Building a resilient and secure society
According to recent research from the World Bank, Indonesia ranks 12th of the 35 countries most vulnerable to devastating loss of life from hazards such as tsunamis, floods, landslides, droughts and earthquakes. The government estimates 60% of the population lives in communities on the country’s 54,000km-long coastline.
Low-income communities mainly bear the brunt of the devastation caused by a natural disaster. It is necessary that low-income coastal communities develop adaptation and resilience strategies to cope with climate change every bit as much as Indonesia’s industrial and business centres must. Unless they do, the country’s food security, economic stability and ambitions for long-term development and poverty eradication will be in jeopardy.
At an urban level, authorities need to combine the hardening of critical infrastructure to withstand climate shocks, with citizen awareness, warning systems and well-rehearsed emergency response strategies. Attention should be given to natural systems – the role of open spaces and parkland in dissipating or storing flood waters, the restoration and protection of carbon-storing peatlands, replanting of coastal mangroves and inland forests, and the promotion of land use that halts erosion and retains rainwater.
The National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation (RAN-API) was formulated specifically as a masterplan to bring together all stakeholders to help the regions to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Going forward, better co-ordination between national, regional and local governments, and between the public and private sectors, is key.
Powering up the clean energy transition
Indonesia is among the world’s fastest-growing countries in terms of energy demand and consumption. Transport and industry show the fastest expected growth in energy use.
Today, about 87% of the country’s power is still sourced from fossil fuels, with only 12-13% from renewables.
One of the top government priorities in the decades to come is to close the ‘electricity gap’ between its most and least developed regions. Wind and solar photovoltaic generation can be installed in remote locations with relative ease and at low cost. Renewables are likely to play a crucial role in achieving the government’s ambition of near 100% electrification by 2026.
The country hosts the world’s greatest geothermal resources, alongside vast potential for hydropower, solar, wind and bioenergy development. Tapping into these natural resources can help diversify its energy mix. It also supports its commitment as a signatory of the Paris Agreement to mitigate climate change by reducing carbon emissions by 29% against the business-as-usual scenario by 2020.
The delivery over the past three years of flagship projects, such as Sidrap, Indonesia’s first commercial-scale wind plant, the Rantau Dedap geothermal power plant in Sumatra, and the Lombok and Manado solar power plants, are cause for celebration – proof that renewable energy is advancing in Indonesia.
Clean water for healthy communities
Among the underlying causes and symptoms of the inequality gap are a chronic lack of access to clean water and adequate sanitation. Since the turn of the millennium, more than 100M people have gained access to piped water and basic sanitation services, mainly in the wealthier districts of cities. But many in rural and isolated communities, as well as in urban areas, still live without. The sanitation problem is particularly evident in Jakarta, where 9.2M people are forced to dispose wastewater into open drains.
The impacts on health are severe. Aside from the human cost, dirty water and poor sanitation cost the country an estimated US$4.2bn each year in lost productivity.
Management of solid waste is equally important in this context, as untreated municipal and industrial rubbish pollutes rivers and groundwater, poisoning water supplies.
Ensuring universal access to clean water and sanitation is one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and a clear priority in the country. The government plans to build a US$6.8bn wastewater treatment system connecting the whole of Jakarta by 2022. Indonesia is on track to achieve universal access by 2030.
Over the past three decades, we have helped deliver several critical water, waste management and sanitation projects, helping citizens to meet daily needs – easily, safely and sustainably.
Public-private partnerships are highly effective in channelling private capital expertise and resources into the country.
To enable and encourage private sector participation, the right conditions must be created – policy, legislation and regulation that incentivise and protect national and local government, investors, lenders and project developers alike.
Through us, our clients gain access to 100-plus years’ experience of planning, securing investment, designing, delivering and managing projects in transport, energy, water, sewerage, sanitation and flood alleviation – the very sectors that require urgent attention.
Health, education, social development and environmental management are equally at the heart of what we do, and we are acutely aware of our duty to protect and improve the lives and places our work touches.
After half a century working across the country’s many islands, our most cherished legacy is healthier, more prosperous, better connected communities. They serve to remind of the power of partnership, and that the bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity for innovation and for good.