Nusa Dua, Bali (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is seeking to control water pollution in Lake Batur, Bangli district, Bali, as the lake is one of the 15 critical lakes nationwide.

"Why are these 15 lakes a priority? This is because their condition is critical," said Inge Retnowati, the ministry's Director of Land Water and Mangrove Rehabilitation, on the sidelines of the 10th World Water Forum (WWF) in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Thursday.

While she did not provide details on the current pollution level in Lake Batur, the largest in the area, she emphasized the need for improved water pollution control, both in the lakes themselves and in their surrounding water catchment areas.

Retnowati said that water pollution can potentially occur due to agricultural or fishing activities in lake bodies.

Pollution in catchment areas that supply lake water can also result from household activities.

Everything in catchment areas spills into lakes, including pollutants and sediment erosion, which results in shallowing.

Activities in the lake body must be controlled so that water quality does not decline, as witnessed in Lake Batur.

Lakes are also an important water source for drinking, agriculture, fisheries, transportation, and energy, which can be utilized not only by humans but also by plants and animals.

Therefore, comprehensive spatial planning regarding boundaries and activities in lake body areas and catchment areas needs to be pursued, Retnowati said.

"Carrying out activities in water catchment areas and in water bodies is not wrong. However, these activities need to be carried out in environmentally friendly ways and with sustainable management," she explained.

The government is currently focused on saving 15 priority lakes in Indonesia, including Lake Batur, in accordance with Presidential Regulation Number 60 of 2020 concerning Saving National Priority Lakes.

With around 2,000 lakes in Indonesia, the government still needs further assessments to determine the condition of all of them.

During the 10th World Water Forum, Indonesia's proposal to establish World Lakes Day was approved as part of the ministerial declaration produced at the forum.

However, Retnowati emphasized that World Lakes Day is not only meant to be a celebration but also to emphasize and remind people of the importance of lake governance.

"The establishment of Lakes Day is to remind us of the need for more precise action and more concrete commitment," she said.

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Translator: Dewa Ketut Sudiarta Wiguna, Katriana
Editor: Anton Santoso
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