By Anna van Paddenburg, GGGI Sustainable Landscapes Sector Lead
On May 5, the Government of Indonesia and the Global Green Growth Institute agreed to work together to implement a five-year Country Planning Framework that will drive investment in and delivery of green growth projects across the country. As the world’s third largest GHG emitter, Indonesia has set an aspirational goal of reducing emissions by at least 29%, compared to business as usual, by 2030 and has adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Agenda.
The signing ceremony, held on the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank’s Annual Meeting, was the culmination of 4 years of hard of work, and a demonstration of Indonesia’s commitment to sustainable, green growth. I am honored to have been present at this momentous occasion, and to have contributed alongside steadfast partners and stakeholders to Indonesia’s transformational journey.
Having spent my childhood years living a very local life in villages across the Indonesian archipelago from North Sumatra in the west, all the way to Papua in eastern Indonesia, I have been privileged to see the country from the perspective of those who depend most on the country’s natural environment for their livelihoods and day to day subsistance. These people need the land, the water and the air, yet get harmed most by pollution, landslides, floods, loss of forests, climate change impacts and many other environmental degradation with large social impacts.
So, when I took on the role of GGGI Country Representative in Indonesia, the great potential impact of green growth in Indonesia was as clear as the challenges that lay ahead. Indeed, the Government of Indonesia – GGGI Green Growth Program was built from scratch in 2013, with my own backyard serving as our initial office space. Today, we are a team of 20 supported by local and international consultants. Many of our team members are imbedded in government ministries in Jakarta and provincial government offices, working side by side with our partners.
Over the past 4 years we mainstreamed green growth into development and investment plans of two key provinces, East Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan, with a population of close to 6 million people combined, to help a more systematic approach towards green growth implementation. We encouraged local government officials to make more informed decisions by applying a cost benefit analysis tool which includes environmental and social costs and benefits (eCBA) whn assessing projects and policies. We showed how projects can be optimized by better use of technologies, conducive policies, incentives and other enablers by thoroughly assessing the nett worth of these projects quantifying environmental and social costs and benefits. We identified ways to strengthen the implementation of Strategic Environmental Assessments, Environmental Impact Assessment and Public Private Partherhips policies. We suppported the development of green growth strategies through a multi-stakeholder process in a few districts where their own vision of green growth were matched with green growth actions, and resulted in a budget allocation of approximately five million dollars by the local goverments of Murung Raya and Pulang Pisau.
These achievements were only made possible by the partners and government colleagues in Indonesia who share GGGI’s vision and drive for green growth; who work every day to overcome challenges to show that green growth makes economic sense, generate jobs and reduces poverty and emissions. I am forever inspired by their commitment to develop Indonesia in a sustainable way that benefits all people equally and keeps our natural environment safe and well managed so that those less fortunate in today’s economy, as well as future generations can continue to benefit from its water, air, soil, forests services and biodiversity.
With the Government of Indonesia and GGGI partnership consolidated, and the Program’s new Country Planning Framework in place, the future is bright. We are now preparing and designing investment projects in forested and peat landscapes with our government partners. We are assessing the feasibility of solar PV in several on and off grid locations and are developing business models to turn palm oil effluent to energy for remote villages without access to electricity or dependent on diesel only. We are supporting the government to develop economic zone masterplans with green growth outcomes being central to these plans and jurisdicational approaches for without commitments from governors and district heads and implementation done across entire provinces and districts, there will be no impact at scale, as all things are connected. We have embarked in the development of a green growth curiculum in partnership with the government to train civil servants on green growth implementation across indonesia
These achieved and planned measures are but a small contribution to the overall development of Indonesia. Yet they will make meaningful impacts to many Indonesians, and to the country’s greater movement toward a green economy. I am proud to have played a part in this.
GGGI will continue to foster green investment, find innovative ways to generate energy, and help Indonesians use vital resources efficiently and sustainably. Let us apply smart technologies for infrastructure solutions, innovate for efficient production, processing, distributions and consumption of sustainable commodities to support well-managed landscapes so important ecosystem services and biodiversity can be sustained. Through collective effort with partners from the business community as well as financial sector, we will see green capital flow to inclusive sustainable projects with tangible impacts for society overall, including women and children.
As I move on from Indonesia, and take up a new, exciting challenge within GGGI, I will nevertheless continue to encourage the Indonesia Program and its partners to build on its achievement and find new, innovative opportunities to leverage for the benefit of Indonesia, its people and its environment.
Anna van Paddenburg is GGGI’s Sustainable Landscapes Sector Lead, within the Investment and Policy Solutions Divsion based in Seoul. She served as Indonesia Country Representative, based in Jakarta, from January 2013 to April 2017.