Indonesia's marine biodiversity is at risk
The research indicates that up to 90 percent of seagrass beds in Indonesia have been extensively damaged and degraded.
Research showed that the seagrass meadows of Indonesia, located in the place with the most marine biodiversity on the planet, suffer from high environmental degradation.
Along six million square kilometers, a place known as the " Amazon of the sea " is spread, a jewel of oceanic biodiversity in which 76 percent of the known coral species, 6 of the 7 existing species of sea turtles and at least 2,228 species of reef fish hide among seagrasses.
The research, published in Science of the Total Environment, indicates that up to 90 percent of seagrass beds in Indonesia have been extensively damaged and degraded over the past five years.
The seabed of the vast Indonesian archipelago is a key part of the famous Coral Triangle, an area of the western Pacific Ocean widely known as the 'center of the world's marine biodiversity'. Its meadows are considered a key marine resource, and it is estimated that 126 million people depend on them, according to figures from WWF.
Pastures or seagrasses are habitats near the coasts and they are composed of marine plants that provide important food and shelter for animals at sea.
In the findings, researcher Richard Unsworth, from the University of Swansea, discussed with his team the possible solutions to the problems faced by these ecosystems, including the importance of community-led conservation actions.
On a series of small islands in eastern Indonesia, seagrasses were threatened by sediment and nutrient runoff from the land due to the degradation of riverbanks.
As a result, the replanting of riparian vegetation along the rivers as an incentive plan with local farmers has reduced the flow of these pollutants into the sea.
Richard Unsworth said, "Our research is recording for the first time how an area of the world so critically important to biodiversity is rapidly losing a key marine resource."
"This loss of seagrasses is a terrible problem because the habitats in Indonesia are of great importance for the daily supply of food and means of general life. Without seagrasses and fish habitat, many people in Indonesia could not feed their families, "said the scientist.
Professor Rohani Ambo-Rappe of Hasanuddin University (Indonesia), who was a collaborator in the research, said, "The poor state of Indonesia's seagrasses will compromise its resistance to climate change and will result in the loss of its capacity to block carbon dioxide and provide important fishing habitats. "