Building with nature to secure eroding delta coastlines

Demak district pilot project

Posted on 2 May 2014


Indonesia plans to restore the eroding areas of its coastline in Java and Bali with nature based approaches inspired on Dutch methods. The Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), environmental organisation Wetlands International and research institute Deltares agreed to collaborate in the effort to tackle the erosion problems of Indonesian coasts.


Implementation of a pilot project in Demak District at the North coast of Java, where the sea has already swallowed hundreds of meters of land.The approach using permeable dams seems promising as the waves inside the grid are lower, the mud is building up steadily and mangrove seedlings are already re-appearing.



The activities are part of a small scale experiment to test the hybrid engineering concept in severely eroding mud coasts. It is expected that each structure will take approximately 1 month to complete. After that time, the structures should start trapping sediments and creating favourable conditions for mangroves to grow in that area.

If the structures are successful and the approach is expanded, they will reclaim the land that was lost and prevent further erosion and land loss. Simultaneously, the new coastal mangrove belt will provide a range of ecosystem services, from enhanced fisheries yields to materials for construction and carbon storage.

Project location

Project partners

  • Akvo Foundation
  • Deltares
  • WaterQ B.V.