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69% of Indonesia’s Coral Reefs destroyed

Monday November 13, 2006

An approximate 69% of the 2.5 million hectares of coral reefs found in the Indonesian seas, have now been destroyed, and will need the concerted efforts of many parties including coastal populations to restore, said Sapta Putra Ginting, Executive Secretary of Coremap Phase II, in Padang, West Sumatra ,  last week. 

Coremap will build a network of 400 observation stations throughout the archipelago to study the condition of coral reefs in . Ten percent of the world’s coral reefs are found in the Indonesian seas. Coral reefs protect coasts from erosion and, when they are well cared for, may be used in cosmetics and medicines, besides being excellent tourist attractions. 

Whereas, 70% of a total area of 25,984 hectares of coral reefs found in West Sumatra are today in very poor condition, caused by the use of explosives and cyanide in fish catch, and broken by ships anchors. Worse still, on the island of Mentawai , inhabitants use coral reefs as building material, because of a lack of other materials.