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Young Generations in Action For Climate Change Issue

The movement of the young generation to build the earth through the conservation of Serbajadi Village Micro Forest Park, Natar, South Lampung (Photo: KEHATI).

  • Date:
    04 Sep 2023
  • Author:

Bogor is recognized as one of the cities in Indonesia whose residents are highly concerned about climate change. This fact is supported by research conducted by the City Innovation Center and Smart Community Institute of Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), which involved the cities of Semarang, Bandung, Surabaya, and Tangerang.


These five cities have undergone various assessments, including the use of renewable energy, minimizing private vehicle usage, environmental management, energy substitution, energy-efficient vehicles, public transportation usage, and the addition of green open spaces.


However, like other cities in Indonesia, Bogor is still seen as needing to engage the younger generation in taking tangible actions to find solutions for the impacts of climate change. As stated by Rika Anggraini, the Director of Communications and Partnerships of the KEHATI Foundation, the youth are the right investment as environmental patriots who will manage natural resources more wisely and sustainably.


Rika shared this information during the Aku Iklim (Communication Action for Climate Change) workshop held on July 23, 2023. The workshop was a collaboration between CPROCOM (Center for Public Relations, Outreach, and Communication), Universitas Mercu Buana, KEHATI Foundation, and PERTAMINA.


During the workshop, Rika introduced the Biodiversity Warriors community from KEHATI Foundation, highlighting the importance of the younger generation’s role in various educational backgrounds. The Biodiversity Warriors was established on June 18, 2014, with a mission to raise awareness about Indonesia’s unique biodiversity and promote concrete actions for preservation and sustainable utilization. The Biodiversity Warriors, also known as BW KEHATI, actively engage in online initiatives as well.


As a follow-up action, in 2019, the KEHATI Foundation started collaborating with nine universities to establish the BW KEHATI network on campuses. By December 2021, a total of 4072 active Biodiversity Warriors were involved in various activities. BW KEHATI members are encouraged to submit sponsorship proposals and are given opportunities to participate in national and international forums. They are also asked to be active on social media platforms, such as creating content for photo contests. These contents are rewarded based on the monthly accumulation of points they successfully gather. Some of their documented photos are sent to the Minister of Environment and the Jakarta Provincial Government.


In addition to photo contests, online training sessions covering topics like leadership, biodiversity, access to international funding, and press release writing are also included in BW KEHATI’s activities.


During the Aku Iklim workshop, many facts about the vulnerable impacts of climate change on coastal communities were revealed. However, the challenge remains in effectively communicating these impacts on biodiversity to the public. Emilia Basar, the CEO of CPROCOM, emphasized the importance of providing information to the community so that they can actively participate in mitigation efforts.


Furthermore, Emilia explained that climate change has both direct and indirect effects on humans, whether gradual or extreme. The rise in sea levels directly leads to the destruction of marine ecosystems and the reduction of available land, resulting in a decline in fishing and agricultural productivity. With a decrease in fish population, fishermen often return home empty-handed, exacerbating poverty and disrupting their social lives. 


One of the real actions of CPROCOM regarding climate change is actively engaging with the community. This is done through the Climate Empowerment Action (ACE) strategy, which aims to empower the community through climate actions. The strategy includes six elements: education, training, raising awareness, community participation, access to public information, and international cooperation.


Providing training, such as developing localized and national materials, as well as considering cultural aspects, is considered crucial in transitioning towards a greener future. The messages conveyed to the community are not only through media platforms but also through various activities, to make them aware that climate change impacts, such as disasters, will create new social problems. Vulnerable groups to these impacts include women and persons with disabilities. There are still many marginalized groups that need consideration and support in addressing climate change issues.


The issue of global warming and its effect on climate change has captured the attention of PERTAMINA, a state-owned energy company in Indonesia. Being conscious of their impact on the environment, PERTAMINA feels a responsibility to maintain a balance in their business activities by empowering the community in a sustainable manner.


According to Fajriyah Usman, Vice President of CSR & SMEPP PERTAMINA, PERTAMINA’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility is realized through its efforts in the fields of education, environment, and economy, with the aim of achieving energy independence based on circularity. In the field of education, PERTAMINA has created programs related to disabilities and scholarships for students. The scholarship, known as Beasiswa Sobat Bumi, is administered by PERTAMINA Foundation and opens for applications every year. On the economic side, PERTAMINA focuses on developing small businesses and eco-tourism villages that are integrated with environmental conservation by the local community.


From an environmental perspective, PERTAMINA’s flagship program known as Desa Energi Berdikari (Self-Reliant Energy Villages) has currently reached 47 villages across Indonesia, located near PERTAMINA’s operational areas. In 2023, PERTAMINA plans to add 19 more locations, totaling to 66 Desa Energi Berdikari by the end of the year. Alongside this, PERTAMINA contributes to tree planting, flora and fauna conservation, as well as waste management mentoring.


The Desa Energi Berdikari program was established to ensure that communities understand the issue of climate change and its connection to energy conservation. Although PERTAMINA is currently engaged in activities related to fossil fuel-based energy, in the future, PERTAMINA will transform towards more environmentally friendly energy sources. These efforts need to be communicated to the public through tangible activities. 


It’s time for real climate change mitigation to become a trend, starting from now and beyond. No matter where we come from, we can communicate this issue based on our knowledge, passion, or experiences. Everyone, especially the younger generation, should understand and participate in the transition towards a low-emission and resilient world.