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Sea level rising and CO2-reduction: common research topics for Indonesia and the Netherlands

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Alumni in Water, Energy and Climate

Thematic news

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11.24.2020

“Indonesia and the Netherlands have many things in common, wetlands for instance.” One of the first speakers during the Week of Indonesia-Netherlands Education and Research (WINNER), Daniel Murdiyarso (professor IPB University) mentioned yet another parallel: “We have another thing in common, our commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gasses.” 

Professor Daniel Murdiyarso works on the topic of climate change mitigation and adaptation and has played an important role in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as lead author of an IPCC Special Report on Land-use, Land-use Change and Forestry. 

“Our planet will be affected by climate change as the temperatures will keep on rising”, Murdiyarso continued. In the worst case scenario’s the climate will be on average 4˚C to 5˚C higher and sea levels will rise up to one meter. “Countries like the Netherlands and Indonesia will be very much affected by sea level rising.”

The solution must be found in reducing CO2-emissions. “At least half of our current emissions should be reduced to reach that goal.” According to professor Murdiyarso mangrove forests can play an important role, because mangrove forests (see picture) retain CO2. These forests can store carbon as much as 5-6 times higher than lowland tropical forests and could therefore significantly mitigate climate change.

However mangrove forests are under threat, mainly as a result of  aquaculture development. In three decades Indonesia has lost 40% of its mangroves. Murdiyarso claims that if this were halted, total CO2-emissions would be reduced by an amount equal to 10–31% of estimated annual emissions from land-use sectors at present. Conservation of carbon-rich mangroves in the Indonesian archipelago should therefore be a high-priority component of strategies to mitigate climate change.  

You can follow the rest of the WINNER conference from 24-26 online.

The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), the Indonesian Academy of Young Scientists (ALMI), the Dutch Research Council (NWO), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Dutch organization for internationalization in education Netherlands Education Support Office in Indonesia (Nuffic Neso Indonesia) and the Netherlands Embassy in Jakarta. The first “Week of Indonesia-Netherlands Education and Research (WINNER)” was scheduled to take place in June 2020 in Jakarta, but had to be postponed in response to the outbreak of Covid-19. Many parties in both countries have shown great interest to participate in WINNER, for example during the successful Dutch State Visit to Indonesia in March 2020. Meanwhile, a full WINNER week has been scheduled for 21-25 June 2021, confirming that WINNER is intended to become an annual event.

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