As an international outreach venue, the Indonesia Pavilion at UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn (COP23 UNFCCC) is organized with a wide variety of programs including panel discussions, networking events, and cultural performances to showcase Indonesia’s support for the global long-term goal demonstrated through real actions.
Since 2011, Indonesian Climate Reality Leaders have been active in organizing and participating at the Indonesia Pavilion, now supervised by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, as Indonesia’s National Focal Point for UNFCCC.
Dr. Agus Justianto, a Climate Reality Leader and Minister’s Expert Staff in charge of Indonesia Pavilion, explained that this year there were 48 sessions held in the Pavilion during COP23 in Bonn, held on 6 – 17 November, with more than 200 speakers from various countries (including Climate Reality Leaders).
The Honorable Al Gore
A number of eminent persons presented their views at the Pavilion, including former Vice President of the United States, The Honorable Al Gore in an event hosted by Ambassador Dr. Kartini Sjahrir, the patron of Climate Reality Indonesia.
Mr. Gore emphasized the importance of reducing deforestation rates in Indonesia as well as the development of new and renewable energy.
He praised the Indonesian Government’s efforts in managing peatlands. In terms of energy, Mr. Gore stated that the cost of new and renewable energy has greatly decreased dramatically and can compete with fossil fuels. However, it must be supported by policy and enabling environment.
Mr. Gore also encouraged international support for Climate Reality Indonesia’s flagship program, the Youth Leadership Camp for Climate Change.
A session on “The Roles of Youth to Provide Easy Choice of Climate Actions,” led by Climate Reality Leader, Lia Zakiyyah tried to answer the following questions:
1. What are the challenges of involving youth in the development of climate policy and actions on a national scale?
2. How to best consult young people and ensure that their input is heard?
3. What are the most effective ways to replicate those best practices to other nations or regions to increase participation of youth on climate policy development and accelerate climate actions?
Speakers for the Youth Session were Linh Do, Australia and Pacific Lead for The Climate Reality Project; Arthur Wyns, International Program Manager Climate Tracker; Renee Karunungan, Climate Campaigner at Dakila, the Philippines; Karida Niode, Sustainability Analyst at S&C North America and Indonesian Climate Reality Leader; Dyah Roro Esti Widya Putri, Founder and Chair of Indonesian Energy and Environmental Institute (IE2I); and Abel Lalagavesi from Fiji Youth Climate Movement.
In essence, ore and more young people from different countries are beginning to realize the importance of climate solutions and seek more ambitious action on climate change control. The support for climate actions, in their opinions, should be strengthened.
One of the most obvious supports for youth is to listen seriously to what they wish for and try to accommodate their thoughts.
Communicating Climate Change
A Session on Communicating Climate Change: Closing the Gap between Science and Action was organized at The Pavilion, chaired by Amanda Katili Niode PhD, Manager of The Climate Reality Project Indonesia, with the objectives of understanding the main problems of communicating climate change at a national level, the challenges and best practices from different countries; and recommendations on platforms to replicate best practices to other nations.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Rachmat Witoelar, Indonesian President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change stated that the communication aspect of climate change has been pretty much set aside by the players of climate change. The mundane and complicated process of the negotiation, the intimidating scientific jargons, the reports that have no human touch on it, are some of the many barriers to make people understand and care about climate change. As we are racing against time towards climate actions, communication can be the key to engage more stakeholders to be more involved.
Marc Buckley, CEO and Founder of ANJA GmbH & Co. KG and a Climate Reality Leader discussed the close links between climate change and sustainable development goals. The 17 goals can be categorized into economics, society, and biosphere. The current global challenges are food-related issues, resilience to disasters, the environment, energy, health and water.
Dr. Anna Palliser, Lecturer at Southern Institute of Technology, New Zealand and a Member of the International Environmental Communication Association argued that understanding facts alone can not change a person's thinking. Anna described various activities related to climate change in New Zealand and concluded that the best way to communicate science is through spaces involving deliberative stakeholders, as well as accommodating various critiques and questions.
Ethan Spaner, Climate Policy Advisor at The Climate Reality Project explained the activities of a global network with more than 14,000 climate leaders who have been trained in climate change science and knowledge, communication, and how to organize in the face of global climate crisis. The key words are climate crisis, and solutions at various levels.
Dr. Chui-Ling Tam, Assistant Professor at the Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Canada and the Founding Member of the International Environmental Communication Association described climate communication in Canada. It focused on a number of issues: limit air pollutants, limit carbon emissions, UNFCCC gender action plans, net growth, green financing and multi-scale coordination. The Canadian communication strategy includes attendance at various international meetings, websites, social media, and youth.
Shana Tufail, Communications and Marketing Manager at The Alan Turing Institute, UK and a Climate Reality Leader stressed that the science of data will change the world. According to observations in some countries, knowledge of data is not communicated well to the general public. Billions of gigabytes of data are generated globally every day and data science is the driving force for turning this data into useful information, and understanding its impact on science, society, economy and way of life.
In closing the session, Climate Change Minister of the Philippines, Manuel de Guzman read a speech prepared by Senator Loren Legarda, Philippine topnotch senator, global thinker, and climate change champion. It essentially addresses various climate change issues in the Philippines as well as steps taken including the importance of communicating various knowledge of climate change to the general public.
UN Events at Bonn Zone
In addition to events at the Indonesia Pavilion, Indonesian Climate Reality Leaders were invited to speak at a number of events in Bonn Zone.
Amanda Katili Niode, the Manager of Climate Reality Indonesia, was invited as a panelist at a Side Event: “Child Rights, Climate Change, and Climate Action.” Organized by Children in a Changing Climate Coalition (Plan International, Save the Children, UNICEF, ChildFUnd Alliance, and World Vision), the event brought together a diverse group of people championing child rights and climate action. It offered the different perspectives of young people and children, those working on human and child rights in the UN system, the government, and civil society.
In her capacity as Manager of The Climate Reality Project Indonesia, Amanda was invited to give a Keynote Speech at another Side Event: “Dreaming Big in Climate Education.” Organized by 10 organizations (FAO, IFAD, ILO, OHCHR, UNESCO, UN Environment, UNFCCC, UNICEF, UNITAR, WHO), the event objectives were to:
- Demonstrate the tangible contribution that learning and skills development is already making to climate change adaptation and mitigation
- Present new types of partnerships needed to engage a critical mass of children, youth, professionals, decision-makers, and society as a whole in climate action.
It is important for Climate Reality Indonesia to participate in international conferences, not only to share its activities, but also to network with global climate stakeholders for future collaborations.