January 31, 2015
Bandarlampung, Ekuatorial – Water crisis resulted from environmental degradation would lead to decreasing rice production in Lampung. Hence, rice security targeted by the province in 2015 will not be achieved, said an activist on Friday (30/1), in Lampung.
Job Carles, Lampung based WWF Project Manager, said that Lampung’s rice production was declining, especially in Tanggamus district which resulted from decreasing water discharge of dams in Batu Tegi due to land use changes.
“Not only food security is failing but we are looking at energy crisis would occur because of water crisis in the province,” said Carles.
MD Wicaksono, secretary of Gajah Mada University Alumni of forestry faculty or Kagama in Lampung, said that forest destruction had been contributing to water availability which then threatened food security in the province.
Lampung forest covers a total of 1,004,735 hectares, — 462,030 hectares of conservation forest, 317,615 hectares of protected forest, and 225,090 hectares of production forest –.
“Forest damages can be minimized through rehabilitation programs,” said Wicaksono. “From 65.47 percent of forest destroyed back in 2008, it was decreasing to 54.15 percent in 2013.”
The largest contributor for deforestation came from production forest with 76.48 percent and protected forest with 62.73 percent. Furthermore, he said that eight water catchment areas, — Sekampung, Seputih, Tulangbawang, Semaka, Mesuji, Sekampung DS, Semaka DS, and Ambarkambas –, have been badly deforested.
“Lots of dams have deforested forest so this is going to be a challenge for officials of forest management unit as food security depends largely on forest condition as water catchment areas,” he said. Eni Muslihah