Sinking or Not? An Indonesian Approach to Prevent the Rise of Sea Levels due to Global Warming

Author:Iin Karita Sakharina - Farida Patittingi - Hamzah Halim - Marthen Napang - Juajir Sumardi - Andi Bau' Inggit - Marcel Hendrapati
Position:Lecturers at the Law Faculty of Hasanuddin University, Republic of Indonesia
Iin Karita Sakharina & Farida Patittingi &
Hamzah Halim & Marthen Napang & Juajir Sumardi &
Andi Bau Inggit & Marcel Hendrapati
Global warming, or climate change, could be the main reason why small islands in
many areas of the Earth, including those in Indonesian territory, are sinking. Many
small Indonesian islands are between 1 and 3 metres under the surface of the sea
because of raised sea levels caused by climate change. If this situation continues, it
would affect many of the outermost islands of Indonesia, so that we should anticipate
the danger that the outermost islands would be submerged. The basepoints and
archipelagic baselines would then be replaced, among other serious consequences for
Indonesia. The Paris Climate Agreement, signed by almost 200 states in 2015, is the
main instrument for mitigating global warming through reducing the emission of
greenhouse gases. Indonesia ratified the Paris Climate Agreement, because it has a
great interest in mitigating the phenomenon that is causing the sea level to rise, which
is having a serious impact on its islands.
Global Warming, Climate Change, Greenhouse Effect, Outermost Islands,
Basepoints, Archipelagic Baselines
All the authors are lecturers at the Law Faculty of Hasanuddin University, Republic of Indonesia. Corresponding
author: Marcel Hendrapati. He may be contacted at: / Address: Kompleks Taman Toraja,
Jalan Danau Toba No.8, Makassar, 90224, South Sulawesi Province, Republic of Indonesia.
All the websites cited in this article were last visited on April 23, 2020.
Sinking or Not?
An Indonesian Approach
to Prevent the Rise of Sea
Levels due to Global
J. East asia & intl l. Vol. 13/No.1 (2020); 143-160
Publication type : Research Article
Section : Regional Focus & Controversies
144 M. Hendrapati et al.
1. Introduction
The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has already
launched some online software that can predict or anticipate the impact on many
cities of the world of the melting of glacier
With this software, people can see how to
predict the melting of a glacier into water that is globally distributed. This software
offers- for every city- any conguration regarding icebergs, glaciers or ice peaks, which
is absolutely crucial. Although Indonesia is far away from any area of ice mountains,
this does not mean that it will not be impacted by the melting of a glacier at the North
or South Pole.
The melting of a glacier or ice mountain due to global warming has an
impact on sea levels, and potentially causes islets or small islands across the surface
of the earth to sink.
In September 2009, a great number of icefloes and icebergs coming from the
Antarctic became visible oating in the waters around New Zealand, at a distance
of 25 km from the coastline. Then, in October 2009, giant icebergs were discovered
around Macquarie Island, Australia; some of these icebergs were 2 km wide and
others were similar in size to the Olympic Stadium in Beijing known as the Birds
Nest stadium.
In November 2009, satellite photos showed icebergs in great groups
moving from the Antarctic across the area of Auckland Island, which lies around 450
km east of New Zealand. This event was published so that all the ships navigating
in the area concerned might be careful because the existence of the icebergs could
endanger navigation.
A volcanic eruption occurred in the glacier area of Okjokull, Iceland on 4 April
2010. The volcanic dust that blew up, which reached a height of about 10 km, polluted
the air of a large number of European states in such a way that ying activities from
and to the European continent had to be stopped for an unlimited time, since the
volcanic dust endangered the aircraft.
Iceland has been commemorating the loss of
1 E. Hardoko, NASA: Ice Four Cities in Indonesia are Threatened with Being Sunk [Es di KutubMencair, Empat Kota
di Indonesia Terancam], BBC News (Indonesia), Nov. 20, 2017, available at
2 Id.
3 M. Tran, Antarctic iceberg found floating near Macquarie island, GuardiaN, Nov. 12, 2009, available at https://www.
4 See Floating Ice Mountain Evacuated New Zealand [GunungEsTerapungHijrahkeSelandiaBaru],, Nov.
24, 2009, available at
baru; D. Irvine, Massive icebergs floating towards coast of New Zealand, cNN, Nov. 25, 2009, available at http://
5 M. Mancini, Here's The Important Difference between Global Warming and Climate Change, (Sept.

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