Sustainable Future: Supporting Indonesia’s Strategies to Address the Social Implications of Climate Change

Project Duration and Location

This project duration is 38 months and Located in locations as follows :

  • District of Solok, West Sumatera Province
  • District of Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara Province
  • District of Bantul, Special Region of Yogyakarta Province

Project Description

Over the past 20 years, climate change has proven to be one of the major challenges for Indonesia. As a major driver of social transformation, climate change and its effects on communities and individuals will call into question not just growth and prosperity but social inclusion and the realization of human rights. Climate change in Indonesia is mainly caused deforestation, forest fires, and degradation of soils and peat land and as such has placed Indonesia as the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases (World Bank 2010). These activities have themselves impacted upon the poorest communities particular those who have substantial reliance on ecosystem services.

A Sustainable Future: Supporting Indonesia’s Strategies to Address the Social Implications of Climate Change is a project funded through Indonesian Funds in Trust for UNESCO (IFIT), and implemented by UNESCO Jakarta Office. The initiative is based on the supposition that to achieve sustainable development, the resilience, adaptation and mitigation strategies have to account for social dimensions of climate change. Climate change in Indonesia has resulted in climatic variability, shifting and more extreme weather patterns, temperature increases, intense and erratic rainfall, and a series of impacts such as a rise in sea-level floods and prolonged droughts that have consequences for socio-environmental issues such as food insecurity, livelihoods, health, and land management.

The project promotes the use of interdisciplinary research, such as sustainability science, as a tool to obtain this knowledge and apply it when developing and tracking the progress of national and sub-national policies and plans on climatechange adaptation and mitigation. This reflects the language of monitoring and evaluation and the logical framework for programme or project design and implementation, but where criteria and measures are focused on concepts within sustainability science. To understand these transforming relationships between society and the environment, UNESCO Jakarta Office has spearheaded the translations of sustainability science principles into action through various projects implemented in the region.

Project Activities

This project aims at contributing to the development of reliable, research-based knowledge on climate change and its effects in society. The overall goal of this project is to raise awareness of the social dimension of climate change and prepare the ground for Indonesia to address potential challenges in this area.

Project Result

The project brought together different Universities and a policy institute to co-design and co-deliver applied Sustainability Science projects in various localities in Indonesia :

  • Andalas University, to implement a community-based project on Green Livelihood and Education in Solok District of West Sumatera Province;
  • Mataram University, to address the socio-environmental challenges caused by deforestation in West Lombok District, West Nusa Tenggara Province;
  • Gadjah Mada University, to explore participatory solutions to the threats of land degradation in District of Bantul, Special Province of Yogyakarta;
  • Institute for Strategic and Developmental Studies (ISDS), to investigate the effects of environmental degradation on the indigenous communities in the Riau Province of Sumatra;

The experience and knowledge derived from these projects provide the basis for the MOST School on Sustainability Science, which used the lessons learned to build the capacities of researchers and policymakers to find effective pathways of achieving sustainable transformation for the communities affected by climate change and environmental degradation. As a result, the government officials, researchers, and community representatives from the pilot cites acquired knowledge and skills on how to apply the principles of sustainability science to policies and practices, leading to improvement in livelihoods, as well as the environment.