The cross stake holder forum led by Ir. Bahagia, Dpl. SE, the Regional Secretary of Banda Aceh

TDMRC PEER Team Meets Banda Aceh’s Regional Secretary

Dr. Syamsidik delivering PEER research presentation
Dr. Syamsidik delivering PEER research presentation

As a part of Partnership for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Cycle 5 under Research Grant No. 5-395, a team from TDMRC led by Dr. Syamsidik had a meeting with Banda Aceh’s Regional Secretary, ‎Ir. Bahagia, Dipl. SE, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. Also present in the room were officials from a number of related government agencies and civil society organizations.

The forum was put together to discuss the recent findings from PEER research about tsunami and coastal flood risk in Banda Aceh that are being worsened by the climate change induced sea level rise. The meeting began with a presentation by Dr. Syamsidik on the intensifying impacts of sea level rise on the risk of tsunami and coastal flood in Banda Aceh. Dr. Syamsidik also pointed out how the planned Banda Aceh Outer Ring Road (BORR) could be a potential measure to mitigate the coastal risks if built to the height of 5 meters above ground level.

Mr. Bahagia received the presentation with high appreciation, stating that the information would be a fundamental reference for the city’s future spatial planning. He further explained that it would also become a new basis on which the government could put stricter control on permissions to build housings and commercial buildings in coastal areas.

An avid discussion took place after Mr. Syamsidik's presentation
An avid discussion took place after Mr. Syamsidik’s presentation

Moreover, Mr. Rahmat Syah of the city’s Civil Works Agency explained that his agency had awaited this kind of studies for some time since the Ministry of Civil Works in Jakarta had been pressing them to deliver climate change induced disaster risk analysis. He added that the initiative to build BORR had indeed received strong support from Jakarta, but it remains on hold since both the regional and national government could not yet secure enough funding for the project.

Mr. Farmakope of Banda Aceh’s Development Planning Agency however added that he had been approached on the BORR initiative by a few foreign organizations, such as JICA. He stated further that there are possibilities for foreign funding. But the government must work to bring the projects to international bidding.

As the conclusion of the meeting, the Regional Secretary, along with the present officials, came to a collective initiative to put together a document on mitigation of coastal hazards that are intensified by climate change induced sea level rise. This document would later on be collectively implemented and utilized in all related future policies.

A task force to write the document has been assembled. And more meetings to follow up the progress of the document will take place within the upcoming weeks.