JAKARTA ~ Indonesia could lose 2,000 small islands by 2030 due to a rise in sea levels as a result of climate change, Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar has said.
According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the sea level could rise between eight and 29 centimeters by 2030, inundating many of Indonesia’s lower-lying islands, he said.
“Everybody in this world is experiencing directly the effects of climate change, whether itâ€™s floods, droughts or, heaven forbid, sea-level rise – those are phenomena that are impeding development,” he told reporters on Monday.
The archipelago comprises some 17,500 islands.
Witoelar said agriculture had been affected by changes in weather patterns, with rice not planted on schedule and Indonesia experiencing a significant increase in temperatures.
Indonesia is also expected to see higher rainfall in coming wet seasons.
Floods in the north of Sumatra in December killed dozens of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.
Bali will host the 13th UN Climate Change Conference in December, with between 7,000 and 10,000 participants from more than 100 countries expected to attend, the minister said.