Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Environment and Forestry Ministry emphasized that protecting and managing forests sustainably is one of the efforts that can ensure water storage and quality.

M. Saparis Soedarjanto, the ministry's Director of Planning and Supervision of Drainage Basin, explained that the rise in population will increase the intervention in forest areas that have water-regulating functions.

"Natural forests increase water retention, while man-made solutions like reservoirs and dams also play a role," he remarked during a discussion of the 32nd World Water Day in Jakarta on Monday.

The combination of these two methods is important, as sustainable forests can be a solution to water quality issues, he added.

"If we develop forests, we improve water regulation to ensure its amount is sufficient and the quality is good and to encourage natural cleaning of polluted water," he explained.

Forest conservation benefits both natural water bodies like lakes and artificial ones like reservoirs and dams, he said.

Not only that, water management can support the energy sector, considering that sedimentation has an effect on the turbines of hydroelectric power plants.

He also drew attention to the waste issue as an important factor in maintaining water quality. He cited as an example that the mountainous Situ Gunung area serves as a water source for Jakarta City.

If the area is dirty, then it will affect the surrounding area, he cautioned.

Related to the water policy, Indonesia will hold the 10th World Water Forum (WWF) scheduled in Bali on May 18–25. The forum provides a unique platform where the water community and key decision-makers can collaborate and make long-term progress on global water challenges.

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Translator: Prisca V, Kenzu
Editor: Anton Santoso
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