The Lake Sentarum, which is located in the middle of Borneo, functions as a water regulator where it holds and keeps the water clean, then distributes the water downstream so that there is no drought in the river, namely the Kapuas River in the dry season. Located in Kapuas Hulu District which is dubbed the Conservation District with an area of ​​1,320 km2, The Sentarum Lake National Park is also a habitat for various flora and fauna both water and surface. The DSNP that we imagine is a lake that stretches out wide, but actually, it is a collection of many lakes that are scattered and connected by rivers. Lake Sentarum is in the Heart of Borneo (HOB) landscape. This lake area has been included in the list of the most important wetlands in the world since 1994. Several types of fish pass through this lake in their reproductive cycle, including Jelawat (Leptobarbus hoevenii), Menyadin (Osteochilus triporos), Belantau (Macrochirichthys macrochirus), and Tapah (Wallago leeri). Sea pigeons (Sterna spp.) Also, migrate from the coast to Lake Sentarum National Park to lay their eggs

Water is an important factor in lakes, because clean water provides many benefits to living things, both flora, fauna, and humans. There are groups of people who lived in the Lake Sentarum area before the area was designated as a national park. The community originally came from areas around the lake such as Selimbau and Lanjak who were working as fishermen at that time or what is also known as periau. Due to the abundance of resources, especially fish, over time the people who initially came only to look for fish then settled in the lake area on the riverbank. The reason is that in the riverbanks there are water sources that are always available even during the dry season. Until now, the community works in the area of ​​Lake Sentarum. Their main jobs are still as fishermen and side jobs such as selling groceries, swallowing business, Kratom gardening, and honey bee businessmen.

Apart from being fishermen, the main income of the community is as a honey entrepreneur, both providing a place to live for bees and also as a seller. One of the residents in the lake area at Batu Rawan Resort, Batu Rawan Hamlet, has 700 honeybee residences or what is known as tikung. We cannot imagine that there will be only 700 of them for the other communities who are below that, of course, there are also many. There are still many natural resources that become the source of people’s income, that’s because people are still friendly with nature. By preserving it, nature will also reward more with abundant resources.

The threat of Damage to the Lake Sentarum Ecosystem

TF Team documentation, one of the oil palm plantation companies in Kapuas Hulu District

The fever of oil palm plantations has reached Kapuas Hulu District, more or less in 2004 oil palm plantation permits began to spreading in Kapuas Hulu, this is the right reason as a substitute for community production from cutting wood to planting oil palm and oil palm labor. This reason is according to the Kapuas Hulu District government to grant permits to oil palm plantation companies and the central government through the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to release several forest areas or forest areas to develop oil palm plantations.

Now the area around the Lake Sentarum area has become land for oil palm plantations and others which used to be wilderness areas which became a buffer zone area in the lake area to protect water contamination. One of the causes of the contamination of Lake Sentarum water is the construction of plantation canals which drain directly into the river so that water can be contaminated either from erosion from land or from chemicals contained in fertilizers, thus threatening the habitat of the aquatic biota in it. We can see the concession areas of oil palm companies in the vicinity of Lake Sentarum on the map below.

Figure 1. Map of Oil Palm Plantation Concession Permits in Kapuas Hulu District.

On the map above, it is very clear that the area around Lake Sentarum / TNDS has now been converted into oil palm plantations. As for the names of companies around the lake such as PT. Kapuas Bio Agro, PT. Khatulistiwa Agro Abadi, PT. Buana Tunas Sejahtera, PT. Sentrakarya Manunggal, PT. Kapuasindo Palm Industry and PT Bumi Tani Jaya. All these companies are the closest and directly adjacent to the Lake Sentarum / TNDS area. Some of these companies even have their permit areas included in conservation areas in the form of national parks and protected forests. For more details, we can see this in the following image.

There is a picture on the side that clearly shows that the company PT. Khatulistiwa Agro Abadi and PT. Bumi Tani Jaya, the area permit is included in the National Park Area (which is purple in color), namely the Lake Sentarum National Park. There are also several companies such as PT. Bumi Tani Jaya, PT. Buana Tunas Sejahtera, PT. Sawit Kapuas Kencana and PT. Kapuas Bio Agro whose concession area is included in the protected forest area.

