Focus on Building with Nature coast management during Indonesia mission

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Minister Schultz visits Building with Nature in Indonesia
| Changed on: 25 November 2016
On 22 September, Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment Melanie Schultz van Haegen visited the Sustainable Water Fund project ‘Building with Nature, securing eroding delta coastlines’ in Java. Here Dutch and Indonesian public and private partners are working together with the local community to restore the mangrove forest and improve the local economy.
Since 2012,  these parties have been working on the ‘Building with Nature’ project to protect the erosion-threatened coastline of the Demak District, in the north of Central Java. This public private partnership is co-funded by the Sustainable Water Fund 2014.

Building With Nature

The Building with Nature approach takes the ecosystem as its starting point. The approach leads to sustainable solutions, through the construction of dykes for instance. This way nature is not just part of the solution itself, it also benefits.
This flagship project in Java aims to manage the water sources  in the delta area sustainably through an integrated approach. Technical measures to protect the coastline in Demak include restoration of the sediment balance using permeable dams and mud nourishments, alongside mangrove rehabilitation. The project also includes introducing sustainable aquaculture in the hinterland.
The project is of strategic importance to Indonesia. It is also part of a structural sustainable bilateral cooperation, contributing to the Dutch government’s water management goals (Internationale Waterambitie), in which the Dutch Ministries of Infrastructure & the Environment, Economic Affairs and Foreign Affairs (Development Cooperation) have joined forces.

Cooperation and collaboration

The companies and organisations  involved in this project include Wetlands International, Ecoshape, the Indonesian government, Witteveen+Bos, Deltares, Wageingen University & Research, Unesco IHE and Blue Forests, with support of the Diponegoro University and local communities. For more information see and AIDDATA.
The Dutch partners are members of the Ecoshape platform; a cooperation between contractors, engineering firms, knowledge institutes, governmental bodies and NGOs which provides sustainable solutions in water engineering  by letting nature do the work.

Trade mission

The purpose of the visit of Minister Schultz is to explore opportunities for further collaboration with the Indonesian government in order to upscale this approach in Central Java. Building with Nature is a central theme in this trade mission. This is because the Dutch water sector is committed to an integral and sustainable approach for delta and coastal protection and water management as well as other solutions to water-related problems. Thirty million people live in villages along these shorelines which are threatened by severe coastal erosion in the long term.
Minister Schultz van Haegen was accompanied in Indonesia by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Development Cooperation Minister Lilianne Ploumen and Environment Minister Sharon Dijksma. The trade mission also  included representatives from 110 Dutch companies, 54 of them active in the water and maritime sector.
Do you want to know more about the trade mission to Indonesia and the programme? You can find more information here (in Dutch).

Sustainable Water Fund (FDW)

The Sustainable Water Fund (FDW) encourages and supports public private partnerships in the water sector. The Sustainable Water Fund is part of the Facility for Public Private Partnerships (PPP) which is implemented by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency ( as commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
FDW is open to receive new ideas until the end of December 2016 (round 1) and 8 December 2017 (round 2). To submit your project idea (concept note) and to find out more about the programme, please visit

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