Think Climate Indonesia Highlights the Role of CSOs and Youths in Mainstreaming Climate Action in Indonesia

Silvania Utami
Thu, 19 Oct 2023

Kota Kita alongside fellow partners of the Think Climate Indonesia (TCI) initiative, a program supported by the International Development Research Centre and Oak Foundation, gathered at the TCI National Forum in Jakarta, Indonesia, on October 12th, 2023, to present the achievements and findings from three years of collaborative work in advancing evidence-based climate actions. The forum was organized by KEMITRAAN in collaboration with PATTIRO, Kota Kita, Kaleka Indonesia, and WRI Indonesia.

The TCI National Forum highlighted three issues: the role of civil society organizations, particularly think tanks, as partners for the government in delivering climate-related data; the importance of advocating the climate crisis as a top priority issue in the 2024 national election; and an overview of Think Climate Indonesia's findings and ongoing endeavors. The event was attended by around 84 participants who joined in person and online, which included representatives from local and national government, academics, civil society organizations, and youths. 

Melanie Robertson, the Senior Program Specialist at IDRC, delivered the introductory remarks and elaborated on the Think Climate Indonesia initiative's efforts in enhancing the capabilities of five Indonesian civil society organizations to promote evidence-based climate policies." This event has allowed us to better understand the importance and strategic role of civil society organizations in promoting evidence-based climate action with a more significant impact. The five think tanks within Think Climate Indonesia have assisted us in understanding climate change and its mitigation impacts on Indonesian society," said Melanie Robertson, the Senior Program Specialist at IDRC.

Tri Sundari, the Director of Management for Research Permits and Innovation and Scientific Authorities, delivered the keynote speech at the National Agency for Research and Innovation of The Republic of Indonesia (BRIN). She emphasized that Think Climate Indonesia's research outputs aligned with national and sectoral policies to prevent global temperature increases from surpassing 1.5 degrees Celsius. "More consistent efforts in research are needed to drive data-driven government policies. Therefore, from the government's perspective, we highly appreciate continuous input from civil society organizations, including the TCI initiative," said Tri.

Following the introductory remarks and the keynote speech, the forum continued with two panel discussions that delved further into the role of civil society organizations and young people in climate efforts. The first session, titled "The Strategic Role of Civil Society Organizations in Promoting Evidence-Based Climate Change Action," was moderated by journalist Prita Laura and joined by Dr. Laode M. Syarif, Executive Director of KEMITRAAN; Bejo Untung, Executive Director of PATTIRO; Bernardinus Steni, Chairman of KALEKA; Cynthia Maharani, the Gender, Equity, and Social Inclusion (GESI) Program Lead, WRI Indonesia; Ahmad Rifai, Director of KotaKita.  Building on the findings from the research study of respective organizations, each speaker shared their insights on how civil society organizations such as think tanks play a strategic role in mainstreaming Indonesia's climate agenda through various efforts ranging from bridging engagements with local communities and supporting national and local governments in assessing existing climate initiatives. 

The second panel discussion during the event centered on Think Climate Indonesia's Position Paper titled "2024 Elections: Empowering Youth to Prioritize Climate Change". With a diverse panel of participants, the panel discussion not only highlighted the crucial role of the younger generation in shaping a sustainable future for Indonesia but also emphasized their active engagement. The speaker included Harry Surjadi, a senior environmental journalist; Fikri Yasin, S.I.Kom, M.I.Kom, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Executive Board of the PAN Party; Andi Muslimin, the Chairman of the Mimbar Peradaban Party Demokrat; Fatimah Zahrah, a Regional leader in Asean Youth Forum; Amalia Fubani, the Project Coordinator for Partnership for Governance Reform.

Amid the increasing need for unified and rapid climate action, the TCI National Forum ended with a shared agreement on the significance of fostering discussions between government, think tanks, youth, political parties, and civil society. These dialogues facilitate the exchange of viewpoints, the establishment of shared objectives, and formulating impactful climate policies.

The Think Climate Indonesia program concluded in October 2023, but our dedication to prioritizing the climate crisis will continue. Stay updated on the research report and dissemination by following Kota Kita's social media and WRI Indonesia, KEMITRAAN, PATTIRO, and Kaleka.