“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
11 December 2014, Manila - Only one year after the deadly Typhoon Haiyan, which left behind over 6,000 casualties, Typhoon Hagupit has taken at least 20 lives before being downgraded to a tropical depression.
Lima, Peru – IUCN, Conservation International and Wetlands International presented a new guidebook to financing wetland carbon programs and projects during the climate conference in Lima last weekend. It will help project and program developers through the maze of financing mechanisms and options out there.
Ede, World Fisheries Day, 21st of November
Some 210 million people live in low elevation areas within 10 km of mangroves and many of these directly benefit from mangrove-associated fisheries. Yet, these people are often unaware of the key role mangroves may play, especially if the associated fisheries are offshore.
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.
Great article in Dutch newspaper 'De Volkskrant' about our pilot project in Northern Java where we are using a 'Building with Nature' approach to restore the severely eroded shoreline. This is a problem that occurs along most of the coastline in Java threatening over 30 million people in the long term. The pilot has very promising results as the title also suggests; translated 'mushy porridge turns into solid coast'.
An unprecedented large group of governments, companies, NGOs and indigenous peoples groups called for action to protect and restore the world’s forests. In a declaration launched at this week’s UN climate talks in New York, targets are set to stop deforestation, support sustainable alternatives and restore forests. This should lead to a cut in carbon emissions to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Wetlands International endorses the Forest Declaration to send a message to world leaders to support a climate agreement in Paris in 2016 and take forests and land use into account.
By Jaap van Thiel de Vries, Ecoshape
Last week, I visited Indonesia together with Femke Tonneijck from Wetlands International to meet our partners that are involved in the development of a Building with Nature approach to solve the severe erosion along the muddy Northern coast of Central Java (Demak district).
Indonesia plans to restore the eroding areas of its coastline in Java and Bali with nature based approaches inspired on Dutch methods. Also other vulnerable coasts in Indonesia will be looked at. The Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), environmental organisation Wetlands International and research institute Deltares last week Friday formally agreed to collaborate in the effort to tackle the erosion problems of Indonesian coasts.
Yesterday, a week-long exchange visit about integrated coastal management by the government of Indonesia to the Netherlands was formally opened by Wim Kuijken, Deltacommissioner of the Netherlands. Both Wim Kuijken and Mr. Eko Rudianto, Director of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia highlighted ‘Building with Nature’ as an effective approach to sustainable coastal management.
- 14 March - A high-level delegation from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia (MMAF) will visit the Netherlands from 17 to 21 March to learn how the Dutch have applied ‘Building with Nature’ techniques for flood prevention. The Director General of Marine, Coast and Small Islands, Dr Sudirman Saad, M.Hum, and the advisor of the Minister, Mr Ukay Karyadi joined by five executives, are interested in meeting with Dutch coastal and delta experts, who specialize in the integration of infrastructure, nature and society.
By Femke Tonneijck -
It was an early Saturday morning in Timbul Sloko, at the North Coast of central Java, Indonesia, and not just any Saturday. It was a day of hope. The community gathered together to discuss the rehabilitation of their lost land.
By Han Winterwerp and Thorsten Balke
If you ever visit a mangrove-mud coast, you will see that the mangroves grow more or less between the waterlines at mean high water and the waterline at the highest tidal level occurring in a year. Understanding the relation between tides and mangroves is therefore essential to rehabilitation efforts.
Author: Yus Rusila Noor, Wetlands International, Indonesia
Often conservation work starts with individual initiatives. The stories of Haji Madsahi and Babah Akong emphasize the value of local knowledge and initiative for the restoration of coastal ecosystems. They have both received awards for their work and Wetlands International now works with them, so that their efforts can be further scaled up.
Authors: Femke Tonneijck, Wetlands International; Bregje van Wesenbeeck, Deltares; and Mark Spalding, The Nature Conservancy
Inhabitants of low lying delta areas are particularly exposed to flooding and erosion caused by storms and hurricanes. These pressures increase with climate change and sea level rise. Coastal wetlands, such as mangroves, can play a key role in damage mitigation during disasters, as well as in stabilising coastlines. They also contribute to aquaculture and fisheries. Integration of ecosystem-based coastal protection in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction policies and resulting measures to conserve these landscapes are essential if mangroves are to keep protecting us. Full article featured in Outreach Magazine.
Cambridge, UK. A new study maps out the amount of carbon stored by mangrove ecosystems in various parts of the world.
By Mark Spalding
My colleagues and I have just worked out how much carbon there is in the world’s mangrove forests, give or take a bit. And we mapped it. And here’s why these findings are tremendously important.