This condition is very threatening to the survival of living things locally and has a negative impact globally. The negative impact of the concession area that is not properly managed will cause pollution to the environment, one of which is erosion and chemical fertilizers. Oil palm plantations and oil palm plantations require sufficient water sources to meet the productivity of the fruit they will produce, so making canals in each plantation block is a solution made by the company to fulfill it. Given the plantation area that we can see directly, there is no land cover such as grass, leaves, and trees when facing the rainy season, the rainwater drops directly on the soil surface without any obstructions (filters) causing soil particles to be carried away by the rainwater in the surface runoff to the canal first then to the river. Evidence of water that contains soil particles, the water is cloudy in color from white, gray, yellow to reddish.

Figure 2. The Lake Sentarum area is polluted by soil particles

The image above is the result of satellite imagery, it shows the difference in the color of the water, which is dark on the top and at the bottom along with the river is brown and some are mixed with the basic color is black and become a dark brownish-black color. This is clear evidence of pollution resulting from land erosion that occurs during the rainy season. This condition greatly affects the survival of aquatic biota, especially those that are sensitive to changes in water, so that the impact can lead to the extinction of certain species. If this condition lasts for a long time, it can cause silting in the river and even in the lake.

The flow from the canal belonging to PT Kapuasindo Palm Industry which is directly dumped into the river

The plantation permit area to enter the lake and the Conservation Area belongs to PT Khatulistiwa Agro Lestari and PT Kapuas Bio Agro

The concession area of PT Buana Tunas Sejahtera, there is an area in the river area that does not have a river buffer zone.

PT. Buana Tunas Sejahtera on SK 259 / Kpts-II / 2000, inside the PT. BTS entered a forest area of 253 hectares. Prior to the change in forest area/release of forest area from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, 253 Ha forest area had already been planted with oil palm. After changes to the forest area in West Kalimantan with Decree Number 936 / Menhut-II / 2013 and Decree Number 733 / Menhut-II / 2014, the 253 Ha forest area has changed to another designated area (APL). This means that as long as there has been no change in the forest area, PT. BTS has carried out the eviction of the Forest Area. Not only does it threaten the existence of Lake Sentarum with canals without an indication that the buffer zone will also displace the Forest Area, prior to the release or change of the Forest Area.

What will happen?

As a result of changes in the ecosystem, from field findings now traditional fishermen catch fish is not what it used to be. Where people easily get fish and the large number of processed freshwater fish from Kapuas Hulu which floods the cities to the provincial capital of West Kalimantan, Pontianak City. This is also felt by forest honey breeders, who used to be not far from looking for forest honey, now they have to look for forest honey deep into the forest.

The conversion of forest land to oil palm plantations has had an impact on changes in river water flowing into Lake Sentaraum, which will then also have an impact on the existing fish and will eliminate other animals and plants. In addition, there will be silting of the lake caused by the soil that is carried by the current of rainwater flowing into the lake. If this happens to Lake Sentarum, there will be a water crisis and a major flood disaster.

The impact of forest and Lake Sentarum damage on the people of Pontianak City

Pontianak City as the last downstream of the Kapuas river line has a close relationship with forest and river areas in Kapuas Hulu Regency and other districts because until now the Kapuas river water has been used as a source of clean water for the people of Pontianak City. The damage to the Lake Sentarum ecosystem as a reservoir for high rainwater discharge during the rainy season and a source of water reserves during the dry season will have a direct impact on the condition of river water that empties into Pontianak City. Then the forest as an area/water catchment area and a barrier to the rate of water when floods will lose their function when it is damaged or lost. Thus, the city of Pontianak, which is downstream of the Kapuas River, will be affected by disasters such as floods and droughts.

Of course, this must be the concern of the Pontianak City government and also the West Kalimantan Provincial government so that the government needs to conduct an overall evaluation of the existence of the companies around Lake Sentarum. In addition, they must also have the courage to tell the central government that the release or change of forest areas will have an impact on the community’s clean water sources and will have a serious impact on the sustainability of the existing ecosystem.



Written by: IDM


No Comments

Post A Comment