Fighting the ignorance: The response to land subsidence by public authorities and land users in Indonesia

E. Saputra, T. Hartmann, E.B. Zoomers, T.J.M. Spit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Land subsidence can have a considerable impact on the socio-economic viability of areas. In urban areas, land subsidence tends to damage buildings and infrastructures gradually, while in rural peat land it slowly destroys vegetation. The damages will worsen since climate change has further implications for the areas affected by land subsidence. In Indonesia, the response to land subsidence varies in different areas in terms of awareness, urgency and action on the part of both public authorities and land users. This paper systematically investigates these varied responses in urban and rural peat land areas. Interviews with experts and surveys of 330 land users in selected sub-districts were conducted and further supplemented by focus group discussions. We found that both the public authorities as well as the land users’ responses were considered as of limited value to contest land subsidence. We suggest that the endorsement of land users’ response into governmental policies would make a significant difference in improving land subsidence management.
Original languageEnglish
Article number73975
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Journal of Climate Change
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Indonesia
  • Land subsidence
  • Land users
  • Public Authorities
  • Response


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