TCI Forum Dialogue #4: Indonesian Youths at the Crossroads of Climate Crisis and Politics

Silvania Utami
Mon, 26 Jun 2023

Kota Kita, in collaboration with WRI Indonesia, hosted the fourth TCI Forum Dialogue titled "Cities for All: Youth at the Crossroads of Climate Crisis and Politics" on June 19th, 2023. As many as 50 youths attended the online discussion, which delved into the challenges and opportunities faced by the young generation of Indonesia in advocating for climate issues.

Fildzah Husna from Kota Kita moderated the discussion. The panel of speakers featured Galih Raditya from Seni Tani, a community-based youth activist with a focus on sustainable agriculture; Subcyclist, a community-based advocate promoting cycling to reduce urban emissions; Kolektif Hysteria, a community-based group emphasizing the role of creativity and art as tools to build sustainable cities; and Prima from Bicara Udara, a community dedicated to air pollution prevention as a form of climate mitigation in Indonesia.

Rising Voices: Youth-Led Climate Advocacy Strategies

Each speaker shared their experiences and approaches in advocating for collective climate action among the younger generation amidst increasing climate pressures. Galih from Seni Tani shared that their initial step was to raise awareness about agriculture among young people, notably by initiating collaborations with other experts and sectors. 

"For example, if volunteers with design skills can contribute by creating mural art or signage tools to promote agriculture to young people," said Galih. Indra from Subcyclist echoed the sentiment, adding that the collaboration should be multi-sectoral and multi-generational. Adin from Gerobak Hysteria noted that young people can play a role in mainstreaming the climate crisis issue through alternative methods, such as art. Meanwhile, at the level of policy advocacy, Prima also shared that data is the primary weapon to establish the directed movement. 

A common concern voiced by the speakers was the challenge of maintaining consistency in youth-led movements. "Maintaining a consistent movement is a challenge in the youth movement. We must remember that what we are doing now is a long-term vision; we are trying to solve problems that will persist beyond 1-2 weeks," said Bicara Udara's Prima. Responding to this challenge, Arief Wijaya, the Program Director at WRI Indonesia, shared that linking the young narrative's movement with the larger narratives of policymakers at both the regional and national levels is one technique for broadening the impact of youth movements. "The youth movement is part of a larger movement that navigates more complex issues such as the climate crisis; consistency is the key to a larger and more massive impact," said Arif.

With the growing urgency for effective policies against climate crisis actions, mobilizing and consolidating youth-led climate movements will be crucial. One of the ways the Think Climate Indonesia program has contributed to this effort is by working to build youth movements' capacity to amplify the climate crisis issue. Follow Kota Kita's social media channels and the channels of our TCI Partners — WRI Indonesia, KEMITRAAN, PATTIRO, and Kaleka — to stay updated!