Jakarta’s gubernatorial election: a call for change

Published in East Asia Forum, September 29th, 2012

Author: Fitrian Ardiansyah, ANU,

original linkhttp://www.eastasiaforum.org/2012/09/29/jakartas-gubernatorial-election-a-call-for-change/

Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo’s expected victory in the final round of Jakarta’s gubernatorial election against incumbent Governor Fauzi ‘Foke’ Bowo has sent a clear message that the government’s approach to managing Jakarta’s complex urban systems needs to change profoundly.

Official results will not be available until 1 October, but according to exit polls taken on 20 September 2012, Jokowi gained approximately 53–54 per cent of the votes while Foke obtained 46 per cent.

Jokowi’s running mate, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (known as ‘Ahok’), is a Christian with an ethnic-Chinese background. In the lead up to the final round of the election, several Muslim figures beseeched their constituents not to vote for a non-Muslim candidate, a clear message for voters to back away from the Jokowi–Ahok team. Seeing the increase in intolerance in Jakarta (and Indonesia as a whole), many Jakartans, including Jokowi’s supporters, reacted by calling for people to be rational and to elect candidates based on their performance. Many utilised social-media platforms — Jakarta having recently been named the most active Twitter city in the world — to convey their messages of tolerance. This seems to have paid dividends for Jokowi.

The results may have interesting implications for the approaching 2014 legislative and presidential elections. Jokowi was supported by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (the party of former President Megawati Sukarnoputri) and Gerindra (the party of former Suharto-era strongman and 2014 presidential frontrunner Prabowo Subianto). Foke was backed by the Democratic Party (the largest party in the parliament and the party of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono) and Golkar (the party of the former dictator Suharto). Such a shift in party support could foreshadow political change at the national level.

The key topics of debate during the campaign, however, related to challenges facing the megacity of Jakarta.

Jakarta has constantly struggled to find a balance between promoting development and providing a safe, healthy environment for its inhabitants. The city’s infrastructure has not kept up with its fast-growing population and high level of density. The state of the city’s poor infrastructure is hugely challenging for Jakartans.

Seasonal flooding is a serious problem, as Jakarta lacks the physical capacity to absorb high rainfall. Regular fire incidents in Jakarta have been associated with densely populated areas across the city and the mismanagement of urban slums and poverty — officials claim such incidents are mainly the result of illegal power connections. But the biggest topic of debate is the heavy traffic congestion; Jakarta’s traffic crisis is estimated to cost at least US$1.4 billion a year. A dramatic increase in multiple-vehicle ownership in Jakarta has not only led to traffic jams, but also to an increase in air pollution, which leads to high levels of respiratory and other serious diseases.

The outgoing governor has made efforts to address this issue, for instance, by pushing for special bus lines and a program for mass rapid-transport systems. Last year, the central government disbursed US$32.4 million in efforts to boost infrastructure development in and around the capital, partly aimed at improving transport infrastructure. But, according to many critics, these investments still fell far short of the Jakartan people’s expectations. Slow implementation and weak governance and law enforcement, as well as limited incentives and disincentives for the public to change their behaviour, have created major obstacles for the city government to overcome this issue.

The challenge of flooding is a similar story. While the outgoing governor and city administration claim to have been successful in addressing the issue, in particular by building the East Flood Canal, many point to the need for more comprehensive solutions.

Solutions for traffic jams and flooding, as well as many other issues, require changes in the behaviour of Jakartans (for example, flooding would be easier to address if people stopped throwing rubbish directly into rivers and drains). Jakartans need to realise that they contribute to the city’s problems, and their behaviour therefore needs to change if they are to be part of the solution. Regardless of any programs put in place by the city government, without active public participation, the desired outcomes will be hard to achieve.

Jokowi claims to have the appropriate solutions for Jakarta’s problems, drawing on his experience as the mayor of the Central Javan city of Surakarta (or Solo). As the mayor of Surakarta, and a nominee for the World Mayor 2012 awards, Jokowi has a reputation as a clean and down-to-earth leader. He demonstrated these characteristics in his previous role through his reluctance to draw a salary, the implementation of one-day processing for ID cards, and improvements to the informal sector and markets.

