Monday, 24 January 2011

Preventing Concentration of Residences and Industries in Shallow Water Areas

Spatial plan that puts residence and industry concentration on the Northern Coast Java (Pantura) is a mistake because placement of residences and industries face to face with shallow waters could damage the sea water which is rich in fish. Mohammad Hasroel Thayib, Head of Board of Experts of Indonesian Environmental Intellectuals Association (Perwaku), told business News.

Spatial plans in Indonesia, until this day, put residence and industry concentration face to face with shallow waters, amongst others, Northern Coast of Kalimantan. While, shallow waters are fertile areas for fish.

Fish could well-developed in shallow waters since mineral content only exists in 50-meter depth with sufficient sunlight, sufficient oxygen, and a large amount of phytoplankton which is sources of food for fish. If the condition of the water in that area is damaged, sea biota could not survive. If we look from above, the sea water along Pantura was dirty. It would be difficult for phytoplankton to survive in such area since the sunlight was prevented by mud. And, phytoplankton is sources of food for the fish. Another effect was that income of farmers in the Northern Coast could decrease.

Residences and industries should be facing deep waters. Fear of abrasion could be prevented by planting mangrove trees along the coasts. “Basically, prevent concentration of residences and industries which is face to face with shallow waters. In North Sulawesi, it doesn’t matter because Pacific Ocean is a deep sea. In Papua and East Kalimanatan, this could also be done. But, not in West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, and East Sumatera because these are shallow water areas.”

Other than preventing concentration of residence and industries in shallow water, inter-regional spatial plan related to management of river areas must also be modified. For example, the Citanduy River area that flows to Segara Anakan lake that separates West Java and Central Java areas. Because the responsibility of government’s administrative unit is based on rivers, it is difficult to decide who will be responsible if Segara Anakan Lake is polluted due to the Citanduy River flow. Therefore, responsibility of government’s administrative units should be decide based on the river basin, or the river it self.

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