Bogor: Forest degradation owing to forest fires and land conversion has threatened the existence of endemic species of flora and fauna in Indonesia.
"Degradation and land conversion have major impacts. We are highly concerned about the survival of endemic species," Joeni Setijo Rahajoe, head of the Botanical Department of the Biological Research Center of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), stated here on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
She delivered a speech at a seminar on Management of Indonesian Biodiversity Toward Industry 4.0 Revolution and Sustainable Development Goals.
According to her, Forest fires can potentially cause loss of endemic, protected, and also unknown species. The blaze could destroy 90 percent of the biodiversity in the affected areas. Seeds that were usually scorched could no longer grow.
Hence, effective polices are crucial to preventing land and forest fires.
A comprehensive mapping of biodiversity across the country is also crucial for formulation of conservation program policies. Her agency has also suggested an inventory of endemic species on the country's islands to help decide the conservation priority. Based on the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Minister's Regulation No. 106 of 2018, the country has 904 animal and plant species that are in need of protection. In addition, some 50 species of rare plants have no conservation status.
The Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry is set organize the Nusantara Biological Diversity (Biodiversity) Expo at Banteng Square in Central Jakarta from November 8 until December 8, 2019/ The exhibition is being held to mark National Flora and Fauna Day. The event is intended to showcase the country's biodiversity to the millennial generation. It is expected to step up awareness among members of the younger generation over the need to preserve and protect the country's biodiversity.
As the world's largest archipelagic country, Indonesia has abundant species of plants and animals as well as a unique ecosystem. The nation has over 25 thousand species of flowering plants, comprising 10 percent of the world's flowering plant species. It also has some 500 species of mammals, 600 species of reptiles, some 1,500 species of birds, some 270 species of amphibians, and over 2,500 species of fish, or constituting 45 percent of the world's fish species. (Antara)