Climate change and disasters threaten the livelihood of poor people in particular. Often, the population in developing countries does not have the means to protect itself against the increasing climate and disaster risks. This also puts the outcome of the long-standing development cooperation at risk. On the other hand, the project work strengthens the adaptability to climate and disaster risks. Hence, Bread for All and Mission 21 integrate both topics using the specifically developed Climate Proofing Tool in their development work. The attained findings serve as a basis for appropriate project adaptations. The data for the analysis is compiled in workshops with the project beneficiaries, while projects are adequately adjusted. The southern partner’s project staff is trained in the knowledge base as well as the application of the instrument.
Indonesia is the world’s largest island country and with 215 million inhabitants the fourth most populous nation in the world. It is one of Southeast Asia’s poorest countries: Over 50 percent of the population lives on less than 2 US dollars a day.
Indonesia’s rainforest, the majority of which is situated in Kalimantan, is one of the most species-rich and also one of the largest CO2 reservoirs. At the same time, the rapid deforestation of the rainforest makes Indonesia the third largest CO2 producer in the world.
Besides causing worldwide rising temperatures, climate change is the root for erratic rainfalls in Indonesia. In some areas and seasons these rainfalls can cause increased droughts while triggering an increase in floods in others. Particularly the sea level rise causes a major loss of land. All these factors impact agricultural productivity and increase the hunger risk.
Coalmine truck near Tamiang Layang in Kalimantan.
Rural Development Projects in Kalimantan
Two projects of Mission 21 were reviewed in Kalimantan using the Climate Proofing Tool.
The first project extends across all of Kalimantan and was analyzed with the help of Tamiang Layang village in Central Kalimantan. This village is situated in an area, where industrial coal mining has had a strong impact on the nature and livelihood of the local population. The farmers mainly cultivate rice and rubber trees. Project activities include:
Efforts to sensitize to environmental issues including slash-and-burn, coal mining or health topics such as HIV/Aids.
Peace initiatives with regards to religious and ethical conflicts.
Strengthening of democracy by educating and sensitizing municipal leaders as well as the population.
The second project is limited to Central and South Kalimantan. The project analysis took place in Loksado village located in Central Kalimantan. Loksado is situated amidst an intact mountain landscape surrounded by rice paddies and secondary forest. The project’s line of action includes:
Diversification of family income through the cultivation and sale of rubber trees or spices and through conveying basic knowledge to small businesses.
Management of a credit union, which provides credit to finance school fees for example.
Sensitization activity concerning gender and health issues in communities.
Advancement of health and economic committees in order to support the population in its struggle against mining.
Climate and Disaster Risk Analysis of the Project
The local population of the respective village discussed in two mixed-gender workshops climate and disaster risks of the region as well as possible coping strategies. Generally, the biggest threat to the population of both villages does not come from climate change but from mining and flooding. Especially in Tamiang Layang, coal mud combined with flooding destroys entire rice harvests and coal dust causes severe environmental and health problems. The inhabitants of Loksado, which have thus far been spared from mining, suffer from flooding, pests and illnesses. Due to the increase in rainfalls, climate change could multiply existing risks in both villages. Additionally, the government has identified various resources for mining in the area surrounding Loksado.
The farmers of Loksado and Tamiang Layang have different strategies for handling risk. Examples include income diversification, the use of chemical pesticides to control pests or demonstrations against mining. Nevertheless, the government still issues miner’s rights to corporations. Still, the project activities in both villages strengthen the population’s resistance to climate and disaster risks. Reforestation boosts climate protection.
The combination of mining, heightened climate risks such as flooding, and the strong dependence on natural resources leave the population of Tamiang Layang village vulnerable. The population of Laksado is less in peril. However, preventive measures should be developed in order to prevent harmful mining activities in the area. A diversification of income can reduce the dependence on natural resources, e.g. by advocating manual labor or ecotourism. Through awareness training, the population of Tamiang Layang should be supported in its struggle against mining and its effort to restore destroyed land.
Farmers of Loksado Village draw a climate and disaster hazard map of the region
Training in Malinau
The training, which Bread for All and Mission 21 financed and organized, took place in Malinau on Kalimantan during January 2011. Participants included Indonesian partner organizations of Mission 21, Heks and Bread for the World.
International and local experts conveyed basic knowledge on climate change and disasters, their effects and how to cope with the change. Participants learned the practical application of the Climate Proofing Tool in several group exercises, in order to later perform independent project analyses. Additionally, the participants applied the tool with the local population during a one-day visit to the nearby town Gong Solok. Part of the population already had to be relocated to higher ground due to recurring floods.
Since that time, an Indonesian partner organization of Heks has analyzed its project in Hilalang Gadang, West Sumatra. The climate fund of Bread for All and Fastenopfer finances the required actions.
This article is available in french Projet en Indonésie : Actions de sensibilisation et diversification des sources de revenus
For further information: Marion Künzler / Bread for all, In charge of the « Climate » workshops: email@example.com