“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'.
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