Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country and its largest archipelagic nation, comprising over 17,000 islands. With the majority of these islands sitting only one meter above sea level, coastal areas in many parts of the country are being threatened by rising sea levels caused by climate change. Deforestation, landscape reclamation, and the illegal extraction of groundwater by the industry on the coasts make these areas even more vulnerable to rising sea levels.
Experts predict that before 2050, thousands of small islands and millions of houses in coastal areas across Indonesia will disappear due to rising sea levels caused by climate change. By that year, a third of the capital Jakarta, which has been described as the world’s most rapidly sinking city, could be submerged.
As these images illustrate, sea level rises are already having a significant impact in coastal regions of Java, such as Pekalongan in Central Java and Karawang in West Java.