"The floods that we now face are all a result of an ecological damage. Our ecology has been completely destroyed," pointed out Balthasar Kambuaya while reviewing the location of the demolished villas in Bogor on Monday.
Balthasar explained that the flooding that had occurred in the past week was mainly influenced by the Asian Monsoon concentrated in Jakarta and West Java and in part, by the heavy rainfall that simultaneously flooded the upstream and downstream of Ciliwung River, along with the tides.
According to Balthasar, compared to the 2007s flooding, the rainfall has not been more than 300 mm a day. Flooding in this year was mainly caused by spatial changes rapidly increasing in the upstream, midstream and downstream areas, especially for settlement.
The rate of ecological damage or environmental degradation in Indonesia year to year has been alarming. It was evident from the decrease in the forest coverage from 49.37 percent in 2008 to 47.73 percent in 2012, or degraded by 1.64 percent within four years.
In the Watershed of Ciliwung, forest coverage has decreased from 9.4 percent in 2000 to 2.3 percent in 2010, a degradation rate of 7.14 percent in the past 10 years, or 0.7 percent a year.
Balthasar stated that the ecological damage in Ciliwung, such as increasing the level of critical land with high erosion and sedimentation and also high fluctuation of water flow between the dry and rainy seasons, were factors that contributed to the flooding in Jakarta and landslide in some areas in Ciliwung upstream.
According to Balthasar, the Watershed of Ciliwung condition increasingly worsened with the difference in the levels of water flow in the dry and rainy season being more than 300-fold.
"Everything happens because of human behavior which is not environmentally friendly, especially in Ciliwung, where garbage is being dumped into the river," he retorted. Reporting by Desi Purnamawati.