Mumtadar called from the pond where he was setting nets. Life was good since they planted the mangroves along the dyke, he said. He caught more fish in his pond, and they grew bigger and quicker.
by Fred Pearce
“The wave was higher than the trees. The sea came right over the village. Every building was destroyed, including all 300 houses. About 180 people were killed, more than half the population. The only people who survived were those who ran for the hills.” That’s how they tell it in the cafe at the entrance to Keude Unga on Aceh’s west coast, which took the full brunt of the tsunami.
by Fred Pearce
Layeun is famous among the tsunami villages of Aceh. Bill Clinton came here earlier this year and brought the media. He called for new help to rebuild the lives of the fishing community whose homes disappeared beneath the waves during the tsunami.
By Fred Pearce
Precisely 256 people were living in Gampong Baro on the day the tsunami hit. Just under half of them died. Just 24 bodies were found, while 97 are registered forever “missing”. Their names and ages are all listed on a stone memorial in the heart of the village.
by Fred Pearce
Azhar, leader of Lham Ujong, is a proud man. Proud of the pictures in his album of him shaking hands with dignitaries bringing aid money to the village. Proud of his Olympic torch, which he helped take round Jakarta in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics of 2008 – a privilege he was nominated for by Wetlands International. And proud especially of the trees planted in huge numbers round his village in the aftermath of the tsunami.
[This article originally appeared at Yale Environment 360, a publication of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.]
The tsunami that struck Indonesia in 2004 obliterated vast areas of Aceh province. But villagers there are using an innovative microcredit scheme to restore mangrove forests and other coastal ecosystems that will serve as a natural barrier against future killer waves and storms.
By Fred Pearce
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
What are the next steps for RSPO and its members in relation to palm oil and peatlands? 2013 was an important year with new Principles & Criteria (P&C ) adopted to address ‘peatsoil subsidence’ and ‘greenhouse gases’, both resulting from peatland drainage for palm oil plantations. Now the challenge is to get these P&C’s applied and monitored successfully, and to even go some steps further and turn the RSPO into the frontrunner for the entire sector. Wetlands International participates in the 12th roundtable to raise further awareness on peatlands, particularly on ‘peat soils subsidence’ and to provide input and guidance for next steps for the RSPO and its members.
Het Nederlandse Rode Kruis, CARE Nederland en Wetlands International lanceren vandaag samen met Nudge de ‘Dijk van een Wijk’-competitie. Dat maakte Sander de Kramer maandag namens de organisaties bekend in het programma Koffietijd op RTL4. De competitie wordt georganiseerd om mensen in Nederland op een leuke manier bewust te maken van hoe zij samen met anderen hun directe leefomgeving op een duurzame manier leefbaarder en veiliger kunnen maken. Mensen met een idee ter verbetering van hun wijk rond de thema’s energie, groen, water of veiligheid, kunnen zich aanmelden op www.dijkvaneenwijk.org. Het winnende wijkteam ontvangt een geldbedrag van €10.000,- voor de uitvoering van hun idee.
Study Offers Practical Guidance for Coastal Decision-Makers
Zoological Society of London, United Kingdom, 6 November, 2014: A new guidebook on mangroves as a coastal defence finds that mangroves can reduce risk from a large number of coastal hazards. The role of mangroves in coastal defence has been widely promoted since the tsunami that struck South-East Asia in 2004. Yet, the level of protection provided by mangroves has been subject to debate.
At the recent Wetland Solutions Stakeholder Forum in Rotterdam held on 22 September 2014, we interviewed some of our stakeholders on why wetlands are important to them. Here is what they said:
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