Medan, North Sumatra (ANTARA News) – Around 60 percent of the total 85,393 hectares of mangrove forest areas in North Sumatra, were damaged seriously.
“Most of the mangrove areas have been damaged due to the opening of shrimp ponds and human encroachment,” Director of Sumatra Rain forest Institute (SRI) Rasyid As`saf Dongoran said here on Tuesday.
The worst damaged areas were in the districts of Langkat, Serdang Bedagai, Asahan, Deli Serdang and Labuhan Batu, he said.
People living in coastal areas must be involved in the rehabilitation programs of mangrove because they had direct interests in the mangrove forest ecosystem, he said.
The quantity of fauna such as crabs, shrimp, and fish would significantly decrease when their habitat, namely mangrove forest, was damaged. And it would affect the economy of people living in coastal areas, he said.
“Therefore, the people living in coastal areas must be involved in the mangrove tree replanting program,” he said.
Of 64,439 villages existing in Indonesia currently, around 4,735 villages are located in coastal lines. And about 60 percent of the country`s population are living in coastal areas.
“The number is quite potential to support the mangrove rehabilitation activities,” he said. (*)