Urban Expansion Has a Bad Impact on Land Vertebrates in Jakarta

  • As time goes by , several types of Javanese endemic animal species that once existed in Jakarta are no longer found.
  • These terrestrial vertebrate species include the Javan langur, pancawarna parrot, srigunting bird, grass lizard and otter.
  • Habitat fragmentation due to urban expansion is said to be the main cause of the decline and even loss of biodiversity that previously existed in an area with a population of around 10.67 people.
  • The existence of biodiversity in urban areas is necessary considering that the threat of climate change and various environmental problems are increasing.

Urbanization, which has given rise to urban expansion, has had a major impact on the decline of land vertebrates such as amphibians, mammals and birds in Jakarta. In fact, sadly, several types of Javanese endemic animal species that once existed have become difficult to find over time.

Ady Kristanto, Coordinator of the Jakarta Birdwatcher's Society , assesses that urban expansion caused by urbanization has had a major impact on the living space of these animals .

Habitat fragmentation is said to be the main cause of the decline and even loss of biodiversity that previously existed in an area with a population of around 10.67 people.

Adi gave an example, in the 1985s, when the mangrove forest cover on the north coast of Jakarta was still lush, stretching from the Pantai Indah Kapuk area to Tanjung Priok, Javanese langur primates (Trachypithecus auratus) could still be seen .

However, due to massive commercial and residential development in the northern area of ​​Jakarta, the mangrove ecosystem, which is the habitat of native Indonesian primate species, is increasingly depleting. In fact, based on Government Regulation No.7/1999, the Javan langur is a protected animal.

"Even though urban expansion is not the only factor, the increasingly narrow habitat certainly has a big impact on their population, they could move or even become extinct," said the man born in Jakarta, Tuesday (13/02/2024).

Apart from the animals commonly called budeng, continued the man who took part in a mangrove habitat research project in Muara Angke in 2006, other land vertebrates such as the pancawarna parrot (Hydromis guajanus) , which based on records from the Symbiose Bird Club in 1994-1995, used to exist. at Condet and Pasar Minggu.

However, during his consistent observations since 2001 in Jakarta, he never came across the Javanese bird. Likewise, he had never seen the srigunting bird (Dicrurus macrocercus) which is the symbol of East Jakarta City .

“Reptiles such as grass lizards and otters used to be there too. Now it's no longer visible," he said.

Function Change

Yudhistira Satya Pribadi, Hydrological Analyst at the World Resource Institute (WRI) Indonesia, said that urbanization is developing and has a complex impact on biodiversity .

In general, the development of this city is concentrated along coastlines and large rivers, which are also areas with high levels of biodiversity. Because access to clean water sources as well as ease of transportation, especially in the past, made this area a center of human activity, so that it then developed more rapidly and encouraged the urbanization process.

In this way, many natural functions (forests) which are natural habitats for biodiversity are transformed into various urban features such as housing, agriculture, plantations and industry which significantly increase deforestation, soil and land degradation, and fragmentation and loss of local habitat.

Referring to publications from the Coalition for Urban Transition, in Indonesia itself there has been massive land conversion of up to 73% of agricultural land into land for urban use during the 2000-2014 period.

In the same period, around 10% of forest areas were also converted for urban use. "Urbanization can be a real threat to biodiversity if it is not controlled properly," he explained.

For this reason, according to him, the concept of nature-based solutions (SbA) can be an alternative solution for cities in balancing sustainable development without sacrificing biodiversity.

This is in line with SbA which emphasizes the function and role of various elements in helping reduce various problems that arise in urban areas.

For example, the presence of trees, parks, and urban forests can help efforts to control air pollution, reduce heat, and help water management through expanding rainwater infiltration into temporary water reservoirs.

The existence of various natural features can also provide space for ecosystems and biodiversity to live in the middle of cities.

Needs to be brought back

Helmy Zulhidayat, Head of the Environmental Management Division of the DKI Jakarta Environmental Service, said that to reintroduce an animal or plant species that has long disappeared from Jakarta, it is necessary to bring back the habitat and natural conditions that that species requires.

This is also part of efforts to expand green open space in Jakarta, which currently only reaches 33.34 million square meters or only 5.2%.

Meanwhile, referring to the mandate of Law No.26/2007 concerning Spatial Planning, the ideal standard for the proportion of green open space is 30% of the city area.

"By bringing back their habitat, it will certainly provide many other benefits, such as climate change and providing welfare for humans," explained Helmy.

For him, the status of biodiversity in big cities like DKI Jakarta is determined by the emergence of driving and suppressing factors. The driving factors identified include an increase in population, government policies, weak law enforcement, climate change, and research and technology conditions.

To realize biodiversity conservation and sustainable development of beneficial values, he continued, his party has prepared a DKI Jakarta Provincial Biodiversity Management Master Plan 2020-2024.

Apart from that, the DKI Government has also prepared and updated a biodiversity profile which is the basis for managing biodiversity in DKI Jakarta Province.

This is done because taking sides with biodiversity conservation is very important in the midst of great threats. The alignment in question is in the form of political policies and technical operations.

"Awareness of placing biodiversity as a resource pillar for economic development and sustainable use for the welfare of society in the current and future generations can encourage political commitment and alignment with existing policies," he added.

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