Building with Nature in Indonesia

The mangroves of Indonesia help shelter coastal communities from rising seas and storm surges, problems expected to become more severe with climate changes. However, in many places, mangroves have been cut down to make space for development and ponds for fish farming. The ‘Building with Nature’ initiative seeks to restore those forests. Concentrating in Demak, a district on the island of Java, Wetlands International together with Indonesia’s government and other partners are helping local communities re-grow mangroves.

Instead of simply planting mangroves, the initiative uses semi-permeable sea walls made of natural materials to trap mud and sediments to facilitate the re-growth of mangroves. The work is likely to increase the resilience of 70,000 people to aspects of climate change. Experts have also helped 277 shrimp farmers construct shrimp-rearing ponds that can coexist with mangroves and improve the sustainability of their operations. These farmers have seen their shrimp yields triple.


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