“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.
Much more attention is needed for greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands at the climate negotiations, according to Wetlands International. We will therefore put the spotlights on these carbon rich ecosystems at the Climate Conference in Lima, Peru next week, with the aim to get strong incentives for peatland conservation and restoration in a new climate agreement to be adopted in Paris next year.
Wetlands International is pleased to invite you for an evening reception in the European Parliament on 10 December 2014, hosted by Mr Ricardo Serrão Santos, Member of the European Parliament. The event will bring together Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission and practitioners in Disaster Risk Reduction and development.
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.
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