Not classified as disaster, tidal flooding mitigation funding hampered

Arif Gandapurnama, Governance Specialist Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance MercyCorps explaining the relevance of the rate of land subsidence to tidal flooding in Pekalongan Regency in a webinar entitled ‘Climate Crisis: The Impending Sinking of Pekalongan’ which was held by Satya Bumi and, Thursday (3/11). (Hartatik)

Semarang – Complicated issues related to tidal flooding have hampered the integration of central government funding with regional governments, analysts said Thursday (3/11). Tidal flooding that often occurred along the northern coast (pantura) of Java, have yet been categorised as a disaster.

Tidal floods mitigation so far is still limited to emergency response efforts. Responding to the fact, Arif Gandapurnama, Governance Specialist at Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance Mercy, said that his organisation continues to work for tidal floods to be considered a disaster so that it receives serious and integrated mitigation efforts, such that there will be no longer any reason for regions to keep their ‘hands off’ in handling and budgeting for the tidal flood disaster.

“We are still trying to advocate at the national level, assisting in the revision of the disaster management law. Still tugging about the slow concept of disaster. We are trying to propose coastal flooding (rob) and land subsidence to be the definition of disaster,” said Ganda in a webinar entitled ‘Climate Crisis: The Impending Sinking of Pekalongan’ organised by Satya Bumi and

Gandapurnama regretted that Law No. 24/2007 on Disaster Management which became the legal basis for the operation of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) still sorts out disasters based on stages, such as preparedness, emergency response and reconstruction. However, when tidal floods are later categorised as disasters, it can certainly have implications for changing the disaster management mechanism which was previously a slow concept.

“We are still struggling at the national level,” Gandapurnama said, adding that the work cannot rely entirely on the legislative path. Therefore, he considered it necessary to intensely voice out to the international community that tidal floods have significant impacts, including at the upcoming climate conference in Egypt.

“At UNFCCC COP27, we have a special session to talk about loss and damage, so we try to reverse the thought that the flood has been going on for days, so that the handling is an emergency response when the flood occurs. We are trying to turn it around into having to prepare a more anticipatory framework to be able to reduce the impact (tidal flood) that we project until 2035.”

Gandapurnama said international support will be in the form of an insurance scheme with an investment model. Although not yet popular in Indonesia, there are already several countries that have implemented such funding.

The same thing was expressed by Andi Kiky, Team Leader of AF Pekalongan from Partnership for Governance Reform, that the handling of tidal flooding has not been integrated between the centre and the regions. Although at the national level, advocacy still needs to be done, not forgetting the efforts to minimise the impact at the regional level.

The webinar coinciding with World City Day also presented speakers Galdita A Chulafak, a researcher at BRIN Remote Sensing Research Center, Annisa Rahmawati, Executive Director of Satya Bumi, Agus Purwanto, Vice Chairperson of the Paragon Association and Indonesian Batik Entrepreneurs, Miftah, expert planner of the Pekalongan planning agency, and Qomarudin, Api-api Village Head, Pekalongan Regency. (Hartatik)

Photo banner: Pekalongan is in danger of sinking due to sea level rise and land subsidence which is caused, among other things, by improper use of groundwater and climate change. Pekalongan north coast, 2 July 2022. (nsh/

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