The IBCSD webinar on the pathways to national climate resilience on Aug. 13. (Photo Courtesy of APRIL Group)

Private Sector Involvement Crucial for Climate Resilience: IBCSD

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

AUGUST 23, 2020

Jakarta. Companies should go beyond sustainability as usual to build national climate resilience, according to the Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development (IBCSD).

In a recent report, the World Economic Forum revealed that five of the top risks by likelihood and three by impact are climate-related. The world is at risk of facing extreme climate changes, climate action failure, human-made disasters, major biodiversity loss, and natural disasters.

The pandemic is also likely to exacerbate these devastating scenarios as countries are now more focused on beating the coronavirus. 

At a recent IBCSD webinar, the Environment and Forestry Ministry warned that Indonesia as an agrarian country is more susceptible to the negative impacts of climate change.

Meanwhile, the government has pledged to fully support several global climate actions. Among them is the United Nations’ global blueprint for a sustainable future or commonly known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

“Indonesia also vowed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 29 percent on their own efforts or 41 percent with international assistance by 2030,” the ministry’s Climate Change Director-General Ruandha Sugadirman said in an IBCSD webinar on Thursday (13/8/2020).

The GHG reduction targets are focused on five, namely energy, waste, industry, agriculture, and forestry. In this target, the forestry and energy sectors are projected to be the biggest contributors to emission reduction.

For these goals to come to realization, more robust involvement from all stakeholders including the private sector is necessary, Ruandha said.

Similarly, IBCSD chairman Sihol Aritonang agreed that the private sector should cast aside business as usual and take a more active stance to build national climate resilience.

“Sustainability is no longer simply a call for climate action. It has now become one of the factors that determine business competitiveness,” Sihol said.

According to Sihol, IBCSD urges collective action in the business sector particularly among its member companies to support the government’s environmental cause.

“Several actions taken by the IBCSD members have shown that the private sector plays a vital role in building climate resilience and SDGs achievement,” he said.

For instance, APRIL Group -- IBCSD member company-- has rolled out the Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER) program to restore and conserve ecologically important peat forest areas on Indonesia’s Kampar Peninsula.

Launched in 2013, the RER covers the Kampar Peninsula which is at a whopping 150,693 hectares or twice the size of Singapore. RER employs the four-phase model of peatland forest protection, restoration, and conservation using a landscape approach. 

The RER 2019 report revealed that APRIL Group has recorded 797 species in which 57 of them are included in the IUCN Red List which classifies species at risk of extinction. Around 36 of them are listed as vulnerable, 13 endangered while the remaining eight are critically endangered.

RER restoration area has also remained fire-free for six consecutive years, the report said.

“This shows how the business sector can ramp up national climate resilience. RER helps to maintain biodiversity including the Sumatra endemic and will continue to provide environmental service for the people,” RER external affairs director Nyoman said.

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