The vulnerable northern coastal areas of Java are grappling with a twin threat – rising sea levels and sinking land, or submersion, due to erosion and abrasion. This predicament puts Indonesia’s economic landscape on the brink, with potential losses looming large from tidal floods triggered by these environmental challenges.
Highlighting these concerns, Airlangga Hartarto, the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, outlined the potential economic fallout. In his assessment, just in the northern region of Jakarta, annual losses could soar to Rp 2.1 trillion, with a forecasted spike to Rp 10 trillion within the next decade.
Speaking at the “Strategic Protection of the Java Island Region through the Construction of Coastal Dikes and Sea Dikes (Giant Sea Wall)” event at the Grand Ballroom Hotel Kempinski Jakarta on January 10, 2023, Airlangga emphasized the far-reaching consequences of these potential losses.
The impact is not confined to economic considerations alone; it also extends to the significant threat posed to densely populated areas. “Minister of Defense (Prabowo Subianto) has also mentioned that the population in the Pantura region is 50 million, so the affected population is 50 million people. This not only poses a threat to the economy and infrastructure but also to the people,” he highlighted.
The impending risk is compounded by the concentration of crucial economic assets in the northern coastal regions of Jakarta. These areas, including Jabodetabek, Cirebon Raya, Pekalongan Raya, Kedung Sepur, and Gerbangkertosusila, face constant vulnerability to tidal floods.
The economic stakes are high, with 70 industrial zones, 5 special economic zones (KEK), 28 Industrial Allocation Areas (KPI), and 5 Industrial Growth Center Regions (WPPI) in jeopardy of submersion. Additionally, this region serves as a vital national logistics route, further exacerbating the potential consequences.
In response to these challenges, the government, led by Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, is spearheading an initiative to construct Coastal Dikes and Sea Dikes (Giant Sea Wall) in the northern regions of Java. Airlangga emphasized the importance of this project, stating, “With its launch today by Minister Prabowo, perhaps this becomes an integrated system from west to east. Then, this project is undoubtedly essential, and we will discuss the funding details today.”
As Java’s northern coastal regions navigate this precarious situation, urgent and comprehensive measures are imperative to mitigate potential economic losses and safeguard the well-being of the affected communities. The collaborative effort between the government and key stakeholders reflects a commitment to addressing this multifaceted challenge head-on.