The 2021 environmental quality index improves

The air quality index, Jakarta
The air quality index has increased from 87.21 in 2020 to 87.23 points in 2021. Photo: ALBRIANSO WAYAPEN

IO – Director-General of Pollution and Environmental Damage Control of the Environment and Forestry Ministry Sigit Reliantoro said Indonesia’s environmental quality index has improved by 1.16 points in 2021, from 70.27 in 2020 to 71.43 in 2021.

“It’s a depiction of Indonesia’s environment quality, measured by the water, air, land and seawater quality,” Sigit said at a virtual event, Tuesday (12/21/2021).

He believes that the increment is not that significant because economic activities and public mobility have returned to normal as the COVID-19 pandemic is coming under control.

A substantial increase could be seen from 66.55 in 2019 to 70.27 in 2020, mainly due to the decline in economic activities during the pandemic. In 2021, despite increasing economic activities, the points still increased to 71.43.

Sigit said the water quality index had not reached the target of 55.20 in 2021. With a score of 53.33 in 2021, it slipped by 0.2 points, compared to 53.53 points in 2020.

Fourteen provinces have successfully met the water quality index target, while 20 others have yet to achieve it. Regions suffering poorer water quality in the index are Bengkulu, Banten, Riau Islands, South Sumatra and West Java.

“One of the major causes is BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) and E.coli, reflecting the fact that many households have not properly managed wastewater disposal. That’s why accelerating sanitation improvements has become an urgent public health issue,” he said.

In 2021, the air quality index rose by 0.02 points, from 87.21 in 2020 to 87.23 in 2021. The seawater quality index, a new index set in 2020, also rose, from 68.94 points in 2020 to 81.03 in 2021, higher than the national target of 59.00 points.

There was a slight increase in the land quality index, from 59.54 in 2020 to 59.72 in 2021. Nevertheless, it was still below the national target of 62.50 points.

Improvement in the peat ecosystem quality index could be seen, from its move from 65.7 points in 2020 to 68 points in 2021, against a target of 66.3 points.

The increase in peat ecosystem quality index, unfortunately, is not enjoyed by all provinces. Others, such as West Sumatra and the Bangka Belitung Islands, showed degradation in quality. (eka)