Environmental Pollution in Indonesia

“Environmental pollution is an incurable disease. It can only be prevented.”
-Barry Commoner

“I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?”
-Robert Redford

Environmental pollution is the term that refers to all of methods by which people pollute their environment and surrounding. People with gases and smoke dirty our clean water. Pure water is tainted with chemicals and other substances. Virgin soil is ruined with fertilizers and pesticides. Today environmental pollution is one of the most serious threat to mankind. Air, water, and soil are essential to the survival of the survival of all living creatures on planet earth, but unfortunately they are harmed by pollution.

There are various environment issues in Indonesia include deforestation, water pollution from industrial wastes, sewage and air pollution in urban areas. The government is reluctant to address increasing environmental problems because of corruption and legal uncertainties.

Half of Indonesia is covered with forests. Indonesian forest’s are being degraded and destroyed by mining, logging and agricultural plantations. Between 1990 and 2007 the country lost more than 29 million hectares of forest, including 21.9 hectares of virgin forests. Due to deforestation and mining many species are on the verge of extinction. Javan and Sumatra rhinos are also on the brink of extinction. Bali tigers and Red Apes are critically endangered designated by the IUCN.

Over the past few years, forests have been converted for oil-palm plantation. Oil palm is an attractive plantation crop because it is the cheapest vegetable oil and produce more oil as compared to other oil seeds. Thousands of hectares of virgin forests are ruined for oil-palm plantation. It is a serious threat to biodiversity and ecological services. It can imbalance the ecological order of nature. Now the best way to clear forests for plantation is by burning. Every year hundreds of thousands of acres of land go in smoke. It causes serious problems for people, it also affects neighboring countries and causes tempers to flare. In 2015 haze caused upward of 73,000 cases of respiratory infections.

The another cause of environmental pollution is mining. The mining companies have dumped appalling amount of waste into local streams. The pure water is tainted with chemicals. It is said that each mining company generates 400-000 tons of waste a day. Due to high levels of copper and sediment fishes have been disappeared from wetlands downstream from the operation.

Air pollution is also another cause of environmental pollution. Air pollution turns pure, fresh and odorless into dirty and smelly air that is harmful for living creatures. Dirty air causes respiratory problems and damage plants and trees. In Indonesia forest fires produced think and smoky haze that covers much of Southeast Asia. It causes respiratory problems like Asthma and Bronchitis and chest allergies. Some experts are of the opinion that particulates may even help cause such diseases as cancer, emphysema, and pneumonia. It has been observed in cities throughout the world, long periods of heavy air pollution have caused illness and death rates to increase dramatically.The environmental situation in Jakarta is grave. About 70% of Jakarta air is contaminated with automobile pollutants. Jakarta is severely choked by smoke and gases produced by vehicles. There are more than 2.3 million motorbikes and above 3 million private cars, buses and taxis in Jakarta polluting the quality of air on daily basis.The government of Indonesia has miserably failed to take measures to address the environmental issues related with the quality of air in Jakarta. Asthma attacks and bronchitis are common disease faced by the residents of Jakarta due to air contamination.

Indonesia has some worst water pollution in Asia. Day by day clean water is becoming serious problem because pure water is tainted with chemicals and fertilizers. The water consumption tends to increase day by day, but the availability of clean water is decreasing due to environmental degradation and pollution. The rate of water resource degradation accounted for 12-30% per capita annually. Other attention should be paid to decreasing of lake water quality. The water qualities of lakes are decreasing slowly due to domestic activities, agriculture and industrial. Another major pollutant of water is oil. Oil enters oceans mainly as a result of oil tanker accidents. Such oil spills ruin our beautiful beaches and kills birds and marine life.

Environmental pollution is a serious threat for mankind. Government should pass and enforce laws to prevent environmental pollution. If major steps should not have been taken to ameliorate the pollution then in the future it would be biggest threat to human existence.

Aqib Farooq Mir

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