By: Teuku Haidar Faizasyah – Coral Reef Ambassador form SMAN 68 Jakarta
Indonesia’s coral reefs play a great role in the lives of many, from marine life to the life of people. The coral reefs create a habitable ecosystem for small fish and many other kinds of marine life. Here these small fish protect themselves against strong currents, predators and even find food. If coral reefs were to disappear then these small fish would not be able to thrive. If this happens then other fish and marine life would also feel the impact and eventually the source of living of many people would too. Besides the economic impacts the beauty of underwater parks should be a great concern as the coral reefs reflect the condition of ones seas.
The coral reefs of Indonesia reflect the condition of its seas, when the coral reefs are colorful and full of life then they show how clean the seas are. However, today’s condition is not something that we are proud of. So many destructions of coral reefs in Indonesia that are due to the use of cyanide for fishing, destructive explosives, net trawls and many other factors. People might have done it because they did not have knowledge of how precious the coral reefs are for other creatures and they might not understand how to make a living if the seas are not abundant of beautiful coral reefs. Fortunately, the practices of giving bad impacts on the coral reefs have been reduced over the years as the awareness of local fisherman and many people have increased. Those people have realized that the destruction of coral reefs do in fact inflict harm to their way of living and economic income. These actions have been done by the government and many others who have started teaching these people how to properly fish without harming the environment, such as the actions done by COREMAP to help the government of Indonesia preserve and take care of its corals.
Coral reefs are best thrive in warm oceans with constant temperature and the best location is around the equator. This means, Indonesia is one of the country that is blessed with the existence of the coral reefs as well as other Southeast Asia countries which are situated near the equator. The area has the highest levels of biodiversity in the world’s marine ecosystem, the Philippines and Indonesia holding 77% of the regions coral reefs. Seeing that Indonesia makes up 17% of the world’s coral reefs it can be seen as home for coral reefs and marine life, that is why it is imperative that Indonesia protects and takes care of its seas. Indonesia has 2,915,000 square kilometers of marine area and 51,020 square kilometers of that is the area of the coral reefs, out of that area 82% of it is at risk.
Even though there have been means to stopping the destruction of coral reefs in Indonesia by teaching local fisherman and people to practice safe fishing, we still have many things to do in order to restore our coral reefs such as planting back the coral reefs into the damaged areas. Other threat for the coral reefs is the rise of temperature. As we know due to the global warming, the earth temperature has risen over the past few decades at around 0.1-2 degrees Celsius per year which is still quickly rising. The nature of the coral reefs needs an optimum temperature of about 26-27 degrees Celsius. We need to take action in general to maintain the effect of the global warming by starting to change our habit for example, use less motor vehicle by using bike or walking. We can start today, start from us and encourage our families and friends.
The fact that we now live in an advanced era with billions of people living on this earth, we need to take preventive actions seriously. We need to take care of our earth and think smartly for the future to come. The public needs to learn how to cut gas emissions, or practice smart fishing. We should do our best in any way to help the environment because the earth is the place we live in.
I am positive, the small action that we do today, will create big impacts over time. At the end we can rest assured that our oceans are clean and the coral reefs can be enjoyed by many people. So, everything we do does matter! Let’s keep the beauty of our oceans