TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Batam Environement Impact Control Agency (Bapedal) announced the island is losing around 800 hectares of mangrove forest during during 2015.
“As large as 620 hectares of mangrove has disappeared from Tembesi, Sagulung, after the regions underwent function switch and a dam was built. The rests are damaged by piling for tourism activity, sand mining and logging for charcoal business,” said Head of Batam Bapedal, Dendi Purnomo in Batam on Sunday June 14.
Dendi also assured that Bapedal takes strict action against practitioners of those activites that cause damages in mangrove forest.
According to Dendi, three suspects have been confirmed by the authority. Those are suspects for the mangrove case in Galang Baru area, one of them is Chinese-national. In addition, one suspect is confirmed for the sand mining in Tanjungkelingking.
The conversion of a 15-hectare mangrove forest into tourism site in Setoko has also been stopped.
“From all of these activities, around 800 hectares of mangrove forest have gone,” Dendi added.
The percentage of Batam’s mangrove forest in 1970 was, according to Dendi, 24 percent of the total island size. Nowadays, only 4.2 percent of the total area is left.