Forestry expert from Kupang’s Nusa Cendana University, Dr Michael Riwu Kaho warns that East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) may lose fifteen thousand hectares of forest every year due to serious environmental damage. Research revealed that only five to six percent of forest area will be left intact by 2040 to 2050.
“We are facing a serious problem with regard to deforestation in NTT because every year, fifteen thousand hectares of forest are damaged,” stated Dr Michael Riwu Kaho to Indonesian Inside on Thursday (11/28).
With only three thousand hectares of forest restoration conducted by the government each year, Dr Michael is not too confident of any positive impact as restoration efforts are not proportional to the rate of forest destruction that occurs He also added that without trees, the region will most definitely face issues with fresh water with 90% of the areas in the region sure to suffer from lack of fresh and clean water.
NTT has recently and is currently suffering from a long draught which is one of the reasons for forest fires, the main catalysts of deforestation in East Nusa Tenggara. According to data provided by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia lost 135,749 hectares of land in 2019 alone due to wildfire with NTT suffering the biggest lost at 71.712 hectares burned. It is hoped that government will act in providing solutions and further action in forest restoration.
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