Indonesia’s once degraded shoreline breathes again

Mar 05, 2019, 3:23 AM EST
(Source: Stephen Kennedy/flickr)
(Source: Stephen Kennedy/flickr)

Just four years back, the Demak District on the Indonesian island of Java bore all the earmarks of a degraded coastal land, losing a shoreline inch by inch to erosion and dramatic sea level rise.

It was then that a concerted effort, entitled “Living Shoreline,” was launched by local and international partners to beef up the natural defenses of a receding shoreline along with preserving the economic interests and opportunities of coastal residents.

In 2019, the project is bearing its fruits; the shoreline once battered by unsustainable development, clearing of mangroves for shrimp farms and over-extraction of ground water, is breathing again, writes Inhabitat.

The turnaround came on the back of a prudent, interdisciplinary approach that involved building permeable dams with bamboo and brushwood, the structures that let water flow while trapping sediments that gradually accumulate to refurbish the shoreline.

Shrimp farmers have been encouraged to adopt sustainable aquaculture practices, the impact of which are evident not only in terms of environmental rewards but economic as well.