Why is green reconstruction important after the tsunami?

Integrating good environmental outcomes in reconstruction contributes to the long-term effectiveness of infrastructure and livelihoods projects.

Natural defence barriers
  • Coral reefs provide physical barriers that cause waves to break offshore thus reducing their destructive force
  • Mangroves mitigate the intensity of tsunamis by soaking up destructive wave energy and acting as a buffer against erosion
  • Marshes, tidal inlets and mangrove channels also limit the extent of inundation by floodwaters and allow for such waters to drain quickly
  • Forests minimise the threat of landslides and flooding after heavy rain

Long-term economic health depends on environmental health

  • Industrialising the fishing sector would result in over-fishing, which will result in depleted fisheries, which will in turn result in the loss of livelihoods for many Acehnese who rely on fishing for a living
  • The continued over-harvesting of forests would result in landslides and floods, which not only result in further loss of life but in the loss of productive land for agriculture and for housing and towns

Green Reconstruction Policy Guidelines

In April 2005, WWF published its Green Reconstruction Policy Guidelines to assist those involved in reconstruction both in Aceh and other areas to improve opportunities for success and to avoid creating additional environmental problems through their reconstruction programs.

The guidelines call for:
  • Adhering to an integrated reconstruction plan incorporating the use of responsibly-sourced building materials (especially timber)
  • Creating sustainably-managed fisheries, agricultural and aquaculture industries
  • Rehabilitating coastal and marine ecosystems
  • Minimising the overall negative impact of reconstruction on the natural environment (ie, minimising the ecological footprint of reconstruction)

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