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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.
5-395 Tsunami Risk Reduction Workshop
The team and workshop attendees of a tsunami risk reduction workshop in Timor-Leste.

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

As a part of the general assessment of the coastal cities’ resilience towards impacts of climate change-induced sea level rise coupled with coastal hazards, Dr. Syamsidik and his team conducted an assessment of coastal community preparedness in Mataram and Banda Aceh. Purposive sampling was carried out to select 632 households from four sub-districts in Banda Aceh (311 households) and two sub-districts in Mataram (321 households), and the results so far have shown interesting differences between the two cities. During the second quarter of 2008, the researchers also began a spatial analysis for the Mataram coast to compare inundation levels for the projected sea-level rise affecting the coastal areas there with the scenarios they had already developed for the Banda Aceh coast.

5-395 Coastal Monitoring5-395 Banda Aceh Survey
The team conducted a series of activities in Banda Aceh including resident surveys and coastal dynamic monitoring (photos courtesy of Dr. Syamsidik)
Several education, outreach, and dissemination activities were also conducted during this reporting period. The PI and his team are working on a textbook for undergraduate students entitled “Introduction to Disaster Management and Environment,” which will be used in a mandatory course for all undergraduate students at Syiah Kuala University. To kick off this effort, they held a write-shop in Aceh Besar June 7-8, 2018, during which 12 writers (who are also lecturers on the subject) worked on the content for the book. It should be completed by the end of September. Dr. Syamsidik and other colleagues, including a graphic designer, are also working on a picture book for children to teach them about climate change impacts in coastal zones. In addition, PEER team members also made presentations at the third Annual Scientific Meeting of Indonesia Disaster Experts Association (PIT-IABI) in Padang, during which they had the chance to interact with U.S. partner Prof. Louise Comfort of the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Syamsidik also continues to focus on engagement with key disaster and climate change stakeholders in Banda Aceh and in Mataram. Together with his expert colleagues from Mataram University, he has held detailed discussions with the City Development and Planning Agency (BAPPEDA Mataram) on strategies to promote the project results to the government of Mataram city. One staff member from BAPPEDA Mataram will be joining the research group as a public policy research assistant, with his role being to assist the establishment of a task force for discussing analysis of coastline management in the city. The task force is expected to start its work in early August 2018. The PEER research group will contribute data and analytical results from their project to the city’s official document on managing the coastline of the city to mitigate impacts of coastal hazards coupled with sea level rise.

Besides these primary project activities, the PI and his group also used a PEER Evidence to Action supplement to conduct three weeks of on-the-job training on tsunami  numerical modelling and seismic data analysis in April-May for four participants from Timor-Leste. Two came from the National University of Timor-Leste and the other two from the Institute of Petroleum and Geophysics of Timor-Leste. After returning home in early May, the trainees have continued their research in Dili, with some additional training and mentorship provided electronically by the Syiah Kuala researchers. A seminar will be organized in Timor-Leste in late August 2018 to review progress on the research, and two research assistants from the PEER team will arrive one week in advance to offer additional detailed technical training to the Timorese.

Plans for the coming months include extending research activities on the project to Ambon, in Maluku Province. This will ensure coverage for eastern Indonesia, as the western (Banda Aceh) and central (Mataram) areas of the country are already represented. The team will only collect data on only two topics: (1) coastal community preparedness for impacts of coastal hazards and (2) city policies and strategies to mitigate impacts of coastal hazards coupled with impacts of sea level rise. Data will be gathered through a survey of 300 households, to be carried out with facilitation from the University of Pattimura in Ambon, and a series of in-depth interviews with government stakeholders. The first field work will be conducted July 23-30, 2018, with the second wave planned for September 2018. Back in Banda Aceh October 10-12, the PI and his team will conduct a special session on "Coastal Cities' Resilience towards Impacts of Natural Hazards" as part of the 11th Aceh International Workshop and Expo on Sustainable Tsunami Disaster Recovery.

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