Climate change is one of the global issues we are dealing with today. The impact of climate change is extensive and affects various aspects, such as the environment, economy, education, and society’s livelihood. In the environmental aspect, for instance, in 2021, there were 5,402 disaster occurrences, 98-99 percent of which were hydro-meteorological disasters such as floods caused by climate or weather conditions. According to the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) (2022), climate change has led to an increase in the intensity of disasters in Indonesia.
The Government of Indonesia is already committed to addressing the impacts of climate change. It is stated in the Paris Agreement, which targets Indonesia to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 29 percent by its own efforts and up to 41 percent if there is international assistance by 2030. Moreover, in 2022, the government increased the Enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution (E-NDC) target to 31.8 percent and 43.2 percent by 2030.
This commitment is continuously strengthened by various adaptation and mitigation actions in the forestry, energy, agriculture, waste, and industrial processing sectors. In addition, at the regional level, there are regional action plans to address climate change, including the participation of communities in climate change action.
The Youth is an important element that has the potential to drive climate change action. In 2020, Indonesian youth between 15-24 years old contributed about 24 percent of Indonesia’s total population. This number is expected to increase in the next few years. Young people are also considered to have serious concerns about climate issues. According to a survey by the Indonesian Institute of Political Indicators (2020), the 17-26 year old group, known as Generation Z, is more conscious of climate change. The survey found that 82 out of 4,000 respondents were concerned about climate change. Based on about 4,000 respondents, 82 percent answered that the most alarming issue at the moment is the environment. The most concerning issues now and in the future include extreme weather, waste and plastic accumulation, health, deforestation, and air pollution.
Raising youth awareness and action on climate change is essential and must be encouraged from an early age. With the current development of media and the internet, it is an opportunity for young people to participate in conveying information or news related to environmental issues and actions or campaigns on climate change. It is also having the potential to create change through the dissemination of information. Besides through the media, the aspirations of young people can also be conveyed to legislative institutions (DPR or DPRD) in the province or regency/city.
PATTIRO, supported by The International Development Research Center (IDRC) and OAK Foundation, believes that it is essential to encourage the role of youth in climate change actions, especially at the local level. Therefore, PATTIRO in collaboration with Kawal Borneo Community Foundation (KBCF) as a partner in the region organized a Youth Camp for Climate Change Actions entitled “It’s Time for Take Action to Save the Earth!” on January 31 – February 3, 2023 at Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan. The participants came from 17 representatives of schools/universities/farmer groups/NGOs and were between 16-24 years old.
This book is a compilation of essays from Youth Camp participants. About 23 essays were collected that reflect participants’ ideas on environmental issues and climate change. Some issues are revealed related to climate change in the local environment, such as the forestry, health, tourism, and coastal sectors. Several ideas were brought to the attention of young people such as the importance of raising public awareness of climate change, collaboration between parties in climate action, strengthening the relationship between religion-nature and disasters, to the offer of using eco plastic and developing green energy. In addition, the other side of critical youth is also conveyed in this book, how they criticize natural resources, especially coal, which continues to be exploited continuously without regard to environmental sustainability.
Reading this book will evoke the nuances and passion of youth in driving climate change action. We believe this spirit needs to flourish in order for actions can be implemented and sustained. We wish you a happy reading!