Saturday, October 9, 2010

Impact of climate change on Jakarta

Tommy Firman in the Jakarta Post: Coastal mega-cities in Asia are facing the adverse impacts of climate change, including flooding, rising sea levels and intense storm surges, all of which could damage housing, infrastructure and city and national economies. However, to a certain extent the issues of climate risks are still widely misunderstood and underestimated because discourse on the subject has largely been limited to circulation within the scientific community. Very little information has been systematically communicated to the broader public.

Jakarta is considered very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Nevertheless, the Jakarta administration still does not have a strategy to design and implement policies to deal with climate change. The central government has been more progressive, having issued several climate-related regulations, including air quality control, absorption wells, gas emission controls, bio-pore absorption holes, smoke-free zones and river and drainage improvements.

The Jakarta administration tends to focus more on disaster management instead of efforts to anticipate the effects of climate change. Instead of constantly responding on an after-the-fact basis, their efforts should be more proactive and consider long-term horizons.

...The Jakarta General Spatial Plan (RUTR) is currently under revision, but is expected to be completed by the end of 2010. The present Jakarta Spatial Plan does not take climate change factors into consideration. Appropriate indicators to assess the impacts of climate change still have not been formulated. The revised spatial plan will incorporate analysis of hazards such as flooding, land sinkage and fires. If amendments to Jakarta’s general spatial plan are under consideration, revision of the detailed spatial plan (RDTR) will also be necessary….

A Tropenmuseum photo of Jakarta (or Batavia as it was known in the Dutch colonial era)

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