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135 Ecological Disasters in 2006: Indonesia

Nearly every country in the world has some kind of ecological disaster on occasions but, I was stunned to read that Indonesia in fact had 135 of them in 2006.

Actually, no, I am not surprised considering the amount of illegal logging and land clearance. These two factors are a disease on the environment of Indonesia and need urgent attention. Here is more about the situation:

Indonesia experienced 135 ecological disasters during the year 2006 due to forest and environmental degradation.

“The disasters started with floods and landslides in Jember, East Java, on January 1, 2006, and closed with floods and landslides in northern Aceh which forced some 70,000 to evacuate to safer areas at the end of last year,” Executive Director of Walhi (Indonesian Environmental Forum) Chalid Muhammad said in Sanur, Bali Province on Monday.

Over the last five year, the impacts of environmental damages had increased three times, Muhammad said in a seminar organized by the Democrat Party.

The ecological disasters caused big material losses, and claimed thousands of lives, he said.

Due to the negligence in managing the environment, some 83 Indonesian areas were prone to disasters and about 90 percent were prone to become victims of the disasters.

Forest exploitation was among the main factors which triggered natural disasters, he added.

“Forest exploitations, both legally with the government`s permits and illegally, have caused serious forest degradation and environmental damages in Indonesia,” Chalid Muhammad said.

Floods and landslide hit Indonesia`s Sumatra and Kalimantan islands end of last years killed about 100 people.

Source: Antara News