Toward a Resource-Efficient and More Resilient Tanjungpinang

Home to at least 200,000 people, Tanjungpinang is noted for its large hilly areas punctuated with valleys. Located in the Riau Archipelago in Indonesia, the provincial capital engages in trade, tourism, and shipyard services in Riau and its neighbor Singapore. A busy trading port, Tanjungpinang facilitates economic activities between Indonesia’s islands and cities.

In the midst of development seeping through the city from all fronts, Tanjungpinang envisions to put forward sustainability and ensure a resilient, healthy community for generations to come. An active ICLEI member since 2015, the city has been at the forefront of sustainability initiatives. ICLEI Indonesia Office is working closely with Tanjungpinang to achieve goals of resiliency and resource efficiency.

Strengthening Resource Efficiency through the Urban Nexus Approach

The urban nexus is anchored on applying principles of integrated resource management particularly in the areas of water, food, and energy through concrete pilot projects. Since 2014, Tanjungpinang has been part of a regional project called Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: The Urban Nexus supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Solid waste and wastewater management were identified as the city’s thematic focus under the project.

The city produces about 400 tons of waste per day but only 50% is collected and disposed at the city’s Ganet Sanitary Landfill. With the current landfill operating at almost full capacity, there is an urgent need for the city to identify innovative solutions to manage its solid waste. As the city also experiences frequent blackouts, Tanjungpinang is keen to explore waste-to-energy technology as a way to jointly address its solid waste and energy problems.

In the coastal settlement of Senggarang, the sea does not only serve as local dominant source of socioeconomic activities (e.g., fishery, transport, recreation, etc.), it is also the center of unhealthy sanitation practices. A large majority of the buildings on the sea in the settlement has no sewage facilities. Fecal waste containing bacteria, viruses and parasites are openly disposed into the aquatic ecosystems causing pollution and health risk.

On the other hand, Senggarang is envisioned as a demonstration site for employing vacuum sewer system (VSS) as a means to collect wastewater. The collected water will undergo treatment so it could be reused for agriculture and domestic purposes.  Aside from solid waste management, sanitation is a huge concern in the area. Households, particularly those in coastal communities, lack access to proper toilets. Human discharge is disposed directly into the sea. To address this, technical studies have been implemented to determine the feasibility of using VSS in these areas. Apart from GIZ Urban Nexus and ICLEI, the City is working with the Ministry of Public Works in order to realize this project.

Mayor Lis Darmansyah is an active champion of Tanjungpinang’s journey towards sustainability. In his speech, he highlighted that the city is employing various strategies to address issues on water resources, food supply, energy, and sanitation, among others.

Realizing Urban Resilience under the ICLEI – ACCCRN process

Tanjungpinang is one of 10 pilot cities in Indonesia which participated in the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) project supported by Rockefeller Foundation. Under the ACCCRN, ICLEI Indonesia supported the city in identifying priority urban systems to strengthen urban resilience. To start this process, the Mayor convened a Climate Change Core team which consists of technical staff from various departments of the city.

The Climate Change core team identified priority urban systems including associated climate change risks. Similar to the city’s assessment in the Urban Nexus, the city’s sanitation system emerged as an area of concern. The team explained that sanitation is most affected by climate change due to the lack of an integrated waste management system in the city. During the rainy season, drainage tends to get clogged. Wastewater can also contaminate wells which serve as the source of water supply. In terms of energy requirement, frequent thunderstorms can also disrupt electricity supply. The city also noted that the continuous degradation of its mangrove ecosystems, which serve as buffer zones for coastal ecosystems, should be urgently addressed.

Results of the assessment were used in developing Tanjungpinang’s City Resilience Strategy (CRS). The CRS summarizes priority areas and action points to build urban resilience. Some identified actions included the development of waste separation facilities particularly in residential areas, introduction of new waste management technologies, rainwater harvesting, and using solar cells in city government offices. Mangrove reforestation should also be done continuously with focus on monitoring survival and growth rate. ICLEI led the development of the CRS and was validated by the Climate Change core team. The final document has been turned over to the city. The CRS will then be integrated into the midterm development planning and budgeting process.

The head of Tanjungpinang’s environmental agency, Mr. Yuswandi, shared that the “ACCCRN process is a useful tool to predict likely climate impacts, assess vulnerability and hazards, and put together a comprehensive action plan.”

Integrating Resilience and Resource Efficiency

The integration of resilience and resource efficiency in the city agenda is essential to ensure the green growth and sustainable development of Tanjungpinang City. Ms. Heni Ari Putranti, the head of infrastructure, spatial planning and environment at the city’s local planning agency, looks at this various technical assistance from a holistic point of view. She mentioned that the results of ACCCRN – ICLEI Process and Urban Nexus project will both serve as substantial inputs and references for the city’s overall development planning. Specifically, the reports can be used in formulating the city’s Urban Sanitation Strategy, Drinking Water Supply System Strategy, and Clean Water Strategy, to name a few.

ICLEI SEAS Regional Director, Vic Aquitania noted that he is looking forward to more fruitful undertakings with the city; assisting it with its development needs while safeguarding resiliency and sustainability. “Tanjungpinang is a proactive ICLEI member and it is good to witness first-hand how local champions try to make a difference in their city,” he concluded.


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