Jokowi’s critics argue that the challenge of running Jakarta is on a different level to the challenge of running Surakarta, the population of which is little more than half a million. But he and his running mate have a great opportunity to change Jakarta. The numbers show that the majority of Jakartans support the newly elected governor and vice governor. Their biggest challenge is to engage with all Jakartans, to encourage them to be part of the solution and to prove that they are the right leaders to run this megacity.

Fitrian Ardiansyah is a PhD candidate at the Australian National University, and the recipient of Australian Leadership Award and Allison Sudradjat Award.


Simple act, big impact: Earth Hour

Fitrian Ardiansyah ,  Contributor ,  The Jakarta Post   |  Tue, 03/23/2010 11:35 AM  |  Environment

A first for Jakarta: A banner on Jl. Sudirman in Central Jakarta reminds residents to observe Earth Hour by switching off all electronic appliances and lights Saturday, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. JP/Ricky YudhistiraA first for Jakarta: A banner on Jl. Sudirman in Central Jakarta reminds residents to observe Earth Hour by switching off all electronic appliances and lights Saturday, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. JP/Ricky Yudhistira

Climate change is attributable to human activities. Primary solutions, therefore, need to come from humans, from changes in individual behavior.

The world’s leading climate scientists, the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), state that changes in the atmosphere, the oceans, glaciers and ice caps now show unequivocally that the world is warming due to human activities.

This human-induced climate change will profoundly affect water and other natural resources, biodiversity and the economy of the globe, including across Indonesia, which, in turn, will have negative impacts on rural and urban populations across the country.

Andrea Liverani, in a background paper to the World Bank’s World Development Report 2010, suggested that when it comes to discussing climate change, solutions are normally cast in the realms of finance and technology and perceived big actors (e.g. governments and corporations), often neglecting the primal root of the problem: Individual behavior.

Changing human behavior, hence, is an essential part to tackling climate crisis.

This is true given the multitude of consumption patterns of human beings over centuries that have created enormous by-products, i.e. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions causing climate change.

Our global consumption has contributed to the release of 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2)
into the atmosphere in 2007, as recorded by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development/International Energy Agency (OECD/IEA).

For instance, public utilities — the companies responsible for providing humans with daily electricity and heat — emitted 36.3 percent of the total, followed by the transportation industry with 25.5 percent.

In industrialized countries, roughly 40 percent of GHG emissions result from decisions by individuals — travel, heating, and food purchases.

In developing countries like Indonesia, consumption patterns of individuals, both living inside and outside the country, have boosted its GHG emissions.

The fast-growing demand for Indonesia’s commodities (e.g. timber, palm oil, pulp and paper) and fossil-fuel-based energy fuels the rapid growth of the country’s GHG emissions.

This is why, as consumers, individuals on a global level and in Indonesia hold a reservoir of mitigation capacity.

Individuals may find it challenging to contribute to climate solutions, since climate change may
be perceived as a big and complicated issue with lots of unanswered questions.

Nevertheless, simple individual actions on climate change can take many forms, which eventually can lead to bigger positive impacts.

Various studies have suggested that making personal choices can be an effective method of fighting climate change.

These include adjusting our travel, diet, usage of electricity and related appliances, and management of waste.

Road transportation, in which our motor vehicles are an important part, globally produced 4.8 billion tons of CO2 or 16 percent of global carbon emissions. To reduce our emissions, we can aim to leave our car at home once a week, do a car pool, choose public transportation or ride a bicycle.

A low-carbon diet — choosing local organic food that causes much less pollution and emissions — is considered an effective way to make a meaningful change for individuals.

On average, households produce around 1.14 tons of waste per year and this contributes to GHG emissions, in particular from the release of methane — a potent GHG. Effective actions can include composting our food scraps, taking our own shopping bags and reusing our old stuff.

