Source: CNN Indonesia
Date: 28 February 2020
Jakarta, CNN Indonesia - Global temperatures and sea levels continue to rise every year resulting in coastal cities experiencing devastating floods. Some cities have even sunk because of rising sea levels that are slowly reaching their shores.
Others are sinking due to excessive exploitation of groundwater, creating pressure and volume changes that cause the land to sink.
Reporting the World Economic Forum, Jakarta is the most drowned city. Jakarta's surface level is said to decrease to 6.7 inches per year due to excessive groundwater pumping. Most of the city of Jakarta is predicted to sink by 2050.
Besides Indonesia, ten other cities that will sink are Lagos, Houston, Dhaka, Venice, Virginia Beach, Bangkok, New Orleans, Rotterdam, Alexandria, and Miami.
Greenpeace sea campaigner Arisyah Nasution said that in general coastal cities in Indonesia are in danger of losing a number of lands in their coastal areas permanently in the next two to three decades.
He said four factors affect coastal areas such as Jakarta will sink or lose some of its lands. First, he said that Jakarta and the coastal areas will sink due to land subsidence.
"Secondly, the destruction of naturally important ecosystems on the coast, especially mangroves, coral reefs and seagrass (marine ecosystems destruction)," Arifsyah told CNNIndonesia.com, Thursday (27/2).
Arifsyah said that rising sea levels and unsustainable development in coastal areas, like reclamation, are also two other causes that have caused Jakarta and several coastal areas to sink.
Furthermore, Arifsyah said that cities other than Jakarta that experienced the threat of sinking in 2050 were Semarang and Surabaya. In general, he said, several cities on the North Coast of Java also faced similar threats, such as Tegal and Pekalongan.
"Another city outside Java that experiences a similar threat of 'drowning' is Banda Aceh. Recently (Jan 2020) the results of research conducted by TDMRC Unsyiah reaffirmed the prediction that 3 percent of the Banda Aceh region will also permanently sink by 2050," he said.
On the other hand, Arifsyah said that Indonesia also currently faces a general threat of losing a number of its small islands, which are estimated to be around 2,000 square kilometers.
"Based on 2019 KKP data, he said about 2,000 small islands in Indonesia will disappear by 2030," Arifsyah said.
Arifsyah added that the Indonesian government and related parties need to conduct a review and adhere to the spatial plan including in the coastal area which considers the restoration of environmental quality, ecosystem preservation, and disaster risk reduction.
It was considered necessary to reduce the impact of economic and social losses due to the sinking of a city, climate change and environmental destruction.
"Jakarta and other coastal cities in Indonesia will sink faster if there is no real effort to carry out development control based on a spatial plan that considers the carrying capacity of the environment," he said.