The Source, our Annual Review 2019

STORY HIGHLIGHTS Semarang, Indonesia is battling with coastal erosion, exacerbated by the removal of mangroves, and subsidence, caused by groundwater pumping. The future of the entire coastline and its millions of inhabitants can only be secured if the mangrove


restoration is complemented by ending land subsidence.

Restored mangroves and mud flats welcome new bird life, including night herons and great and little egrets. Solving the flooding problem in Panama City is complex and involves many parties.

By Fred Pearce

The city of Semarang is sinking. The booming industrial port on the north shore of the Indonesian island of Java is in deep trouble. As the land sinks and the sea invades, the roofs of houses in places around the harbour are almost at the floor level of others that have been raised up. The capital of the Central Java province, which has a population of almost two million, was built on marshland. In recent times, its numerous textiles factories and other industries – not to mention the city’s inhabitants – have been pumping huge quantities of water from beneath the marsh, causing parts of the city to sink by between 6 and 19 centimetres every year, inundating buildings and damaging infrastructure. To make matters worse, the mangroves that once held back the waters of the Java Sea have long been removed.

Parts of Semerang, a booming city on the northern shore of Indonesia’s populous island of Java are regularly under water as the land sinks. Pumping groundwater is driving subsidence.



Wetlands Annual Review 2019

Wetlands Annual Review 2019

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