Jakarta (ANTARA) - Prof. Dr Eng. Suprihatin, an environmental expert at the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB), highlighted the criticality of conducting environmental impact assessment (Amdal or EIA) as a precautionary measure against disasters, including floods.

"The EIA needs to be considered. The perspective of the EIA must be changed since it has, until now, often been ignored by both the government and community," he stated on Thursday.

In general, the EIA is beneficial in gauging the impact on the environment by certain project activity plans, so as to curtail the occurrence of disasters.

With due attention to the EIA, any construction of buildings, roads, shopping centers, and others, would not negatively impact the environment in future, he pointed out.

He cited as an example that if the government, as the authority, had given due importance to the EIA since long, major flooding in early 2020 would not have occurred.

"Hence, the EIA is crucial since the analysis would help to understand the impact of a project on water flow. Hence, early precautionary measures could be undertaken," he noted.

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In the absence of the EIA, the government can also gauge and take precautionary measures against losses that might arise from disasters caused by environmental damage, he noted.

It not only concerns measurable losses but also other losses that could not be calculated, such as discomfort, illness, and productivity losses.

The EIA is still merely viewed as an administrative requirement, so its implementation has been haphazard or not given much attention.

"Just ignore a discourse to abolish EIA. The environmental impact assessment should be made effective in all areas, especially those with potential disasters," he stated.

The Indonesian government should take a cue from developed nations regarding integrated efforts to prevent flooding.

Developed nations pay attention to the integration between the upstream and downstream areas, so that every development can be planned as well as possible, he added.

Translator: M Zulfikar, Fardah
Editor: Gusti Nur Cahya Aryani
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