The Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment (Kemenko Marves) held a workshop program for the 2020 Land Subsidence Working Group in Semarang on Wednesday (9-9-2020) to deal with land subsidence problems in the Central Java region. The northern coast of Central Java has a quite severe problem of land subsidence. This happened especially in Pekalongan, Semarang and Demak.

The workshop was led by Kus Prisetiahadi, Assistant Deputy for Climate Change and Disaster Management, who represented the Deputy for Coordination of Environment and Forestry Management to discuss the work program of the Land Subsidence Working Group. Also attending the workshop were the Mayor of Pekalongan, the Regional Secretary of Semarang, representatives of the Regent of Demak, and participants from ITB, Undip, BNPB, and Bappenas.

“In the 2020-2024 RPJMN, Pantura is a priority in handling land subsidence. We need cooperation from all stakeholders to determine future actions so that this handling can be maximized”, said Asdep. Land subsidence on the north coast of Central Java is due mostly to excessive groundwater extraction. Actions that must be taken immediately by local governments are limiting or stopping the extraction of groundwater and improving municipal waterworks / PDAM services on the coast.

On Thursday (10-9-2020) a visit to the coast of Pekalongan and Semarang was held to directly observe the areas affected by land subsidence. The next day, Friday (11-9-2020) a discussion was held to discuss the road map for mitigation and adaptation of land subsidence which was examined into derivative actions that could be carried out by all relevant stakeholders. The Center for ICZM Undip participated on this workshop discussion from Wednesday to Friday in order to share recommendations for this working group.

Representative from the Center for ICZM Undip who attended this workshop, Dr. Muhammad Helmi said, “Land subsidence is a complex problem. What the local government has done is still in the short term, namely only dealing with floods and not yet focusing on the problem of land subsidence. To handle land subsidence, a long-term scenario is needed.”

Deputy Chairperson of the Center for ICZM Undip Priyo Nugroho, M.Eng, also added, “The scenario that can be done is to focus on reducing the use of Underground Water (Air Bawah Tanah), increasing underground water reserves, and re-functioning existing rivers so that they can be used as water reserves.”