Climate Foodprint in Indonesian Cities

Multiple cities

Indonesia’s agriculture is highly dependent on its climate. Increasingly frequent and intense extreme weather events and droughts, sea-level rise, and increasing irregularities in rainy season patterns are already impacting Indonesia’s agricultural production. Temperature increases and water availability have further heightened risks of crop failure and loss of livestock, threatening the country’s food security, among other factors. Indonesia’s National Development Planning Agency projected that agriculture production is predicted to decrease by around 10-17% due to decreasing water availability by 8% (2020). 

Urban areas — with complex interconnected social, economic, environmental, political, and cultural processes — shape unique geographies and present unique implications on food systems. With unprecedented rapid urban growth alongside growing climate pressures, the issue of food security has arisen in the urban landscape, affecting not only people’s access to food but also the urban economic system as a whole. At the same time, food consumption patterns in the cities affect the global food system and contribute to carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change, reinforcing the positive feedback that exacerbates the impact of climate change on food security.

As part of The Think Climate Indonesia initiative (TCI), Kota Kita will be investigating the relationship between urban food systems and climate risks in Indonesian cities to offer insight into policies and activities that can help expose climate risks and vulnerabilities while improving the sustainability of urban food systems. 

The Think Climate Initiative is a three-year partnership supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Oak Foundation to enable local think tanks in Indonesia to engage more effectively in climate actions. The three-year partnership provides core funding for the organizational and research activities of five local think tanks: Kota Kita, Yayasan Inobu, World Resources Institute (WRI) Indonesia, PATTIRO Centre for Regional and Information Studies, and Partnership for Governance Reform (KEMITRAAN).

Investigating Climate Foodprint in Cities

Starting 2021, Kota Kita has been investigating the urban food consumption pattern and configuration of urban food systems from two different urban contexts and socio-economic settings in Indonesia: 

  • Jakarta, a diverse and expansive capital city on the northern coast of Java
  • Solo Raya, a growing small-sized inland metropolitan with a strong cultural identity and heritage.

With the urban food system as the center, this research aims to review the relationship and potential impact of climate change on the urban food system and comprehend how urban food consumption patterns and food systems contribute to climate change.

The research will begin with understanding the extent of the urban food system as a baseline. Secondly, the study will focus on generating evidence on the potential impacts of climate change, both biophysical and economic/environmental impacts, that affect food security, including availability, accessibility, and utilization. In particular, the research will examine the impacts at different levels: regional, city, and specific areas/actors, e.g., informal systems, markets. Lastly, the research study will focus on how urban food systems (from production, distribution, to consumption) contribute to the production of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.