By Han Winterwerp
In my previous blogs, I have tried to convince you that the erosion of mangrove-mud coasts is directly related to thoughtless land-use. Though the observations are self-evident, we need to understand the underlying physical processes before we can think of mitigating measures. And that is only possible if we understand the behavior of a healthy mangrove-mud coast.
Demak district, Indonesia. This week will see the start of the construction of 2 permeable structures to protect the severely eroding coastline of Timbul Sloko village in Northern Java.
- By Stefan Verschure
I spent 4 months doing fieldwork in Timbul Sloko, a small village in Demak District, on the North coast of Central Java (Indonesia). I was there as part of a Wetlands International project to restore the eroding mud coast of the village through hybrid engineering.
A new report by The Nature Conservancy and Wetlands International shows that mangroves can adapt to rising sea levels by building up soils in some locations, allaying fears that mangroves may be lost as sea levels rise. This is important because mangroves provide risk reduction services against coastal hazards such as waves and storm surges.
In my previous blogs, I described the large losses of our mangrove heritage, in spite of the great value of these ecosystems. Today, I argue that these losses are caused by thoughtless land-use.
By Han Winterwerp and Bregje van Wesenbeeck
In my first blog, I introduced the term “ecosystem services”, which has become a popular way to refer to the value of ecosystems. This is an important concept as it provides a counter-argument to the often narrow-minded and short-eyed approach of economics.
By Han Winterwerp -
In my previous blog, I have tried to explain the importance of mangrove mud coasts. Of course, these coasts are beautiful, exotic environments, with rare species, such as the mud skipper and numerous crabs, as well as rare birds.
By Han Winterwerp -
I am an engineer. I am a civil engineer and I work with “cohesive sediment”, which is a fancy term for mud. Mud is all over the place, in lakes and rivers, in river mouths (estuaries) and inlets, along the coast and in the deep ocean.
Geneva, Switzerland – A new report on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), co-authored by Wetlands International, emphasises the enormous economic value of wetlands. TEEB For Water and Wetlands highlights the key role played by wetlands as natural infrastructure and the multitude of enormously productive services they provide around the world. The continued loss of wetlands illustrates the need for improved policy making and business decision making that accounts for their true value.
Ede, the Netherlands - Mangroves can help protect coastal communities by reducing the height and power of waves generated by storms, and by reducing coastal flooding during tropical cyclones, a new report by The Nature Conservancy and Wetlands International reveals. Added to other roles in erosion protection and diminishing the power of waves, mangroves can therefore play an important role in coastal defence and disaster risk reduction.
Ede, the Netherlands - A new report by The Nature Conservancy and Wetlands International proves that mangrove forests protect coastal populations and infrastructure against wind and swell waves. Preventing damage to coastal infrastructure and flooding, mangroves reduce wave height by as much as 66% over 100 metres of forest. With coastal populations vulnerable to the impacts of extreme events such as storms and hurricanes, these organisations say mangrove management needs to be included in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction efforts in coastal areas worldwide.
By Vera Coelho
What would you do if your community was hit by a tsunami? When confronted with disaster, human responses vary: despair, anger, disbelief, sorrow. Planting trees might not be the first thing that comes to mind.
Wetlands International is co-hosting an international conference to promote sustainable management of Brunei’s peat forests and mangrove forests on 22-23 March at Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. The event is organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources of Brunei Darussalam through the Forestry Department and is organised in conjunction with this year’s World Forestry Day celebrations on 21 March 2012.
Rapid land use change for intensive agriculture and urban functions has a devastating impact, particularly on wetlands. In the light of World Migratory Bird Day 2011 on 14-15 May, Wetlands International calls for attention on the implications of land use change for waterbirds.
February 2, 2011. World Wetlands Day is this year celebrated with the theme “Forests for Water and Wetlands”. Wetlands International marks this day by launching its new initiatives to reverse the loss of the world’s wetland forests such as forested peatlands and mangroves.
Wetlands International is very concerned about the devastating threats of the BP oil spill on the south coast of the US. This disaster shows the permanent threat of offshore oil winning on very precious natural areas. The precautionary principle should be applied when considering oil winning activities in similarly highly vulnerable coastal areas.
At this moment, the global governmental Convention on Biodiversity (CBD - SBSTTA) holds their meeting in Paris. The protection and restoration of peatlands in order to conserve their carbon stocks is an important item on the agenda. Peatlands all over the world store enormous amounts of carbon. Their degradation is causing CO2 emissions equivalent to 8% of all global fossil fuel emissions. These huge emissions are not addressed under the Kyoto Protocol at all. There is now a major opportunity for the CBD to take leadership over this issue.
