Environment & Development in Indonesia

The issue of adapting to climate disruption is one of the most critical and urgent problems to solve for Indonesia. In all parts of the country, especially in coastal areas, the impacts of climate change are already visible. Rising sea levels, coastal erosion and flooding increase the vulnerability of local communities, seriously threatening the environment and livelihoods.

A key country in the fight against global warming and environmental protection, Indonesia has the largest area of mangrove in the world. The mangrove is a unique ecosystem that is not only an important reservoir of biological diversity, but also concentrates very large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. With loss rates exceeding those of tropical forests and coral reefs, mangroves are at present the world's most threatened habitat. In Indonesia, the Ministry of Forestry estimates that each year between 50,000 and 100,000 hectares of mangroves disappear.

Mangrove rehabilitation and community development in the North Sumatra region

Addressing environmental and human challenges posed by deforestation and degradation of mangroves, PU and its Indonesian partner Yagasu began the "Rehabilitation of mangroves and community development" project in 2007.

The project has five rehabilitation sites located in the North Sumatra Province, and two sites in the Province of Aceh.

The project objectives

Protecting and rehabilitating mangrove areas at risk while supporting the development of economic activities compatible with environmental protection.

Educating local people (villagers, schools, etc) and supporting economic activities compatible with the conservation of the mangrove (supporting sustainable forestry-aquaculture, etc).

Project methodology

Propagules (propagating material from the mangroves) are collected from natural mangrove trees around the project area.

All species used are native species.

Monitoring methods

Annual monitoring of all plantations is carried out. Throughout the year, ongoing monitoring (of health, attacks by caterpillars and harmful waste) is conducted in the different areas by the field coordinator and Yagasu.

During the first year, the plots are controlled:

  • during planting
  • 3 months after planting
  • 6 months after planting
  • 1 year after planting

Thereafter, the plantations are inventoried once a year for 3-5 years. A database centralizes all the information about the care and maintenance carried out on each plot. It is filled in monthly by the coordinators and enables various indicators to be calculated (number of trees planted, survival rates, etc.).

All plants that die in the first year are replaced to produce survival rates ranging between 90 and 100% one year after planting.

Local partners

  • Yagasu (Yayasan Gajah Sumatera): the project owner, Yagasu is an Indonesian NGO set up in 2001.
  • Local communities: listened to and trained to enable them to understand the project. Without them, reconciling mangrove restoration and sustainable socio -economic development would make no sense. Community organizations, religious leaders, fishing and agriculture leaders, heads of districts and villages are deliberately involved to ensure the sustainability of the project in the long term. They formalize their commitment to the project by signing a partnership agreement.
  • The Mangrove Unit in the Indonesian Forestry Department and the Environment Agency of the Province of North Sumatra, under the auspices of the Indonesian Ministry of the Environment, which has formalized its support for the project at national and provincial levels.
  • The project has established links with international networks of experts on the theme of protecting "mangroves": the Mangrove Information Center in Bali and the Mangroves Action Project in Jakarta is an American association and exchange platform that brings academics, researchers and project managers together.

MADIMAP (Mahakam Delta Integrated Management Program)

PU's MADIPAD project is working in the Mahakam Delta located in the province of East Kalimantan, in the Indonesian part of Borneo.

About half of the 100,000 hectares of mangrove in the delta, which constitutes the largest forest of Nypa fructicans (a variety of mangrove) in the world, was cleared for extensive aquaculture, causing a significant imbalance in the natural environment.

However, the population of the delta, estimated at more than 50,000 people, largely depends on the mangroves and shrimp fishing, stocks of which have drastically fallen.

The very rich animal biodiversity there is also threatened and despite the critical status of this ecosystem, local players have not yet managed to establish sustainable and coordinated management of the delta.

To mitigate the risks arising from climate change threatening the delta, and with its experience in Indonesia (since 2007) as well as its expertise in mangrove restoration and supporting sustainable aquaculture, PU decided to take action in the Mahakam Delta in collaboration with the Indonesian NGO, Yayasan Lestari Mangrove (YML).

The project

The objective of the MADIMAP project is to restore the ecosystem of the Mahakam Delta (East Kalimantan) while allowing local communities to develop economic activities there that are compatible with protecting their environment.

PU's involvement in the Mahakam Delta therefore aims to contribute to reforestation and the protection of forest cover and mangrove ecosystems. In this context, it intends to support the sustainable development of the local economy by implementing adaptation measures and reducing the vulnerability of local communities to the impacts of climate change.

The project places particular emphasis on:

  • reducing the vulnerability of local communities to the effects of coastal erosion, rising sea levels and the degradation of mangrove forest
  • the development of the socio-economic resilience of local communities by strengthening and developing sustainable aquaculture systems and supporting fish processing activities.

Local partners

PU is developing the MADIPAD project in partnership with the Indonesian association Yayasan Lestari Mangrove (YML). A newly created NGO, YML is made up of a team of academics from the region of Samarinda, local elected officials and representatives of local people determined to work actively and collaboratively to restore the delta and as well as working to develop the area, in particular by supporting aquaculture

Technical partners:

  • PUSKIP (aquaculture research centre at the University of Mulawarman, Samarinda), focusing on research and support for the aquaculture industry
  • Climate change research centre at the University of Mulawarman in Samarinda.

Institutional partners:

  • the local Kutai Kartanegara district authorities and PU's contacts in the delta, including the Indonesian departments of Forest, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs and the Environment Agency
  • the planning agency for the province and local communities.

Results expected in 2013

Project activities implemented by PU for 2013 will primarily target two pilot sites on the delta, out of the three planned

The expected results are:

  • establishing a plant nursery and training local communities in the management of the nursery, planting techniques and best practices for monitoring plots
  • training local people in processing products from the mangrove as well as in aquaculture techniques
  • planting 150,000 trees in active aquaculture ponds, in inactive ponds and on river banks
  • developing between 1 and 3 model sustainable aquaculture ponds as well as managing and developing between 1 and 3 active sustainable aquaculture ponds
  • setting up 1 or 2 micro-credit offices working with groups working in the nursery and in planting activities with a view to financing income generating micro-projects
  • raising awareness about biodiversity issues, conservation, shared management of local ecosystems and adaptation to climate change
  • raising the awareness of students in local communities to issues relating to environmental protection and sustainable development
  • involving local authorities, private companies working in the area and representatives of the local people in the integrated management of the Mahakam Delta