Indonesia, the largest archipelago in the world, has been facing the devastating consequences of climate change. From rising sea levels to longer droughts, Indonesia is predicted to lose more than $36 billion between 2020 and 2024, according to the Ministry of National Planning Development.
Of the total, more than $27 billion will be lost due to land subsidence and rising sea levels. Rice production has been declining in the past five years and it’s estimated that the total loss amounted to $5.2 billion due to rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and longer drought.
And as rice and fish productions decline over the past few years, in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, farmers are adapting to changing precipitation patterns with the assistance of rainfall prediction applications on their laptops and cell phones. Fishermen in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, who for years suffer from depleting fish stock due to rising sea temperature and change of current, also use apps to track their catch.
Meanwhile, in the island of Halmahera, artisanal fishermen are struggling to protect their livelihoods after dozens of mining companies extract the precious nickel ore in recent years. The pollution from the nickel extraction and production have contributed to environmental destruction that impacts the life of local residents.
Can technology alone save them when we don’t address the underlying problem?