On invitation of the Philippine government, the Dutch Risk Reduction (DRR)-team visited Manilla and Tacloban early July to assess the possibilities to protect the coastline in and around Tacloban by creating hard engineering works, planting mangrove trees and reclaiming land. The coordinator of Wetlands International in Philippines was part of this team.
News from http://www.dutchwatersector.com/.
In my previous blogs, we discussed that a healthy mangrove-mud coast is dynamic, and how these dynamics are controlled by the tide and the waves. In a healthy coastal system, these processes, which bring sediment towards the coast and take the sediments away, are more or less balanced.
Celebrating World Wetlands Day, today's spotlight is on the importance of wetlands for reducing impacts of climate change. Globally, there is a growing recognition of the key role that the protection and restoration of wetlands like marshes, peatlands, mangroves and coral reefs can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to its impacts. Now, this recognition has to be turned into action.
Mansoa, Guinea Bissau. Government officials have launched a new mangrove project in Guinea Bissau, which will demonstrate how better management of mangrove forests can help in reducing coastal climate change impacts. The project aims to deliver the knowledge base for the development of national policies in the fight against climate change impacts. NGO Wetlands International, which is leading the project, emphasizes that this project is an example for many coastal areas in Africa and in the rest of the world.
An initiative from Wetlands International Indonesia Programme (WIIP) and IUCN Netherlands has brought all stakeholders of the shrimp value chain together to improve the sustainability of shrimp production in coastal areas in Indonesia. Under the Sustainable Shrimp & Coastal Restoration and Conservation Program (SSCRC) efforts to improve systems in order to meet certification requirements are being combined with restoration of coastal mangrove ecosystems.
Global NGO Wetlands International has further expanded its reach and impact on conservation, restoration and sustainable use of wetlands. For the fifth consecutive year it has grown in both financial and operational size. This concludes the newly published Annual Review 2008.
Wetlands International and a coalition of NGOs have joined forces to demand palm oil company AAL to immediately halt the conversion of the Tripa peat forest in Aceh province, Indonesia into a palm oil plantation. The Tripa rainforest is home to the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan.
Wetlands International Africa has launched the Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Network (BIOMAC) in Guinea Bissau at the 4th Forum of the Regional Coastal and Marine Conservation Programme for West Africa (PRCM). BIOMAC addresses the many challenges facing the West African coast through information sharing, environmental monitoring, rapid reaction systems and capacity building. The mission of BIOMAC is ‘building strategic partnerships to protect our marine and coastal heritage’.
A new and stunning book was published by Wetlands International on intertidal mudflats of the Yellow Sea, which are under critical threat by unsustainable development. The book offers a wonderful photographic journey that follows the migration of shorebirds flying from their breeding grounds in the Arctic through East Asia to Australia.
Green Coast partners in Aceh (Wetlands International and WWF) have submitted an official request to Aceh Provincial Government to endorse, support and protect the 11 Green Coast demonstration sites after the partners will be phased out Mid 2009.
In the speech on behalf of the International Organising Partners of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP 10) in Korea, Jane Madgwick, CEO of Wetlands International welcomes the steps to increase the status of Ramsar Sites, especially with regard to Lake Natron in Tanzania, the Tana Delta and Lake Naivasha in Kenya. At the same time, there is disappointment about the little progress in addressing water, climate and development policies with a link to wetlands.
The theme Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People is a central topic at the intergovernmental Ramsar Convention on Wetlands COP 10 (Oct. 28 - Nov. 4) at Changwon, Korea. The publication Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People made by Wetlands International is downloadable right now.
Wetlands International advocates chances for the proposed resolutions of this week’s Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Many proposed changes demand attention for the link between wetland loss and climate change and for biofuels.
This is the Wetlands International Global Newsletter of Oct./Nov. 2008. It is filled with news on wetlands and climate change, migratory birds, international conferences, research, videos and publications.
Green Coast, a post-tsunami coastal restoration program led by Wetlands International, has been assessed independently as a highly cost-effective and successful approach to disaster risk reduction.
Read more news from our office on Our offices page.
Communications and Advocacy Department
Tel. +31 (0)318 660933
P.O. Box 471
6700 AL Wageningen
Tel. +31 (0) 318 660 910
Chamber of Commerce Reg. no.: 9099028
RSIN Number: 806703726