What’s up with the mangrove ecosystem in Indonesia? Is there any significant effect of mangrove deforestation on our daily lives?

This first TJF Live Talks in 2021 invited a lecturer from Semarang State University, Vina Nurul Husna, to discuss the changes in mangrove forests in Indonesia. This discussion was also one of TJF’s agendas in celebrating World Wetlands Day. Wetlands occur where water meets the soil, one of which is mangroves. Mangroves can be found in tropical and subtropical areas, especially tidal regions, often inundated with saltwater.

Moderated by Dwi, Vina explained that nearly one million hectares of ± 3 million hectares of mangrove forests in Indonesia had been deforested since 1800, of which 80% is used for aquaculture development. The early development of cultivation increased in the culture and economy of the community.

Aquaculture is an important sector to support food security and the national economy. The utilization of mangroves is an opportunity to both increase food security and the economy for local communities. Vina said that mangroves could also function as dams, where when on land there is an overflow of water or large waves of water, mangroves can serve to block the flow of the water so that flooding does not occur.

With its abundance of natural mangrove forests, Indonesia must be grateful for the many benefits that mangroves provide. Instead of converting mangrove forests, it is better to use them properly and sustainably. It is not grandiose if we hope that mangrove forests that are well utilized can bring great good to the earth’s future because of their significant role in climate change mitigation strategies. Apart from that, mangroves also provide benefits for local communities as a means of supporting their livelihoods.