Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB) Indonesia and the Philippines have established a partnership with the Bina Karta Lestari Foundation (BINTARI), a foundation engaged in environmental protection and sustainable development since 1986. The collaboration was carried out in order to strengthen climate resilience in the Labuan Bajo area, Manggarai West, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). The partnership is carried out through a programme entitled “Strengthening the climate resilience of risky coastal communities in NTT through climate-friendly resource and livelihood management (PEKA IKLIM)”, which is funded by the Ministry of Development and Economic Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Indonesia ratified the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016 through Law No. 16 of 2016. The ratification of this agreement shows political commitment to reducing the negative impacts of climate change, which have been felt by millions of people in Indonesia. Reducing this impact needs to be continued, including in the West Manggarai Regency area.
This district, located on the western tip of Flores Island, was chosen as the target site for programme implementation because of its coastal location, dry climate, and low level of economic development. These three things make West Manggarai very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and the resulting hydrometeorological risks, especially increased droughts and floods. In fact, the climate in NTT also shows increasing temperatures, decreasing rainfall fractions, and low levels of access to the main sources of drinking water.
The effects of climate change, ecosystems that are vulnerable to disaster risk, and the potential for tourism development in West Manggarai, especially Labuan Bajo, are closely related and influence each other. Cross-sectoral efforts are needed that pay attention to the aspects of infrastructure, water and waste management, food security, and disaster resilience so that sustainable tourism can be achieved to provide an effective income contribution and climate and resource protection.
Specifically, PEKA IKLIM’s intervention targets two communities in the Repi Village and Warloka Village. As one of the main rice producers in South Lembor District, Repi has a high risk of flooding and pest attacks. Meanwhile, Warloka in Komodo District is at high risk of food shortages due to the low level of cultivation of food crops due to drought. As a result of climate change, the risks they face are also getting bigger, such as crop failure, lack of access to clean water, and damage to the ecosystem around them.
The programme, with a total budget of IDR 5,971,305,000, is planned to run until 2025, with at least 3,598 people becoming program’s participants. The target group consists of the community, representatives of local government agencies, ecotourism stakeholders, and representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The targeted community groups also specifically reach people with disabilities, single mothers, and families with very low household incomes.
Activities in the PEKA IKLIM programme try to achieve climate resilience, which are reflected into five sub-goals. First, this programme seeks to maximise the potential of protected ecosystems as prospective livelihood fields for the society. Second, PEKA IKLIM is also carrying out capacity building and strengthening local government structures in both communities. At the district level, this programme will implement a participatory and knowledge-based approach to climate change adaptation. Third, it will encourage the community to utilise the potential of risk-sensitive ecotourism as an alternative livelihood. Fourth, the partnership seeks to open community access to fuel and animal feed through better waste management, including better water and wastewater supplies. Last, the activities will increase knowledge and skills, especially in the areas of monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning (MEAL), water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), inclusion and anti-discrimination, and financial management for Bintari and local partner organisations. They are expected to be able to apply those skills in work that has a positive impact on the environment and civil society.
Through these activities, it is hoped that the target group will be more empowered, and the environmental ecosystem in the communities can be improved to achieve climate resilience. This goal is achieved by mapping, planning, training, and developing methods of climate resilience through various interventions in the community and related stakeholders. The efforts to achieve climate resilience will also strengthen disability inclusion, which will be implemented throughout PEKA IKLIM’s activities.