August 8th, 2016
Dr Djoko Suroso, director of the ITB Climate Change Center, kicked off the training this week talking about the urgency of adaptation in terms of policy formulation and action. The way adaptation has unfolded thus far in Indonesia has been through the entry point and lens of DRR. After the 2004 tsunami that wreaked havoc in the western part of Indonesia, disaster management emerged as a core pillar of governance. DRR has become a commonly understood concept in Indonesia and almost all regional and local governments have now developed BPBD (local disaster agency) offices within the past decade.
Adaptation is important for the imperative to see a new normal. While most planning is historical, climate change compels us to think about development and disaster challenges in new ways.
Dr. Suroso shared with the multi-stakeholder group of participants from across Indonesia about their role in applying key adaptation concepts into action. Participants in this training hail from various intellectual backgrounds and widespread geographic locations in Indonesia. Civil servants, university faculty and students, and NGOs are all represented, and they are here from cities such as Yogyakarta, Kendari, Jakarta, Semarang, Blitar, Kendari, and Bandung; from here in West Java Province to as far away as Southeast Sulawesi.
Harlan Hale of USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance also welcomed the participants and formally opened the training. After providing the context and global importance of taking action in implementing climate adaptation, he also shared an experience from the Aceh reconstruction process. He talked about a road development project that restored a key thoroughfare among districts in Aceh province, and described that although reconstruction proceeded with the best technologies, that new rainfall regimes are creating challenges for post-disaster recovery and protecting local communities against shifting direct and indirect impacts as a result of climate change.
The workshop is underway and we’re looking forward to a productive week to share experiences and learn about the challenges in pushing forward the climate adaptation imperative. We are also looking forward to getting into the field to conduct applied vulnerability assessment at new locations that are featured as part of this workshop.