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Cycle 5 (2015 Deadline)

Incorporating climate change induced sea level rise information into coastal cities’ preparedness toward coastal hazards

PI: Syamsidik (, Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center, Syiah Kuala University
U.S. Partner: Louise K. Comfort, University of Pittsburgh
Project Dates: December 2016 - November 2019

Project Overview

Research has not yet identified all the impacts of climate changes on island nations like Indonesia. One of the challenges is the complexity of the available data in Indonesia. This project is aimed at combining two sets of processes—climate change-induced sea level rise and coastal hazards (coastal erosion, tsunami, and coastal flooding)—using three projected periods (30, 50, and 100 years). Climate change-induced sea level rise coupled with coastal hazards is a rarely studied topic in Indonesia. Dr. Syamsidik and his team expect that the project should produce newly developed scenarios for assessing impacts of climate change-induced sea level rise in Indonesia’s coastal cities, combining information on sea level rise (a slow process) and coastal hazards (a relatively fast process). Their work will also incorporate scientifically based policy analysis of urban development planning in order to increase the preparedness of cities in the region. In addition, this research will compare the projected impacts of sea level rise coupled with coastal hazards between two coastal cities representing the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere of Indonesia. The impact comparisons will highlight variations resulting from geographical differences. This research will also offer examples for incorporating scientific evidence on climate change and coastal hazard impacts with techno-social approaches for disaster mitigation and climate change adaptation.

U.S. partner Dr. Comfort will assist this research team with her expertise in analyzing development planning policies. Her techno-social approach will a valuable resource for the Indonesian team. To gather input and disseminate their findings, Dr. Syamsidik and his colleagues will organize several forums for stakeholders from the national and local levels. Two policy briefings will be made to address the issue of climate change impacts and their incorporation into development planning for coastal cities in Indonesia. This research team will also produce inputs for improving university-level instruction in courses involving climate change and disaster management. Lessons learned from this research process will be used in revising the relevant course curricula at Syiah Kuala University in Banda Aceh and Mataram University in Mataram.

Summary of Recent Activities

In Banda Aceh, by January 2018 Dr. Syamsidik and his colleagues had completed most of numerical simulations for projecting impacts of Sea Level Rise (SLR) combined with coastal hazards on the city. Although the SLR Rate they used in the numerical simulations is still a projection, the findings of the simulations are sufficient to allow the team to draw some preliminary recommendations for increasing the city’s resilience to coastal hazards coupled with impacts of SLR. Recently, the researchers met with staff from the Indonesia National Secretariat of Climate Change Adaptation (RAN API Secretariat) in Jakarta, who suggested that the team should contact the Indonesia Meteorological, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), as they are planning to release a new SLR map for Indonesia at the end of January 2018. This newly introduced SLR rate projection is expected to serve as an official reference for all climate change adaptation stakeholders in Indonesia. The PI and his group will use this new information to modify their simulations after the new map is released.

On the spatial analysis aspect of the project, the team has focused recently on literature study, particularly to identify major factors of land cover changes in Banda Aceh and to determine the relationship between the local context of land cover changes and coastal environmental problems and the regional/national context, based on official governmental reports. The team is drafting a manuscript on their findings. In addition, their GIS analysis assistant has been working further on exploring satellite images of Mataram city, Nusa Tenggara Barat Province.

On the Disaster Risk Reduction Policy aspect of the project, the researchers have finalized their assessment tools to define coastal cities’ resilience to impacts of climate change-induced sea level rise coupled with coastal hazards. The assessment will be conducted using qualitative and quantitative approaches. Focus Group Discussions (FGD) and in-depth interviews will be conducted by inviting government officials, practitioners, and academicians involved in efforts to build coastal cities’ resilience to provide values (scores) for each indicator of cities’ resilience. The FGD is scheduled to be done in the first week of February 2018. To obtain additional information to strengthen the assessment, the team will conduct in-depth interviews with several experts. In addition, they have developed a questionnaire to assess community preparedness for impacts of climate change-induced sea level rise coupled with coastal hazards. The target population for the questionnaire is the coastal community (households) in Banda Aceh and Mataram. The variables used in the questionnaire include knowledge, emergency planning, warning system, and resource mobilization capacity. A pilot test of the questionnaire will be carried out in the coastal community in Aceh Besar, with the final design to be adjusted accordingly. The data collection in Banda Aceh will be done January 20 through February 28, 2018.

Also during the first few months of 2018, the team will continue to work on spatial analysis for Mataram and numerical simulations for Mataram city. Similar data processing for the Banda Aceh coast will be conducted with the goal of studying land cover change scenarios due to sea level rise in comparison with another study site in eastern Indonesia, which has a different geomorphic setting. In addition, Dr. Syamsidik plans to visit the Center for Disaster Management at the University of Pittsburgh in March 2018 to meet with U.S. partner Prof. Louise Comfort. The colleagues will discuss progress and future plans for activities on the project and finish drafting a paper for submission to a scientific journal.

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