Jakarta, Indonesia: Yayasan ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability Indonesia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) organized the National Dialog: Strategic Role of Local Governments and Civil Societies on Climate Change Agenda in Urban Area.
The event, attended by approximately 100 representatives from the national and local governments, communities, non-government organizations (NGO), the academe, and others, is part of the Climate Festival 2018. MoEF organized the festival to publicly address recent national efforts and progress in GHG emission reduction.
In his keynote speech, Mr. Rahmat Witoelar, the special envoy of Indonesia for Climate Change and a member of the Board of Supervisor for ICLEI SEAS- Indonesia, underscored the importance of local governments’ vision to forge the right path in responding to the issues brought about by climate change.
According to a 2013 study by the Institute of Demographic Studies, Indonesia’s population is projected to reach 366 million by 2050; making it the fifth most populous country in the world. The spike in population will also spill over into the growth of 20 megacities, 50 large cities (with approximately 500,000 inhabitants) and 100 smaller cities. The trend in urban growth is expected to exacerbate pressures in terms of resource use, transport efficiency, GHG emissions, waste reduction and management, and others.
Building on these trends, Indonesian ministries, specifically the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), are encouraging local governments to complete their respective GHG inventories. Mr Joko Prihatno, Director of GHG Inventory and MRV, MoEF, stated that tools for the conduct of GHG inventory should be accompanied by sufficient staff capacity building and development both in the provincial and local government levels. To ensure the seamless completion of the GHG inventory, Mr. Prihatno suggested that this activity should be included in the Mid-term Local Development Plan.
The local governments’ role
Awareness plays a key part on the issue of climate change. When citizens are aware, they are more likely to commit to developing and implementing strategies to reduce their GHG emissions. Recognizing this, Ms. E.P. Fitratunnisa, Division Head of Environment and Cleaning Management of DKI Jakarta, posited that local governments should really commit to designing programs which aim for GHG emissions reduction. DKI Jakarta operationalizes this through institutional synergy and strengthened regulations for local activities to reduce GHG emissions. Examples of these efforts are the establishment of governor regulation, integration of programs and spatial planning plan, and the use of grand design as a guiding document for GHG reduction activities.
On the other hand, Mr. Jumhana Luthfi, head of Bekasi City’s Environment Agency, emphasized the need for inclusive and contextualized campaigns to help raise awareness about the issue;, especially about the city’s waste management program. Mr. Luthfi asserted that awareness is instrumental in soliciting the people’s participation in the programs that the local government implements.
Mr. Said Endrawiyanto, Head of Local Development Planning Agency of Tangerang City, reported that Tangerang has taken actions to promote adaptive and low emission city development in response to climate change. Their city has taken measures in terms of sustainable transportation, community-based waste management, and climate kampong program; a national program initiated by MoEF to encourage stakeholder involvement to conduct local initiatives in the response of climate change issue.
The Regent of Sijunjung Mr. Yuswir Arif, shared their 9 Pillars of Healthy Nagari program, which is meant to support infrastructure improvement, sustainable forest management, food security, healthy and happy lives, sustainable transportation, and so on.
CSOs and NGOs commit support to local governments
Addressing urban pressures in the context of climate change is not a job for the national and local governments alone. It is significant to create synergies with CSOs and NGOs to effectively synchronize movements for a wider and more extensive result.
Abdul Karim, representing Healthy City Forum, shared experiences with the Sanimas (community-based sanitation), an initiative where communities in Bogor grant a small portion of their land for sanitation development in their area. Local governments in Bogor provided funding assistance for this.
Meanwhile, Gina Karina, Interim Country Manager of ICLEI SEAS Indonesia Office, elaborated on the support that the organization has provided to Indonesia’s local governments. In 2012, ICLEI, through the Urban LEDS initiative, has assisted local governments and regions to compute their GHG emission inventory as well as to implement priority mitigation programs. Similarly, the organization has also supported 10 cities in compiling their City Resilience Strategy (CRS). Ambitious City Promises, ICLEI’s newest undertaking, will provide technical assistance to DKI Jakarta, Tangerang, and Bekasi in developing and achieving their mitigation goals through inclusive and participatory stakeholder engagement strategies.
Weighing in on the discussion, Mr. Jatna Supriatna, Chairperson of Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), proposed that local governments should ensure that they include their citizens when it comes to addressing climate change. Significant stakeholder should be involved; especially experts and academics.
To close the event and capture salient points from the speakers, Mr. Chalid Muhammad, senior advisor for MoEF, reiterated the following points: the commitment and vision of sustainable development from local government leader is a vital entry point the achievement of national and local commitment in GHG emission reduction, (2) civil society has a strategic and important role in the success of local government climate change related programs, and (3) technical and advisory assistance from NGO or International Organization are essential to support local government climate actions and programs.