Summary: Is Sustainable Climate Adaptation Possible in Indonesia?
Cornell is involved in discussions with Indonesian partners to develop practical strategies to
reduce the impacts of climate change in Indonesia. The CCSF and the Office of the Vice Provost
for International Relations are convening this topical to brainstorm ideas that merit consideration
should this opportunity come to pass. Climate change poses severe challenges for Indonesia in
the form of reduced agricultural productivity due to drought, decreased catch of fish due to
warmer ocean temperatures and coral reef degradation, and greater risk of flooding of entire
islands and low-lying coastal areas due to compromised wave barriers and higher sea levels.
Changes in marine conditions also threaten biodiversity. Practical approaches to reducing
Indonesia's contributions to climate change and to developing strategies at the village, island and
national levels are needed to avert these dire consequences. Fortunately, the Indonesian
government and people are aware of the threats and have taken steps to reduce use of fossil fuels
by eliminating subsidies and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, these commitments
will come to naught without a well-defined strategy to address specific issues related to climate
change and without the expertise to design and implement these initiatives. Thus, this concept
note emphasizes research, outreach and capacity building.
Indonesia is the third largest contributor in the world to CO2 emissions, based on its current rate
of deforestation. This same deforestation is the greatest threat directly to coastal biodiversity and
fisheries yields. The clear solution is to use REDD funds to slow deforestation, make sure it is
patterned to minimize soil loss (i.e. bands of deforestation, alternating w forested areas), take