Indonesia is known to be one of the largest archipelagic nation in the world with over 17,000 islands but coastal areas have been threatened by rising sea levels with a majority of the small islands only one meter above sea level, and deforestation, reclamation and climate change continue to take place. At the coasts of Java island, over 250 households were displaced at Bedono village in Demak due to erosion over the past 20 years, and the ocean engulfs the fishing village. Villagers in Bedono witnessed the disappearance of mangrove forests and fishponds and households are cut off from land as bridges sink below sea level forcing the residents to get around by boat. According to reports, it's predicted that at least 2,000 islands could be lost by the year 2030 due to rising sea levels while 52 percent of Indonesia's 3.49 million hectares of mangrove forests are damaged, with a decline of about 200,000 hectares each year, based on the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. 

(Photos: Getty Images)

Villagers pray at the cemetery that is surrounded by rising sea levels at Bedono village

Read more: Climate change: Shocking pictures of sea engulfing Indonesian coastline


  • Industry associations representing palm oil and timber companies had challenged four articles in the 2007 Environment Law and the 1999 Forestry Law.
  • The lobby groups had taken issue with a rule making it easier for the government to sue firms for fires that occur on their land.
  • The associations also wanted the Constitutional Court to ban slash-and-burn agriculture for everyone, small farmers included.
  • This week, the groups announced they were withdrawing the suit but said they still intended to seek "improvement" of the laws.
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JAKARTA — Just days after a pair of associations representing the palm oil and timber industries filed a lawsuit against Indonesia’s environment and forestry laws, they withdrew the suit, claiming they needed more time to study the rules.

But they would challenge the law again in the future, Joko Supriyono, chairman of the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI), said in Jakarta this week.

Under the current legal regime, he insisted, companies are held unfairly accountable for fires that occur on their land.

Pressure groups that had been gearing up to fight the suit in court welcomed its cancellation.

Read more: Lobby groups drop lawsuit against Indonesian environment law


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Jakarta - Vice President Jusuf Kalla said that Indonesia remains committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate changes as stated in the Paris Agreement.

“Indonesia remains [committed to] the Paris Agreement,” Kalla said at the Vice Presidential Office in Jakarta today, after meeting with Ambassador to Indonesia Jean-Charles Berthonnet, German Ambassador to Indonesia Michael von Ungern-Sternberg, and European Union Ambassador to Indonesia Vincent Guerend.

Read more: Kalla Ensures Indonesia Committed to Paris Agreement


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