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Indonesia needs to restore lost forests immediately to lessen natural disasters: Activists

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The already wretched victim to natural calamities, Indonesia has been pounced with disasters like flash floods that have killed 100 people and displaced more than 400,000 this year can face repeated calamities unless it takes swift action for restoring its lost forests – a victim to logging! – It is being suggested by activists and analysts.

Vast deforestation in the area has reduced its ecosystem’s capacity to regulate the water, leading to disasters like soil erosion and landslides. Deforestation and environmental degradation can be blamed for the most recent disaster — the floods at Sumatra.

Togu Manurung from the Bogor Institute of Agriculture said,

This is not the first time disasters like these have happened and the lesson still hasn’t been learnt… Disasters are happening back to back. In the rainy season we have floods and during the dry season we have extreme drought that causes fires and haze.

Explaining the effects of deforestations, analyst Indro Santoso from the meteorological office told AFP,

In the case of the recent floods, the environmental support capacity is the most determining factor since there are no unusual phenomena in the rain pattern.

But, the Ministry of Forestry secretary general Boen Purnama readily pointed out that floods also occurred in areas that have good vegetation coverage when rainfall was excessive!

Thus, what is needed is restoring the area’s lost forest along with technical structures such as dams and other infrastructure in place.