Building with Nature for safe, prosperous and adaptive coastlines

05 Nov 2018

Building with Nature

The initiative "Building with Nature Indonesia" aims to build stable coastlines with reduced erosion risk through a unique integration of mangrove restoration, small scale hard-engineering and sustainable land use. The five-year programme will focus on the shoreline in Demak where sea level rise is projected to cause flooding 6km inland by 2100, inundating 14,700 hectares affecting over 70,000 people and the loss of 6000 hectares of aquaculture ponds.

Technical measures include the construction of permeable dams made of brushwood that capture sediment and help to establish a healthy sediment balance. This process is reinforced by small scale sediment nourishments. Once the near shore bed level has sufficiently risen, mangroves will regenerate naturally developing a natural water defense protecting the hinterland against flooding and further erosion.

By putting in place a model for sustainable land-use we aim to address the root causes to the erosion problems. As part of this various sustainable livelihoods activities will be initiated such as sustainable aquaculture. The measures will be governed under community bylaws and funding mechanisms and will be rooted in community development plans and integral government master planning for sustainable development.

Knowledge and upscaling

We aim for replication and scaling up of the Building with Nature approach to other rural and urban areas in Indonesia and other vulnerable muddy coastlines in the world, including through capacity building, knowledge exchange and embedding in policies and planning.

A targeted outreach campaign along with national policy dialogue contributes to the integration of the approach in the Indonesian water sector, ensuring replication in urban and rural areas.

Building with Nature Indonesia is a programme by EcoshapeWetlands International, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), and the Ministry of Public Work and Human Settlement (PU), in partnership with consultancy agency Witteveen + Bos, knowledge institutes Deltares,  Wageningen University & Research and UNESCO-IHE, Indonesian NGO Blue Forests, with support from the Diponegoro University, and local communities.

"Building with Nature Indonesia" is made possible by the Dutch Sustainable Water Fund, Waterloo Foundation, Otter Foundation, Topconsortia for Knowledge and Innovation, and Mangroves for the Future.


Brochure: Building with Nature Indonesia
Report: Design and Engineering Plan