Currently, the Race to Zero and Race to Resilience global campaign is well-underway as part of realising the promise of the Paris Agreement to limit the rise of global warming, and achieve a healthy, resilient and zero carbon future. The goal of the campaign is by 2030, to catalyse action by every sector, to deliver concrete, sectoral changes needed to fight global climate change.

Indonesia’s National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) has recently launched a policy recommendation document titled Kebijakan Pembangunan Berketahanan Iklim (PBI) or Climate Resilient Development Policy on 1st April 2021. It will act as a guideline for handling climate change for local and regional governments, as well as related institutions to implement the Medium-Term National Development Plan (RPJMN) 2020-2024, as emphasized by Mr. Suharso Monoarfa as Minister and/or Head of Bappenas. This will also affect the achievement of goal 13 of the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.

“In the 2020-2024 RPJMN, increasing climate resilience is targeted to reduce potential economic losses from the impacts of climate change by 1.15 percent of GDP by 2024. Climate resilient development policies are an implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Low Carbon and Climate Resilience Strategy, Sendai Framework, and fulfilment of Paris Agreement targets.”

Following the launched of the document, Bappenas in collaboration with Low Carbon Development Indonesia, organised the webinar with keynote speeches from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the national office of Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics or BMKG, and the World Bank.

In the opening session, Dr. Arifin Rudiyanto as BAPPENAS’ Deputy for Maritime Affairs and Natural Resources shared the context for the launch of this document; the urgency for national climate action for Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,000 islands along the equator, resulting in dynamic climate patterns that take place quickly (rapid onset) for a relatively long period of time (slow onset).

Therefore, climate resilient development is key to tackle worsened challenges because of lack of action such as the vulnerability of around 1,800 km of Indonesian coastline due to sea-level rise, which makes approximately 5,8 million km2 of territorial waters dangerous for fishing boats. This will also affect the economy because communities are likely to lose their livelihoods.

“Climate resilient development are more than beneficial sectoral wise such as maintaining fisheries production, rice, and then the reduction of vulnerability to increased malaria cases, boat accidents, improvement of adaptive technology, land conservation and ecosystem-based adaptation actions.”

In addition to that, Dr. Arifin also highlighted that effective climate resilient development policies can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 27,3%, and even up to 29% by 2030, contributing to 5,4-6% of economic growth as well.

Ms. Dwikorita Karnawati, the head of BMKG continued the discussion by giving a keynote speech to strengthen our understanding and awareness of the slow yet deteriorating effects of climate change for Indonesia, such as rainfall rates, greenhouse gas emissions and even ocean acidification due to CO2 contamination. “This can endanger our ocean ecosystem such as weaking of corals that protect coastlines and of course weakened ocean food resiliency,”she said.

Furthermore, Ms. Dwikorita emphasized on how the country can experience even more irregular rainfall patterns despite common heavy rainfall in Indonesia. “Rain is not a strange phenomenon for Indonesia’s tropical climate, but in 2020, data has revealed that more extreme rainfall period has increased to around 40 times per year, or a 400% increase since 1981, which can trigger disasters such as flash floods and more frequent landslides. Our children and grand-children might never experience normal rainfall patterns anymore,”she added.

As a result, multi-stakeholder pacts and commitments is strongly needed for improved climate resiliency to prepare and also protect further generations from the dangers of climate change. In her keynote speech, Ms. Mari Elka Pangestu as World Bank Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships expressed the support that World Bank is providing for Indonesia in terms of climate, as well as environmental resiliency. This includes support of the country moving towards managing forest land, marine resources, improvement in the energy sector such as supporting the low carbon energy movement.

“The World Bank also sees potential in land and ocean restoration which increase productivity and then livelihood and income of farmers and fishermen, such as the 600,000-hectare mangrove plantation programme currently implemented by the government. This is an example of how climate-environmental resiliency and development can occur simultaneously, of course, with the help of effective policies,” she said. She concluded that the World Bank disburses 35% of loans to finance climate change and resiliency programmes.

There were also session for sharing and discussion among various stakeholders. Benny Hermawan from the Regional Infrastructure Development Agency (BPIW) under the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) shared some best practices done by the agency to tackle or mitigate climate change effects.  “We have been implementing various projects such as increasing motion weirs to protect against seawater intrusion and water discharge. We are also preparing a new way of improving irrigation, such as intermittent irrigation, as well as canal blocking to maintain and protect peatlands,” he said.  Furthermore, the ministry is also planning to continue building up to 48 more dams in the period of 2021-2024.

Phillip Schukat, Principal Advisor for Climate Governance GIZ appreciated the ongoing Indonesia-Germany partnerships in the efforts of climate change mitigation and positively welcomed the launch of the PBI document by Bappenas as development planning and the climate angle must go hand in hand. “Indonesia has done very well in involving various ministries and their expertise, and this enabling environment, in the form of high-ranking commitment is essential to move this (climate resiliency) agenda. Nowadays, economic planning, for example, must include climate issues and the provision of quantitative indicators,” he said.

Ms. Gayatri Singh as Senior Urban Development at the World Bank, highlighted that taking the lens of cities and within the Asia-Pacific region, building resilience is currently the most feasible through good enabling environments and improvements in infrastructure.

“Resilience must become a core part of infrastructure planning, especially in Indonesia, for example, as reflected in urban spatial planning such as land use zoning. This is important to discourage further property and infrastructure investments in areas within cities in the Asia-Pacific region that are exposed to climate hazards,”she said. In addition to that, effective spatial planning as part of the local governments’ development plan, as she suggested, should be backed up by robust data.

During the discussion, it was also mentioned the crucial role of UCLG ASPAC, as a global alliance of cities and local governments voluntarily committed to combat climate change and implement the Paris Agreement as well. It is important that cities, and local governments should be at the core when it comes to turn climate action priorities into concrete action.

For more information regarding climate resilient action, the Global Campaign of Race to Zero – Race to Resilience, and related news to climate action, please visit:

By KM Team