Sabtu, 11 Oktober 2008

They are a breeding area for many animals, especially fish and water birds. They are habitats essential for the survival of many endangered species. The Tapir, Sumatran Tiger, the Java Rhino, and the Dugong are examples of endangered mammal species dependent on wetlands. Endangered reptiles such as the Estuarine Crocodile, False Gavial, Python, River Terrapin, and water birds such as Sam’s Stork, White-winged Duck, White-shouldered Ibis, and Chinese Egret are all dependent on wetlands for their breeding and survival. They increase natural biodiversity by supporting flora and fauna which are not found in other habitats. They function as a filter and purifier along water ways by trapping sediments and excessive nutrients. They act as sponge and provide flood protection by absorbing and slowly realizing water.
Wetlands are among the richest habitats in the world in terms of biodiversity, and are also among the world’s most productive environments. Because more than 50% of Indonesia’s populations live on the coastal plains or along island. Water ways and wetlands are also of tremendous economic value to them.
Wetlands can be broadly defined as areas featuring permanent or temporary shallow water. According to the Ramsar Convention 1971, this definition includes marshes, swamps, lakes, mud flats, mangrove forests, rivers, and virtually any land regularly or alternating inundated with water. The water can be static or flowing areas of marine water not exceeding a depth of six meters at low tide. Although some wetlands are valued because of their beauty, wetlands have often, unfortunately, acquired a poor image. Thus wetlands are some times, incorrectly, considered as wetlands, dark and murky, dangerous, mosquito-infested places. But this is not correct!
Indonesia, with a total area of about 37 million hectare of wetlands, has the largest remaining area of natural wetlands in Asia. Yet, wetlands are the area under tremendous development pressure. Up to 50% of the total area of wetlands in Indonesia are degraded or converted to other land uses. The loss of wetlands causes a drastic decrease in fisheries resources and biodiversity. Loss of wetlands also leads to prolonged dry seasons and an increase in both frequency and harshness of flooding. This flooding in turn has caused erosion in coastal areas and along riverbanks. These environmental changes also have a negative impact on the livelihood of local people. Because of the importance of wetlands, maintaining their natural hydrological and ecological processes is essential not only for the diversity of flora and fauna they support, but also for their benefits to people.

0 komentar:

Posting Komentar

  © Blogger template On The Road by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP