For a week in April, city representatives from Kaysone Phomvihane and Pakse in Lao PDR and DKI Jakarta, Bekasi, and Tangerang in Indonesia traveled through Indonesia learning about the low emission development strategies being deployed in different communities and seeing the results for themselves.
National government representatives including the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resource (MONRE) and provincial government representatives from Champasak and Savannakhet in Lao PDR joined the study tour organized by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.
ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat works with cities across the region through projects such as Urban-LEDS and Ambitious City Promises to build capacity and increase uptake of low emission development strategies that both help local governments control their emissions and make for healthier and more sustainable cities and communities.
This activity brought together a diversity of leaders from the two countries to help them see and understand how cities in a developing country such as Indonesia are integrating low-carbon considerations in their development planning and processes.
Sharing waste management and transport strategies
Manggar Sanitary Landfill in Balikpapan City in Kalimantan Province has been operating since 2012. The landfill has a waste-to-energy facility that converts methane collected from waste into electricity. Currently, the facility supplies electricity to around 150 households in Balikpapan.
Mayor Rizal Effendi underscored that Balikpapan prioritizes cleanliness and greenery alongside waste management; the city maintains a botanical garden for conservation as well as educational and tourism purposes.
Meanwhile, Bogor City in Java Province has completed a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory to inform and define their low carbon strategy. Based on the results of the inventory, the city is focusing on developing green transportation by converting mini-vans into small buses that can be used for public transport, utilizing cleaner fuel and improving pedestrian paths throughout the city.
In Bogor Regency, the private sector and community groups have taken up low emission development strategies and the community is seeing the benefits. For instance, Indocement, a privately-owned facility uses waste such as rice husks, palm oil kernels, sawdust, and other municipal waste as an alternative fuel in cement production.
Community members in the village of Nanas, also in Bogor Regency, are improving waste management by composting, upcycling, urban gardening. They are also making eco-bricks that can be used to supplement construction materials, showing how community empowerment can lead to collective climate action.
Replicable ideas and ways forward
This type of city-to-city exchange focused on tangible strategies that can help local leaders identify solutions that are applicable for their communities, increasing the likelihood of uptake across various contexts.
Pakse City Mayor Mr. Soulivanh Sawathasine expressed gratitude to ICLEI and the host cities in Indonesia for this learning opportunity, sharing that he is eager to look at how existing waste management practices in Indonesia such as methane capture and waste-to-energy can be applied in Lao PDR.
Urban-LEDS II is an international project implemented by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and UN Habitat with funding support from the European Commission.
Ambitious City Promises is implemented by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) through the International Climate Initiative (IKI).