When it comes to electricity and electrical appliances, there is a potential to make a big difference by conducting energy efficiency and conservation measures.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with different institutions found that Indonesia could be more energy efficient, by 10 to 30 percent for households, 10 to 23 percent for the commercial sector and 7 to 21 percent for the industrial sector .

In households and commercial buildings, a difference can be made by simply switching off or adjusting lighting and electrical appliances.

Many appliances use electricity even when they are in “standby” mode, between 1 and 20 watts, with most appliances using less than 5 watts — around 45 kilograms of GHG each year for each item.

To remind that individuals, on their own or collectively, can significantly contribute to tackling climate change, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and partners conceived the global movement of Earth Hour.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand against climate change.

A year later and in 2009, Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than hundreds of millions of people and 4,000 cities in 88 countries taking part.

Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbor Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the National Monument in Jakarta, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

This year, Earth Hour 2010 takes place on Saturday 27 March between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (local time). This is a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community throughout the world.

Jakarta will host this Earth Hour in Indonesia for the second year and hopefully other cities in this country will follow suit.

It is an excellent opportunity to reflect on this issue, but above all to begin a change of attitude toward reducing our energy consumption, and by doing so, contribute toward making a stand against climate change in the long term.

The writer is program director
of climate and energy at WWF Indonesia and adjunct lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy. He can be reached at fardiansyah@wwf.or.id

Original link: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/03/23/simple-act-big-impact-earth-hour.html

Satu Jam Penyelamatan Bumi

Koran Jakarta, Sabtu, 28 Maret 2009

Oleh Fitrian Ardiansyah, Direktur Program Iklim dan Energi, WWF-Indonesia

versi pdf, klik di sini: SatuJamBumi_Fitrian_Ardiansyah_KoranJakarta_2009

Menyelematkan bumi dan mengatasi permasalahan lingkungan mungkin sering dipikir sebagai sesuatu yang sulit dan memberatkan. Earth Hour, satu aksi mematikan lampu dan peralatan elektronik yang tidak diperlukan selama satu jam, mencoba menangkis kesangsian ini.

Tahun ini, untuk pertama kalinya Earth Hour dilakukan di Indonesia. Bersama lebih dari 2000 kota di 80 negara, Jakarta dipilih menjadi kota pertama tempat penyelenggaraannya. Pada Sabtu malam, 28 Maret 2009, tepat pukul 20.30, masyarakat Jakarta akan menyaksikan dan menjadi bagian dari aksi global yang mana warga kotanya akan memadamkan lampu secara sukarela selama 1 jam.

Pemerintah Provinsi DKI Jakarta dengan dipimpin oleh Duta Earth Hour-nya, Pak Fauzi Bowo, pada saat yang bersamaan, berpartisipasi mematikan lampu-lampu di bangunan bersejarah seperti Monumen Nasional (Monas) serta di beberapa ciri khas kota Jakarta lainnya, seperti Patung Pemuda, Jembatan Semanggi, Bundaran HI, Air Mancur Arjuna Wiwaha dan tak terkecuali kantor gubernur balaikota akan dipadamkan.

Dari sejarahnya, Earth Hour dimulai di Sydney, Australia, pada 31 Maret 2007, dengan didukung oleh Pemerintah Kota Sydney dan lebih dari 2,2 juta penduduk serta 2000 pelaku bisnis. Mereka berpartisipasi mematikan lampu dan peralatan elektronik mereka selama satu jam.

Inisiatif di kota ini berhasil menghemat energi sebesar 10,2% sehingga kemudian bergulir dan telah menginspirasi masyarakat dunia sampai dengan sekarang. Pada tahun 2008,  jumlah peserta Earth Hour mencapai 50 juta orang dari 370 kota di 35 negara.

Earth Hour mempunyai landasan pemikiran yang sederhana. Dengan kompleksitas isu pemanasan global yang menyebabkan pemanasan bumi secara global, banyak pihak yang bertanya tentang solusi sederhana, murah dan mudah akan permasalahan ini. Earth Hour memberikan jawaban terhadap hal ini, yaitu dengan ”semudah” mematikan lampu dan peralatan elektronik yang tidak diperlukan.

