Relocating mangroves for Indonesian highway ‘not that easy,’ expert warns

Relocating mangroves for Indonesian highway ‘not that easy,’ expert warns

PURWOKERTO, Indonesia — An environmental experts in Indonesia has warned against a government plan to relocate mangrove trees along the north coast of the island of Java to make way for a highway and levee project. The project, billed at $557 million, will run 27 kilometers (17 miles) from Semarang, the capital of Central Java province, east to the district of Demak, and is touted as a solution to coastal flooding in communities along the strip. The project’s concession covers almost 540 hectares (1,330 acres) of land, some of which includes swaths of intact mangrove forest. The Central Java environmental agency says it will relocate mangrove trees from three different sites in the project area, spanning a total of 46 hectares (114 acres), as part of efforts to offset the environmental impacts of the highway project. It has not yet determined the new planting site, however The Java transportation network map, with roads in yellow. Image by Gunawan Kartapranata via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0). “You can’t just relocate them and expect the mangroves will just continue to grow. That’s not how it works,” said Rudhi Pribadi, a marine researcher at Diponegoro University in Semarang, told Mongabay Indonesia in a recent interview. Rudhi said that mangroves required particular ecosystem criteria, such as water salinity, to stay alive. He added that a comprehensive study on potential relocation sites would have to be done before any relocation took place. “And it’s not easy to meet those criteria,” he said. Rudhi said much…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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