Global warming is not a new issue, but it has already become the most current and contentious environmental phenomenon, which has many effects on our planet. It is affecting the rising sea levels, the melting of icecaps, significant worldwide climatic changes that altered patterns of agriculture, increased extreme weather events, and the expansion of the range of tropical diseases . For Indonesia, this phenomenon is a big business, because forest destructions in Indonesia make this country not only became the third largest greenhouse polluter , which cause global warming, but also became the country with the world’s fastest forest destroyer according to the Guinness Book of World Records . Now, these problems became a big threat for Indonesia, particularly for food security. Thus, I will try to explain the impact of this phenomenon to the food security in Indonesia.
In Indonesia, these issues became more important, considering to the geographic position of Indonesia, which is very susceptible to the impact of climatic changes. Indonesia is an archipelago country with the total land is 1.9 million square km, which divided by 17.000 islands. Meanwhile the sea territory is 5.8 square km, including The Exclusive Economic Zone of Indonesia. The capital city of Indonesia and almost all capital cities of the provinces are on the beach areas, and 65% of the Indonesian people live on the coastal beach areas (81 thousand long way beaches). Besides that, Indonesia is an agrarian country with sensitive effects of productivities because of the global warming. Globally, as the third biggest tropical forest country in the world, the position of Indonesia determines the world’s climate.
The effects of global warming for Indonesia have made the climate change, such as downscale rainfall patterns in the wet season, which made the crop production not stabile and impacts agriculture in Indonesia, high percentage of rainfall in some areas (including agricultural areas), which potentially causes floods because of bad irrigation system and improper water penetration and purification areas. For instance, from 1995 until 2005, 1.926.636 hectares of paddy fields submerged by floodwaters. From that amount, the flood destroyed 471.711 hectares of paddy fields, which almost ready for harvesting. Moreover, 2.131.579 hectares of wet rice fields were dried up, and 328.447 hectares within that rice fields were harvest failed. Meanwhile last year, 189.773 hectares of rice fields failed to harvest -– from 577.046 hectares of wet rice fields and dried up rice fields-. This year until February, the Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia said, the total amount of agriculture fields, which failed to be harvested because of flood and dried up, is up to 33.000 hectares of fields. It is not definite amount yet, remembering on March tens of hectares of the fields also flooded because of the high percentage of rainfalls, which made the irrigation management not optimal .
According to Rosamand Naylor, the Director of the Program on Food Security and the Environment from Stanford University, the anomaly climate of El Nino, which even being worst because of the global warming, will make the significant impact for rice production in Java and Bali regions because of the delay of rain season. On July – September, Naylor predicted that the food plants will be failed for harvesting because improper irrigations . On 2002, Rosamond Naylor and friends had made research about “Using El Nino/Southern Oscillation climate data to improve food policy planning in Indonesia”. This research said that the climate anomaly of El Nino could reduce the rice production until 4.8 million of unmilled paddy rice, or the same like 3.2 million tons of milled rice .
The global warming also influences the raising of magnitude and frequency of El Nino that causes the forest fires increased, such as happened in Indonesia on 1987, 1991, 1994, and 1997/1998. The economic damage because of the forest fires on 1997 and 1998 up to US $ 8.855 million, including plantations US $ 319 million and food plants (according to the decrease of the rice production) up to US $ 2.400 million. Considering all the realities above, it is undoubtedly that Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change through the report, titled “Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” on 6 April 2007 assumed that the climate changes will threaten food production in Indonesia.
The world commitment in mitigation global warming through reducing carbon emissions by 5.2 percent from 1990 levels has to be done. Moreover, developed countries already helped Indonesia in saving Indonesian forest, such as through the program of Clean Development Mechanism. Nevertheless, it does not matter, that they also have to reduce the consuming of fossil energy and develop alternative energy sources that do not lead to the production of greenhouse gases.
Indonesia’s record rates of destruction make the country not only the fastest forest destroyer but also the third largest greenhouse polluter following the United States and China. Up to 25% of greenhouse gas emissions come from tropical forest clearance . This is the time for Indonesia to make program of restoration national ecosystem, development and management forest, and moratorium logging in some areas to save the forest, but on the other hand, governments of the EU, China, Japan and North America must also make sure that their countries do not become clearinghouses for products of forest destruction. Otherwise, this dishonor belongs to them as well.
Moreover, government also has to build the identification and information system about the effects and the management of the climate changes and improving all factors in agriculture sides, considering our adaptation in the climatic changing is very low.
At sum, I want to emphasize that the phenomenon of global warming made the climate change very substantial and affects our earth imbalance. Nowadays it became worst after some deforestation happened more often in Indonesia. It has dramatic effects on future crop production and food security in Indonesia and influences other countries. Therefore, Indonesian government has to start of doing some programs, in order to stop or at least to minimize deforestation. These programs need support not only from Indonesian side, but also from other countries that play role in supporting clearinghouses for products of forest destruction, so that we can establish “Earth in Balance”.
- Houghton, RA (2003) Revised estimates of the annual net flux of carbon to the atmosphere from changes in land use and land management 1850 – 2000. Tellus 55B: 378-90; Houghton, RA (2005a) Tropical Deforestation as a source of greenhouse emissions.