The upcoming Dutch economic mission to Indonesia (8-13 March) will among others discuss the long-standing bilateral collaboration on Integrated Coastal and Water Management. Both countries expect to sign a new MoU Water again in the course of 2020. Wetlands International joins the mission and speaks in seminars in Jakarta and Surabaya about Building with Nature as the integrated, sustainable and participatory way forward for planning, designing and realising infrastructure for coastal, river and delta management.
10 March: Seminar: Coastal Development and Urban Resilience
Indonesia faces unprecedented water related challenges including flooding, land subsidence, water pollution, erosion, and sea level rise exacerbated by climate change. Both coastal protection and urban resilience feature high on Indonesia’s Sustainable Development Goals agenda given their importance to the economy as well as Indonesia’s vulnerability to climate change. Major investments are expected in the coming years to work towards climate adaptive cities and coastal areas.
While the reality of grey infrastructure schemes still dominate the thinking and spending for climate proofing globally, Indonesia has taken leadership in embracing Building with Nature, a comprehensive engineering approach that seeks to enhance the use of natural ecological processes to achieve efficient and sustainable hydraulic infrastructural designs and add value to society (see Building with Nature project in Demak, Central Java, in collaboration with Wetlands International and EcoShape). During this seminar Wetlands International will illustrate this paradigm shift with results achieved on the ground and in knowledge, policy, and capacity building. We will conclude with recommendations for collaboration between Indonesia and the Netherlands to work towards further realising and incentivising the optimal mix of green/blue and grey infrastructure solutions to benefit people and nature.
Indonesia is also keen to share its ambitions and experiences with Building with Nature with other Asian countries facing similar challenges. Indonesia, Wetlands International, EcoShape and the Global Center on Adaptation have therefore initiated the Building with Nature Asia initiative to accelerate adaptation in 5 Asian countries.
12 March: Seminar Water Management & Flood Control (Welang river)
Communities and industries along the Welang river in East Java are suffering more frequent flooding and increased waste and water pollution of the river systems. The seminar will identify approaches for flood protection and water quality restoration in rivers to reduce the risks for flooding, disease, reduced food security and ecological damage. Wetlands International and Deltares will, on behalf of the Building with Nature consortium already active in the Demak district in Indonesia, provide recommendations for an integral Building with Nature approach for the Welang River.