091014-202609,uk.html