On 24th December 2004, the Indian Ocean earthquake was the third largest earthquake ever recorded. Its resultant tsunami devastated regions in Southeast Asia, South Asia and even as far off as eastern Africa.
The most devastated region was the Indonesian province of Aceh. This was due to the earthquake’s epicentre originating just off the shores of Aceh. To give a sense of how grim the fatalities were: a total of 230 000 people perished to the tsunami. Half of these deaths, 115 000, occurred in Indonesia and nearly all of Indonesia’s causalities and damage incurred took place within Aceh.
But did you know that before the tsunami, there was a civil war erupting in Aceh? This war was fought between the Indonesian state and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), which aims to make Aceh an independent state. The war stretched back from all the way in 1976 and has resulted in much destructive consequences itself.
But despite suffering the dual tragedies of war and natural disaster, the people of Aceh have endured and recovered. What is unique and remarkable about this recovery is that there is a focus on environmental conservation.
Explore my blog to find out how and why these people are able to align their restoration of their lives with the restoration of the environment.
I hope you enjoy your stay!