Doomsayers predict disaster for Indonesia as sea levels rise.
As last week tides burst through sea walls, briefly cutting a key access road to Jakarta's international airport, some predictions for Indonesia if sea levels rise, from the UN climate change conference on Bali:
Says Nicholas Stern, author of the Stern Report on climate change (2006):
Island states are very vulnerable to sea level rise and very vulnerable to storms. Indonesia is particularly vulnerable.
Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar raised fears of chaos:
Tens of millions of people would have to move out of their homes. There is no way this will happen without conflict. The cost would be very high. Imagine, it's not just about building better infrastructure, but we'd have to relocate people and change the way people live.
According to a U.N. climate report, temperatures are likely to rise by between 1.1 and 6.4 degrees Celsius (2.0 and 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit) and sea levels by between 18 cm and 59 cm (seven and 23 inches) within this century.
Armi Susandi, a meteorologist at the Bandung Institute of Technology, estimates sea levels would rise by an average of 0.5cm a year until 2080, while the submersion rate in Jakarta, which lies just above sea level, would be higher at 0.87 cm a year.
Indonesia would become poorer due to loss of islands, because access to mineral resources would become more difficult, or impossible, he said, with 5% being shaved off annual GDP, before even taking into account the loss of property and jobs as millions move from low-lying coastal areas to cities and towns on higher ground.
An IIED study said that there are about 42 million people in Indonesia living in areas less than 10 meters above the average sea level, who could be acutely affected by rising sea levels.
A separate study by the United Nations Environment Programme in 1992 showed in two districts in Java alone, rising waters could deprive more than 81,000 farmers of their rice fields or prawn and fish ponds, while 43,000 farm labourers would lose their job. green.yahoo.com
This article in Indonesian - Bencana Banjir.