The Republic of Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic state, consisting of more than 17,500 islands and covering over 81,000 kilometers (km) of coastline. These islands are home to an extremely varied geography, topography, and climate, ranging from sea and coastal systems to peat swamps and montane forests. Most of the two million square kilometer landmass of Indonesia is covered by forests that harbor a wealth of biodiversity. Forests, marine, and coastal ecosystems provide vital services to sustain millions of livelihoods and drive economic growth. A high population density and rapid industrialization, coupled with this dependance on the country’s resource base, make the country vulnerable to projected changes in climate. Almost 230 million people inhabit Indonesia, the majority (~54%) of whom live on the island of Java. Approximately 140 million people (over 50% of the country’s population) live on less than US$2 per day and average per capita income is US$814. Seventeen percent of the population live in rural areas where poverty levels have begun to decline thanks to concerted government attention. Climate variability and change are exacerbating many of the disaster risks that Indonesia faces today. During the past four decades, floods, droughts, storms, landslides, and forest fires have posed the greatest threats to livelihoods, economic growth, and environmental sustainability. While the public is gradually gaining awareness of the importance of accounting for the impacts of climate variability and change, more evidence-based response and adaptation measures are needed . The Asian Development Bank estimates that by 2100, the impacts of climate change will cost between 2.5--7% of the gross domestic product (GDP). The poorest will bear the brunt of this burden as they are typically the most vulnerable to the impacts of drought, floods, and landslides and pursue livelihoods that are highly dependent on climate-sensitive sectors (i.e fisheries and forestry).
Selected Indicators for Impacts and Vulnerabilities