The Importance of Auditing Environmental Functions to Minimize Natural Disasters

In this modern world, there are many problems faced by every individual or organization, One of these problems is the environment. Environmental problems have become part of human life, even now environmental problems have become global issues and are important to be discussed because they involve the interests of all human beings.

During the past year, Indonesia was hit by several disasters, one of the disasters was a massive flood in South Kalimantan. The flood flushed down South Kalimantan because of rainfall pouring for 10 constitutives days. Consequently, rivers were no longer able to accomodate excess water so the rivers overflow to the mainland. In addition to natural factors, flooding also occurs due to a decrease a decrease in the number of forests or water catchment area in South Kalimantan due to the expansion of oil palm companies in the upstream areas, thus it causes many forests to be converted into oil palm plantations. Moreover, rampant mining in the last 2 years has been sacrificing forests by dredging land for the extraction of mine coal

Is a duty for government and companies to resolve environment issues which promotes flood in South Kalimantan. A lot of instruments can be utilized to cope the issue in advance. One example is environment audit. An environment audit is a tool to objectively verify environmental management efforts and can help find remedial measures to improve environmental performance, based on predetermined criteria. Environment auditing serves as a process of determining whether all levels or selected levels of an organization comply with regulatory requirements and internal policies and standards which are a strong component of an environmental management program. Environmental audit is also one of the company's proactive effort for environmental protection to improve company's performance toward the environment, and In the end, environment audit can improve company profile in public. Therefore, all of those become reason behind environment audit as a basis for evaluation

Audits of financial statements are carried out by accountants who have adequate qualifications and supervision. Environmental audits are usually outside the competence of accountants and are usually filled by three to four people in a team. The team will consist of technically qualified people from both inside and outside the company with a leader who is independent from the company. From Pasal 51 Ayat (2) UU Nomor 32 Tahun 2009 concerning Environmental Protection and Management states that environmental auditors are required to have an environmental auditor competency certificate which is effective as of October 3, 2010. Criteria for obtaining environmental auditor certification :
1. Comprehend the principles, methodologies, and procedures of environmental audits.
2. Conduct an environmental audit which includes the planning, implementation, conclusion and reporting.
3. Formulate recommendations for corrective steps as a follow-up to the audit environment.

The environmental audit is crucial for the survival of the companies. Companies can protect and maintain the environment around them at the same time anticipate public mistrust for company handling environmental issues in operational practices. In addition, avoiding financial loss such as the closure/dismissal of a business or activity or restrictions by the government, or publications that are detrimental as a result of poor environmental management and monitoring become a form of benefit from the environmental audit itself.