Setidaknya selama satu jam di Sabtu malam, 28 Maret 2009, pukul 20.30-21.30, penduduk bumi diajak secara simbolis untuk terlibat dalam Earth Hour. Hal ini bertujuan untuk menunjukkan bahwa upaya penghematan energi dan penanggulangan perubahan iklim merupakan tanggung jawab bersama secara global.

Di Jakarta, kepemimpinan Gubernur Provinsi DKI Jakarta yang sekaligus bersedia menjadi Duta Earth Hour Indonesia memberikan sinyal positif sekaligus keteladanan bahwa penghematan energi dan penanggulangan perubahan iklim merupakan hal yang penting bagi Jakarta dan Indonesia. Hal ini juga dicontohkan oleh sederet pemimpin dunia lainnya seperti Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Raja Swedia, Presiden Finlandia, Walikota London, dan Perdana Menteri Malaysia, yang juga merupakan Duta Earth Hour.

Saat ini dukungan terhadap Earth Hour dari masyarakat ditunjukkan dengan tercatatnya lebih dari 17.000 orang mendaftarkan diri secara on-line untuk berpartisipasi. Selain itu sekitar lebih dari 50 pemilik/pengelola gedung di Jakarta juga mengkonfirmasi kesediaan berpartisipasi. Keteladanan yang ditunjukkan Gubernur, pemilik-pemilik gedung di kawasan pusat bisnis dan masyarakat Jakarta bisa jadi akan lebih menyemangati banyak indvidu untuk aktif berpartisipasi.

Menurut analisis yang dilakukan WWF-Indonesia, bila masyarakat Jakarta secara menyuluruh memadamkan lampu dan alat-alat elektronik yang tidak diperlukan selama satu jam, akan terjadi penghematan energi sebesar 300 MW atau sekitar satu pembangkit listrik tenaga listrik bisa diistirahatkan. Bila biaya akibat penghematan energi ini bisa dialihkan maka ada sekitar 900 desa di tempat lain di Indonesia yang bisa diterangi oleh listrik.

Sebagai tambahan, pemadaman sukarela secara menyuluruh satu jam di Jakarta dapat mengurangi emisi gas rumah kaca sebesar 284 ton CO2, dikarenakan penduduk Jakarta adalah 20% dari konsumen listrik nasional. Tentunya bila aksi serupa dilakukan secara reguler oleh penduduk Jakarta dan dicontoh oleh banyak penduduk Indonesia, pilihan membangun yang rendah emisi karbon, yang pada gilirannya berkontribusi kepada penanggulangan perubahan iklim, menjadi sesuatu yang sangat mungkin dicapai.

Tantangan yang paling utama adalah kemudian menggunakan momentum Earth Hour 2009 ini untuk mengubah perilaku kita yang boros energi menjadi lebih hemat. Hemat energi merupakan hemat biaya, sekaligus juga menghemat subsidi sebesar lebih dari Rp100 trilyun yang digunakan untuk mengadakan listrik di Indonesia.

Tentunya, program yang berkesinambungan antara Pemprov DKI, pemilik gedung/ perkantoran, industri dan warga masyarakat secara umum, menjadi indikator keberhasilan Jakarta sebagai kota yang nantinya lebih ramah lingkungan. Dengan komposisi pemakaian listrik penduduk rumah tangga Jakarta sebesar 33%, perkantoran sekitar 29% dan industri sekitar 31%, maka merupakan tanggung jawab bersama

Saat ini sangat tepat bila Jakarta dan Indonesia menjadi bagian dalam gerakan untuk mengubah diri sendiri secara mendunia. Berpartisipasi dalam Earth Hour dengan mematikan lampu dan perlatan elektronik yang tidak diperlukan selama satu jam saja pada Sabtu malam ini, tanggal 28 Maret 2009, pukul 20.30-21.30, kontribusi sederhana kita akan menghasilkan dampak yang positif bagi kota kita tercinta.