Mobilizing Youth Voice for Climate Action in Indonesia

February 12, 2021

Students having a discussion on the campus yard (Yogyakarta, 2020). Ika Hilal /

Jakarta, February 11, 2021 – Youth mobilization is key to achieve Climate Justice.

More than 300 youth across 26 provinces in Indonesia recently gathered to highlight the growing threat of climate change, in a virtual discussion titled “Youth in Climate Action”. Hosted by UNDP’s Innovative Financing Lab (IFL), in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and Ministry of Finance, the event was also part of UNDP’s Climate Promise initiative to combat climate change and strengthen the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

The multi-stakeholder partnership plays a vital role in combating climate change. UNDP Indonesia has been working closely with the Government of Indonesia on a variety of climate change issues, including financing on climate actions in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, as well as in youth empowerment, and investment – positioning young people front and center with regard to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs_ through leadership, entrepreneurship, and social innovation.

The event brought together government, climate experts/actors, communities and young people from all over Indonesia to share knowledge, exchange ideas & experiences, and discuss their role towards the national commitment, challenges and efforts in accelerating climate action, climate finance, as well as green recovery.

The Director General of Climate Change Management, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Dr. Ir. Ruandha Agung Sugardiman noted, in opening remarks, “No doubt, youth have the power to create a community-wide movement. I encourage you to do so because our planet belongs to you and the generations to come. Therefore, the information on the impact of climate change needs to be internalized within the younger generation. The existing efforts in implementing climate change policy can be enhanced by the contributions made by the youth It is important to Do and to Act”.

Representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and Ministry of Finance addressed the key points in the plenary session on the national commitment, government strategy and approaches including youth engagement as well as financing needs and potential instruments to address climate change issues in Indonesia.

The breakout session dialogue addressed the views and ideas of the youth within the five essential pillars of climate mitigation and adaptation actions, climate policy and governance; waste management; biodiversity; carbon footprint; and green jobs and clean energy, where they mapped the existing challenges, feasible solutions and activities, and identified the necessary stakeholders/ actors to be engaged to achieve these solutions.

The interactive discussions were facilitated by five experts from various communities and organizations actively engaged in climate-related issues, . Forum of Sustainable District (Lingkar Temu Kabupaten Lestari/ LTKL), Indonesian Plastic Bag Diet Movement (Gerakan Diet Kantong Plastik/ GDKP), Biodiversity Warriors Yayasan KEHATI, South Pole, and the Institute of Essential Services Reform (IESR).

At the end of the breakout session, five youth representatives from each group shared the results of the discussion and reflections to the forum.

UNDP Indonesia recognizes the importance of highlighting the role of youth in raising climate awareness to enhance ambitions, and accelerating the momentum in achieving NDC targets.

“There is no other issue that has mobilized youth around the world in recent years than climate change. The decisions on environmental issues taken by political leaders today will affect generations to come and impact on how sustainable their future will be. With over 68 million youth, that’s 28 percent of the country’s (Indonesia’s) population of 260 million under the age of 25, youth can – and should play a critical role to mobilize the government to accelerate progress towards climate action, noted Sophie Kemkhadze, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Indonesia

Speakers and facilitators drove home the youth role in addressing climate change, noting that ensuring that keeping youth engaged will help lead Indonesia on its journey towards building a safer and sustainable country.

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Muhammad Didi, UNDP Head of Innovative Finance Lab,

Tomi Soetjipto UNDP Indonesia Communication Specialist