[Conservancy Talk 1] Initiating Environmental Conservation from the City
"A decent environment can be the key to happiness for the city community. Meanwhile the availability of natural resources is an important factor whether a city will be destroyed or survive". Stated Usi Sally, Learning and Development Manager of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in the Conservancy Talk event on Wednesday, June 19th 2019.
Conservancy Talk is a routine event which is held monthly by Filantropi Indonesia Environment and Conservancy Cluster. Conservation efforts in urban areas are the themes raised at this meeting. Many people still assume that conservancy activities can only be done in the forest, sea, or rural areas. In fact, conservancy effort can start from our closest environment including the urban areas.
Urban areas conservancy becomes really important. In the world, the total of urban area is only 3 percent of all the world. Nevertheless, 60 – 80 percent of energy consumed by city residents, and 75 percent of carbon emitters produced by cities. The majority of city locations are on the coast. This is one of the reasons Indonesia is the second largest plastic waste dumper in the world. It is estimated that by 2030 there will be 5 Billion people living in the city. You can imagine how much waste will increase in the city in the coming years.
In its history, the beginning of the establishment of a city must first look at the natural system or new worlds infrastructures then plan its infrastructure development. Globally, the development of an urban area will reduce natural habitat. During 1992 – 2000, It is estimated that 190,000 km2 of green area has already gone. The interesting part is every year, the protected area in the city, becomes wider. For example, Mangrove Forest in PIK which is the last forest for coastal habitat reduce.
TNC offers several solutions to balance people and nature which is to understand the needs of both people and nature, improve conditions for human well-being, and build cross sector coalitions. We can also take the example of A Great Green City from several countries such as planning for green (Melbourne), water security (Sao Paolo), coastal storm resilient, (New York), sponge city (Shenzhen – China), MERA (Jakarta, Semarang, Riau). A Great Green City is equitable applying the principle of equality for all, all people living in cities must have the same level of health.
The same thing was expressed by M. Syarief from the Yayasan Keanekaragaman Hayati (Kehati) who not only had conservation programs for forest, coastal and small island ecosystems but also for big cities. One of the programs is Bird watching (BW) in Pantai Indah Kapuk, which is held specifically for people aged between 16 – 35 years old. This program started in 2015 when KEHATI did a bird data collection in Jakarta, there were 164 kind of birds in Jakarta. However, 96 kind of birds has gone extinct. Those birds will live in a green habitat with the food is maintained.
Green open space in Jakarta is far from the word proportional. According to the law, a city must have 30 percent of a green area. There are 6 cities that are starting to pursue to fulfill the rules such as Surabaya and Medan. While Jakarta is still far from that standard. This year, there will be 53 green open spaces that will be opened. Now Jakarta is ranked 54 out of 60 cities in Asia that has a problem with green open space. There are 3 reasons why KEHATI do a bird watching, bird watching can be done with a naked eye. Indonesia is a crossing point for bird migration, and the aim of providing data sources and inspiration for data centers is in urban areas.
The main change expected from the environmental conservation program in urban areas is a change in the community mindset. That God created nature is not only human but also an ecosystem. Thus, there will be an awareness to love this nature.