Sinking Shoreline Threatens Coastal Communities in Indonesia
Nur Anisa Rahmadani has to wade through shin-deep seawater to get to her primary school in Pantai Bahagia village on the north coast of Indonesia's Java island. Almost every day, the sea, which used to lap the shore a few kilometers away, floods her schoolyard and classrooms — clear evidence of the threat that Java's sinking coastline poses to millions of people. Experts say Pantai Bahagia, or "Happy Beach," and scores of other villages and towns along the shoreline are being inundated because of a grim combination of man-made environmental destruction and climate change. "On the one hand, we face climate change that causes sea levels to rise," said I Nyoman Suryadiputra, director of the Wetlands International Indonesia conservation group. At the same time, he said, the extraction of groundwater for use in big cities like the capital, Jakarta, is causing the subsidence of land along the coast. Roughly 40...
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