Coastal communities are often vital hubs of economic and social development. A UK-Indonesia research project is helping to protect coastal communities from the devastation caused by coastal hazards such as flooding and tsunamis.
Led by Professor Richard Haigh from the University of Huddersfield and Dr Harkunti Rahayu from the Institute of Technology Bandung, the project combines two distinct approaches to develop a new integrated strategy to better protect homes, businesses and infrastructure in coastal urban areas.
This project emerged from a British Council Newton Researcher Links workshop held in Bandung in November 2015. The results of the workshop, which focused on developing coastal resilience, formed the basis for this Institutional Links grant.
Climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events and natural hazards.
Indonesia is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and has coastal regions exposed to tsunami and other hazard threats.
In the coming decades, climate-induced extreme events are expected to increase and will continue to disrupt our productivity, and the diversity and functions of many ecosystems and livelihoods.
Disasters tend to hit the poorest and most marginalised demographics the hardest. Women and girls are particularly exposed to climate-related disaster risk. This is because, for example, they are more likely to be dependent for their food and income on the land, and natural resources, which are being threatened.
To protect coastal communities from the devastation caused by coastal hazards such as flooding and tsunamis.
An effective tsunami warning system is one that integrates the upstream hazard monitoring, forecasting and prediction with downstream disaster risk assessment, communication and preparedness activities that enable individuals, communities, governments, businesses and others to take timely action.
The UK-Indonesia research team’s work focused on the interface arrangements between upstream and downstream, including the decisions that must be taken by a wide array of jurisdictional agencies and response partners.
The team carried out fieldwork in Sarbagita, Bali and Greater Jakarta - regions that are unique in terms of coastal hazards, community, culture and disaster governance.
They identified vulnerability and capacity of the coastal communities by conducting direct observation and field surveys with penta-helix actors (including communities, governments, private sector, local university, local NGOs, religious groups).
Following this they conducted focus group discussions with those penta-helix actors to obtain public engagement and commitment.
The team also identified twelve critical areas of capacity that underpin an end-to-end tsunami early warning system.