SIWW2022: What does “enabling liveable resilient futures” mean for Indonesia and for our work in Indonesia?

Bastien van Veen – Deltares researcher at the Indonesia Office

These are three important aspects of a vision for the future of Indonesia. Let me explain why these are important by looking at each aspect one by one.

A resilient future for Indonesia means that the diverse communities throughout Indonesia are able to cope with shocks, such as floods, droughts, etc. It means that livelihoods are protected through physical means (traditional dykes and polders, but increasingly natural protections) and social protection mechanisms (e.g., social insurance for floods and droughts, education, etc.). In a large and diverse archipelago as Indonesia there is not a simple solution or menu that can be implemented and it means that specific tailor-made solutions and plans are needed for all communities.

A liveable future for Indonesia means that the environment is healthy and communities don’t need to worry when going about doing their activities. It means that water of good quality and quantity is available year round and that public services to manage water quality and quantity are functioning well. This means that the old-adagio of integrated water resources management is revived and that development visions and government plans are informed by hazards and risks and based on realistic scenarios.

Enabling such a future for Indonesia means that the government, communities and the private sector can take informed decisions. This means  that responsible departments and organisations are equipped with the tools and mandates to address water quality and quantity issues. And it means that there is sufficient capacity and information publicly available.

For the work of Deltares Indonesia this means that our expertise and our tools are adapted to the local conditions and mobilised to quantify not only current hazards and risks, but also to quantify realistic future scenarios and evaluate the wide plethora of various measures to protect, correct and prevent disasters. This means that Deltares Indonesia enables the conditions under which local officials and consultants have the tools and capacity to quantify visions and plans for liveable resilient futures. It means that our tools are adapted to the needs and capacities of local conditions. It means that Deltares Indonesia experts provide specific assistance and technical support and do research to improve tools and expertise to the specific conditions that make Indonesia unique.