Sustainability |

Is a Circular Economy Transition Beginning to Happen in Indonesia?

SUSTAINABILITY | 23 July 2021

Greeneration Foundation is holding The 4th Indonesia Circular Economy Forum (ICEF) from 21to 23 July 2021 virtually via Zoom Webinar and Youtube streaming with the theme Towards Smart & Sustainable Cities Through Circular Economy: Building Resilience During COVID-19 Recovery. In 2017 the Greeneration Foundation initiated the Indonesia Circular Economy Forum as a platform that brings together various stakeholders to discuss issues, challenges, and the potential for implementing a circular economy in Indonesia. The theme this year is also very relevant to the current state of the world.

The Greeneration Foundation believes that circular economy practices can help restore the Indonesian economy and build better economic resilience post-covid-19 because of their positive impact on economic growth, social welfare, and the sustainability of resources and the environment. The Greeneration Foundation is an environmental NGO that focuses on changing people's behavior to apply the principles of sustainable consumption and production in Indonesia. The Greeneration Foundation runs four programs: Community Empowerment, Platform Development, Strategic Partnerships, and Education. In carrying out these four programs, the Greeneration Foundation collaborates with the government, the private sector, the media, academia, and the general public such as children, students, and housewives.\

The 4th ICEF series of events includes 6 plenary sessions and 9 thematic sessions. The six plenary sessions are Circular Economy Action Plan, Urban Spatial Planning and Good Governance, Green Procurement and Green Supply Chain, COVID-19 Resilience through Circular Economy, Circular Industrial Park, and Advancing Circular Cities from Research and Innovation.

Meanwhile, the 9 thematic sessions presented are Circular City and Eco-Tourism, The importance of Multi-Stakeholder Project Partners: Organized by: Part of: Strategic Partners: Partnership to Accelerate Circular Economy in Indonesia, The Future of Sustainable Fashion in Circular Economic, Circular Jumpstart Demo Day, Advancing EPR for Packaging in Indonesia, Green Economy Best Practices from Hungary, Green Infrastructure Financing in Circular Economy, The Role of Education in Waste Management and Circular Economy to Drive Behavior Change, and Your Guide to Sustainable Life. 

From left to right: Vincent Piket, Prof. Winarni Dien Monoarfa, Magnus Bengtsson, and Amalia Adininggar Widyasanti.

The opening remarks were given by Amalia Adininggar Widyasanti Deputy of Economy of the National Development Planning Agency/Bappenas marking the start of the series of events in the fourth Indonesia Circular Economy Forum. Complementing the remarks delivered by the Minister of Bappenas, UNDP Resident Representative, Norimasa Shimomura as UNDP Resident Representative, Vincent Piket as European Union Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, and Prof. Winarni Dien Monoarfa, who is an Expert Staff to the Minister (SAM) for Relations between Central and Regional Institutions for Environment and Forestry, also gave their speech. 

Opening this year's ICEF, Amalia revealed that a sustainable economy is the most important pillar in Indonesia's development. However, it is undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought great impacts and changes to our economy, so we must adapt to maintain a sustainable economy while tackling climate change. To that end, Indonesia has committed to adopting the principle of a circular economy by 2045 by including this plan in the 2020-2044 RPJMN. Bappenas has also mainstreamed the idea of a circular economy by making sustainable economic growth the number one national priority. It doesn't stop there, Bappenasis also developing the smart city concept to integrate the circular economy into Indonesia's infrastructure and people's lives which are expected to have a positive impact on economic growth, the environment, and people's welfare. 

In his speech, Norimasa Shimomura called the Indonesia Circular Economy Forum a major step that Indonesia has taken to transition towards a more sustainable development model. It is evident from data showing that since the pandemic, the circular economy's contribution to reducing emissions has shrunk from 9.1% to 8.6%. But the circular economy model still allows us to reduce material consumption, waste, and emissions while sustaining economic growth and creating jobs. 

H.E. Vincent Piket said that the concept of a circular city has been adopted by many major cities of European Union member countries such as: Berlin, Tallinn, Estonia, Torino, Italy, Burqas, and Bulgaria. It has been proven that circular city planning can make people's lives healthier and safer. In Indonesia, the European Union is collaborating with the Indonesia Circular Economy Forum through the Rethinking Plastics Project program to support a circular economy for plastics and prevent plastic waste from ending up in the oceans. 

From left to right: Ir. Medrilzam, Indah Budiani, and Y.W. Junardy.

The plenary session of the Circular Economy Action Plan was attended by Ir. Medrilzam, M.Prof. Econ, Ph.D., Director of the Environment at the Ministry of National Development Planning (KemenPPN/Bappenas), Indah Budiani as Executive Director of the Indonesian Business Council for Sustainable Development, Y.W. Junardy as President of the Indonesia Global Compact Network (IGCN), and Magnus Bengtsson as Sustainability Advisor in the European Union. Complementing Amalia's presentation in her opening remarks, Medrilzam explained that Bappenas initiated the Low Carbon Development listed in the 2020-2024 RPJM as one of the priority programs in National Priority Six: Building the Environment, Increasing Resilience to Disasters, and Climate Change. Bappenas has also taken an important step towards succeeding in the first phase of the Circular Economy Roadmap by collaborating with UNDP supported by the Danish Government to launch the report “Economic, Social and Environmental Benefits of a Circular Economy in Indonesia.” To encourage the transition to a circular economy, the government is currently in the second phase, namely developing the National Circular Economy Action Plan. The next three stages are the inauguration of the National Circular Economy Platform, the development of international cooperation to attract investment and spread the circular economy model in Indonesia, and the integration of the circular economy into the RPJMN 2025-2029. 

Meanwhile, the second plenary session entitled Urban Spatial Planning and Good Governance was attended by Ujang Solihin Sidik as the representatives of the Directorate of Waste Management of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Edison Siagian as the Director of Local Government Affairs Synchronization I of Ministry of Home Affairs, Brian Sheldon as an architect at AG5 in collaboration with Prasetyo Adi as Managing Director of Pandega Design Weharima (PDW Architects), and Nirarta Samadhi as Director of the World Resource Institute (WRI).

Bijaksana Junerosano, Founder of the Greeneration Foundation, commented on the enactment of ICEF 2021. He informed that the side events of ICEF such as Circular Jumpstart in collaboration with EcoXYZtem and Journalism Class in collaboration with Danone were the embodiment of circular economy concepts and practices discussed in ICEF in previous years. Bijaksana also expressed his hopes for the implementation of ICEF this year and the future of the circular economy in Indonesia. 

He hopes that ICEF can become a catalyst and platform that drives initiatives to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable economy and accept more public participation through dialogue, movement, and campaigns to jointly implement a circular economy in Indonesia. In addition, he also hopes that cooperation with national and international partners of ICEF can be maintained. On the first day, ICEF was attended by more than a thousand participants from various backgrounds. Students, academics, business people, startup founders, and various leading institutions in Indonesia, members of Indonesian government bodies, ambassadors, and other international actors also enliven the circular economy forum event organized by the Greeneration Foundation.

The plenary and thematic sessions of the first day of ICEF can be rewatched by visiting the link Bit.ly/4thICEFday1. The plenary and thematic sessions on the second and third days of ICEF can still be watched by visiting the YouTube of Greeneration Foundation at the links Bit.ly/4thICEFday2 and Bit.ly/4thICEFday3