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Jakarta Post

Adopted, yet ignored: Hybrid structure offers hope for sinking villages

  • Kharishar Kahfi
    Kharishar Kahfi

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Demak, Central Java   /   Thu, October 3, 2019   /  03:25 pm
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A resident in Timbulsloko village, Demak, Central Java, checks the bamboo fence structure near his village. The fence was built to restore the lost land and mangrove forests.(Jakarta Post/Karishar Kahfi)

Forty-six-year-old Mat Sairi from Timbulsloko village in Demak regency has been worried for several years that one day he will lose his fish pond as a result of massive coastal erosion that has been consuming the village inch by inch for the last 20 years. While erosion is a natural phenomenon that occurs in coastal areas, the phenomenon has been getting worse in Demak as a result of, among other things, unsustainable land use as residents cut mangrove trees that serve as the beach’s natural protection against sea waves and land reclamation in the neighboring city of Semarang. Timbulsloko is among the villages on Demak’s northern coast hit by the massive erosion over the last decade. Data from the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry recorded the regency had lost around 550 hectares of coastal land in the past 15 years. Meanwhile, it only regained 179 ha through natu...