Presidential candidates do not put their concern on national climate commitment during debate section II

Both candidates for Indonesian president can not see any commitment for national climate as the very essence of other issues being discussed in the debate consisting of infrastructure, food, energy, natural resource and environment held by KPU (General Election Commission). This is known through the recap or summary of the presidential candidates’ debate II and a discussion held by Yayasan Madani Berkelajutan on “what should be strengthened related to national climate commitment”, Monday, February 18, 2019 in Bilangan Kemang, South Jakarta.

Generally, the first candidate, Joko Widodo seemed to be focusing more on different policies, programs and projects related to all five issues above, yet, lack of governance issues and its solution still. Meanwhile, the second candidate, Prabowo Subianto tended to emphasize more on “blanket concept” such as independence, self-sufficiency, and national VS foreign ownership to cover all the issues above, however, he did not elaborate concrete moves or programs to address and reach the objectives.

Jokowi asserted the normative values for infrastructure program, for instance, road construction at the village and irrigation unit, toll road, bridges, airports and other communication infrastructures to support the Industry Revolution 4.0. On the other hand, Prabowo emphasized more on the normative values such as the role of community in planning system, environmental and social impacts, and other public infrastructures. Unfortunately, all the discussion of both parties can not pull and see the relation between the infrastructures and climate change.

In addition, they failed to elaborate the whole concept related to infrastructure and the vulnerability of the environment itself, and how it drove to low emission. Moreover, the strategic issues of indemnity seemed to have less even did not merely focus on. It should be the PADIATAPA (Agreement based on Prior Information without any coercion) of the affected community encouraged in advance instead of the infrastructure project to secure the use and avert human rights violations.

Furthermore, Jokowi asserted more on food stock and price stability in line with the energy and food sections, yet, it was Prabowo criticizing as several strategies of his tend to food imports only. However, both of the parties still did not address the adverse impact of climate change on food production as well as on accelerating food production through monoculture expansions such as palm oil to the environment which also threatened the local food diversity.  

“both of the candidates emphasize more on palm oil use as one alternative fuel and how to reach the energy self-sufficient. But, they do not elaborate any solution to address different social and environmental issues as the result of unsustainable palm oil plantation practice, such as potential damage on natural forest and peat land.” Anggalia Putri said, the Knowledge management manager of Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan.

“The strengthening of governance policy in upstream area like palm moratorium and of sustainable palm standard should be made by the selected candidates to avoid deforestation and peat land damage as it is essential to reach the low emission target in NDC at forest and land sectors.” “on the other hand, the statement of Jokowi on lessening fossil fuel through B20 to B100 Program has apparently contradicted to his wish; increasing offshore oil exploration,” Nuly Nazlia stated, the Task Manager of Executive Director of Koaksi Indonesia.

Indonesia has targeted renewable energy for 23% up to 2025, however, coal still dominates the electricity power or 31% of all. In fact, fossil energy dependence has proven to burden the economy, both fiscal and environmental. In the debate, even though the two candidates included the vision and mission of developing renewable energy, the mechanism for accelerating the development of renewable energy was unclear, including a strategy to improve energy and electricity management.

Two candidates focused only on the biodiesel/bioethanol development to B100 although the potential developed renewable energy of Indonesia is rich. It is better to put biofuel as a tentative answer on transportation sector. According to Nuly, the renewable energy discussion should be addressed as one strategic solution when a video of coal mining comes up. Yet, both of them did not even touch the rehabilitation plan of the rest of mining activities as the first step to the improvement.

Industry revolution 4.0 is not described to show that today is a disruption era for us to produce and use the electricity, ranging from much more efficient technology, solar roofing, batteries, electric cars and cheaper smart home system. “Indonesia will definitely be left behind if concerns only on fossil energy and does not try to use renewable energy. Besides, there are many potential green jobs within various sectors and are the key points for young voters to support them.” Nuly added.

Concerning the natural resources and environment, both candidates underlined the law enforcement for the environmental culprits, such as pollution, illegal logging and fishing, and forest and land fires. Basically, this commitment is good, but too way normative and does not provide any value for the selected candidate as there is no complete action on this law enforcement. In addition, the KPK - Corruption Eradication Commission found that 18 out of 22 registered rules are vulnerable to corruption.

For instance, Indonesia has lost up to $6.5 billion in forestry sector because of irrelevant report or statement where log price for $60-80 billion was not written in the report and annual tax is IDR 22 billion rupiahs for each concession. Meanwhile, the climate change will definitely affect the environmental quality including the food stock, fish, forest and land conditions, fires, and so forth. After all, there is no enough elaboration of both of the parties about their contribution on low emission to reach the national climate commitment to guarantee the food and energy self-sufficiencies, sustainable infrastructure and economic development.

“Referring to the second debate of the presidential candidates, there is much hesitation on their commitment on climate change. The energy resulted from coal mining which would have absolutely been contributing to emission as well as biofuel leading to deforestation and emission are the only options for the renewable energy, in other word, instead of finding other alternative as the renewable energy, they will only focus on the biofuel. They can not see precisely what the biofuel exactly is, that biofuel is in charge of driving the deforestation rate, greenhouse emission, and land encroachment especially the indigenous lands. Palm oil moratorium does not fit their consideration, although it actually is the alternative for natural resources governance,” Said Khalisah Khalid, the National Executive Politic Desk of WALHI.

In this debate, deforestation, degradation, and environmental rehabilitation issues were not the topics of the discussion of both candidates, but the corruption issues on the natural resources. Meanwhile, there were only a few considerations on indigenous people asserted by Jokowi. “In fact, the sustainable management of peatland and forest areas conducted by the community through social forestry can enable the target achievement of national climate commitment and support the food security, energy, sustainable natural resources and environment/habitat protection at local level.” Said Emmy Primadona, the program coordinator of KKI WARSI.

Therefore, whoever is selected, a real action on social forestry should have been a priority program and be supported by national strategy such as empowerment program from multi parties involved. This aimed to have the areas managed by the community brought positive impacts to better livelihood and sustainable management.

Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan suggests both candidates a strategic move to strengthen their commitment towards the national climate when they have officially been the selected president by designing an integrated policy to the infrastructure development, energy, food, natural resources and environment for a strong and focused low carbon emission and national and global climate commitment or NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution).

Moreover, the integrated policy is expected to accommodate the termination of deforestation rates, procrastination and evaluation natural resources registered permits in a big scale, and governance improvement regarding lands and natural resources in line with a commitment to a clear energy, forest and land, strengthened forest moratorium, implemented palm and petland moratoriums, rehabilitated degraded land, zero deforestation target, as well as designing and executing the real action plan to strengthen the rights recognition of local and indigenous people over their land, area, natural resources.

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