Did you know there is actually a mangrove plantation in Jakarta? You probably have driven by it many times and not even noticed. It can be found right along the expressway connecting central Jakarta with Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, a tiny bit of greenery and one of Jakarta’s few true protections against Climate Change and flooding. It is a shadow of what once was a vast mangrove forest that covered most of the north coast of Java. Mangroves, which thrive in the mixture of sea and freshwater along coastlines, help maintain sea levels and hold back storm surges, forming a wall against flooding.

I visited it last summer when working for Kehati, the Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation. Rows of carefully plotted and maintained mangroves fill a swampy wetland, small but efficient. Each Mangrove is planted as the result of a donation, cared for by a non-profit that runs the centre. They also work to educate local children about the benefits of nature and the environment.

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This is an exert from a piece I wrote on the recent flooding in Indonesia, published in Jakarta Expat, a print magazine.

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