Sustainability |

Indonesia’s Sustainable Development Becoming More Sustainable


The concept of sustainable development is finally making real progress in Indonesia through Indonesia Vision 2050, and the Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development (IBCSD).

The Indonesia Vision 2050 project aims to have the planet’s “nine billion people living well, within the limits of the Earth’s resources, by 2050.” For Jakarta specifically, the issues are familiar and becoming more pressing every day. IBCSD believes that the Jakarta government needs to review and assess all the risks and opportunities in terms of the ecosystem associated with the city’s operations.

As pointed out in President Jokowi’s proposal to move the capital to another location, Jakarta is sinking at an alarming rate. This is exacerbated by Jakarta’s conventional drainage systems, climate change and inadequate provision of water infrastructure so that there are still too many people who use groundwater in their homes and factories. As a result, Jakarta is finding it difficult to mitigate problems related to floods, land subsidence and seawater intrusion.

Pursuing sustainable development makes companies more competitive, more resilient and adaptable in a fast-changing world, and more prepared for the future.

- Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Built on a porous river delta, Jakarta’s water table is a related concern. According to IBCSD, negative effects of land use change on water resources are among the most important environmental problems for the city and preserving green open spaces in urban planning is needed to maintain or enhance Jakarta’s water catchment capacity.

While the new MRT is a step in the right direction, Jakarta will need to implement other innovative sustainable transportation policies including promoting more walking and bicycling, carpool matching services, shuttle services, telecommuting and downzoning in downtown areas..

Just some of IBCSD’s initiatives include the Indonesian Partnership on Plastic Waste Management (IP2WM), which is a working group that has IBCSD and its partners, including the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, reducing plastic waste by promoting better waste management in Jakarta Bay through the circular economy concept. A circular economy, or circularity, is an economic system aimed at minimising waste and making the most of resources. This regenerative approach is in contrast to the traditional linear economy, which has a ‘take, make, dispose’ model of production.

IBCSD also hosts workshops on responsible consumption and production; how the private sector can adopt Children’s Rights and Business Principles; and ‘Green Lifestyles,’ which encourages the implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs) and recognizes the need to improve the efficiency of Indonesia’s food system.

One of IBCSD’s partners is Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020), a global public-private partnership that works with Indonesian companies, many of which are based in Jakarta, to reduce the tropical deforestation associated with the sourcing of commodities such as palm oil, soy, beef, and paper. Doing so significantly reduces global greenhouse gas emissions, improves the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers, conserves natural habitats and protects tropical landscapes.

IBCSD, together with the Indonesia Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KADIN Indonesia), is developing a business view of the actions that must be taken to make the vision of sustainable development a reality. This is given that ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option in the face of a climate changing more rapidly than predicted, declining key ecosystem services, food and energy insecurity for many, and the potential of another financial crisis sparked mainly by short-term thinking and poor governance.

Many of Jakarta’s companies have made progress in becoming more eco-efficient in terms of energy, water and resource use. Yet, according to IBCSD, progress in eco-efficiency may have to give way to radical changes in business systems. This is why innovation in policy making is urgently needed as much as the technology innovation itself.