i. Climate change context
Indonesia is the world's largest archipelagic state and has over 17,500 islands, which are mostly uninhabited. Indonesia has a landmass of 820 million hectares, with a total coastline length of about 95,181 km, according to the World Bank. Due to its location and geography, Indonesia is highly vulnerable to climate change and several climate risk assessment tools place the country in a lower-middle position regarding preparedness and readiness for climate change. Severe floods and droughts are among the most common vulnerabilities threatening the livelihoods of Indonesians.
The country’s coastal and marine industries are most likely to be impacted by climate change, followed by agriculture. For these reasons, Indonesia has a strong focus on mitigating climate change and is implementing several early warning systems, especially in coastal areas, as highlighted in the country’s 3rd National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 2017.
Land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF) and the energy sector are the biggest emitting industries in Indonesia, followed by agriculture and waste, according to the 3rd National Communication (2017). Climate change also has large impacts on the health of many Indonesians, including through increased cases of dengue and malaria. This has driven a large focus on health in most of the country’s public policies related to climate change, as indicated in the 3rd National Communication (2017).
Indonesia is a low emitting country according to the Global Carbon Atlas, emitting only 2.3 tCO2 per person in 2019. Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world, with a continuously growing population of over 252 million in 2020.
Indonesia is a Non-Annex 1 (non-industrialized) country under the UNFCCC classifications. Indonesia ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2004 and the Paris Agreement in 2016. The country accepted the Doha Amendment in 2014.
ii. Relevant government agencies
The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is the parent organization for most climate change efforts in Indonesia. Several special entities were created as part of the Ministry to support climate change action.
Established in 2015, the Directorate General of Climate Change Control monitors and steers climate change efforts, including land and forest fire management. The Directorate General also houses the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) Focal Point for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The ACE focal point oversees the coordination of national and international initiatives related to climate change communication and education.
The Climate Change Control Advisory Council was formed in 2016 to bring together stakeholders involved in climate change to enable achievement of the goals set in Indonesia’s Nationally Determined Contributions (2016). The Advisory Council is supported by two working groups, the Policy Synchronization Working Group and the Climate Corner Actualization Working Group.
The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency is the main agency working to collect and analyze climate data relevant to the country. The agency also provides access to information to the public.
Education and communication
Indonesia has two ministries responsible for formal education: the Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for 84% of schools and the Ministry of Religious Affairs is responsible for the remaining 16%, mainly through an Islamic system of education with primary schools, junior high, and Madrasah Aliyah at the senior high school level. Neither ministry currently has publicly available materials specifically about climate change, although the Ministry of Education and Culture does support some climate change education initiatives.
Higher Education in Indonesia is steered by the Directorate General of Higher Education, a part of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The National Development Planning Agency is responsible for long-term planning and overseeing the country’s climate change efforts in its capacity as a general steering mechanism in the country.
iii. Laws, policies, and plans
Indonesia has adopted an increasing number of laws and regulations related to climate change in recent years, and has incorporated the issue into its development plans. Indonesia adopted RI Law No. 32 of 2009 for the Protection and Management of the Environment, which has a strong focus on climate change. The law highlights the dangers of climate change and outlines the country’s plans for climate change adaptation and mitigation, including through environmental protection measures.
The National Medium-Term Development Plan for 2020-2024 includes an entire chapter dedicated to climate change. It regulates Indonesia’s climate change actions and highlights the high risk climate change represents for the country. The development plan also links together the country’s various strategic plans for climate change.
The National Action Plan Addressing Climate Change was Indonesia’s first national climate change strategy. Developed in 2007 by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry for the 2007-2050 period, the document’s preamble highlights the need for Indonesia to follow a holistic approach to addressing climate change, including poverty alleviation and economic development.
In 2010, the National Development Planning Agency further refined Indonesia's climate change strategy with the Indonesia Climate Change Sectoral Roadmap 2010-2030. This Roadmap advises different sectors, such as agriculture and transportation, on how to respond to climate change.
In 2014, the National Development Planning Agency published the National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation, which lays out Indonesia’s overall strategy on how to adapt to climate change.
Indonesia’s Strategic Plan of The Directorate General of Climate Change Control 2020-2024 was published in 2020. The strategic plan focuses on disaster relief and prevention programs and develops measurements for tracking the country’s progress. The plan also suggests including gender more in climate change actions.
In its 2016 Nationally Determined Contributions to the UNFCCC, the Indonesian Government pledged to reduce emissions by 29% against a business-as-usual scenario by 2030.
Education and communication
Several laws and policies integrate climate change into Indonesia’s education and communication systems.
Environmental Education was established in Indonesia as part of ‘Kurikulum Inti’ (Core Curriculum) in 1980. Law No. 20/2003 on the National Education System (2003) states that the curriculum should take “the diversity of the region’s potential and environment” into account, and makes links to global developments, such as technology and climate change. The Law covers pre-primary education up to higher education. Under Law No. 23/2006 and Law No. 20/2003, schools can develop their own operational curriculum that aligns with the priorities of the National Curriculum, including those relating to teaching environmental education.
Indonesia updated its National Curriculum Framework in 2013. Climate change is included in the curriculum multiple times as a basic competence (mainly for primary school students) as part of the attitudes, skills, and knowledge that students should achieve. The most recent National Education Sector Plan lays out the structure for primary and secondary education from 2020-2024 but does not include climate change-related topics.
As one of the countries involved in the UN CC: Learn Pilot Project, Indonesia developed a National Climate Change Learning Strategy in 2013. The Strategy was developed by the National Council on Climate Change, the predecessor of the Directorate General of Climate Change Control, together with the Swiss Development Agency and the United Nations. The Strategy focuses on supporting climate action through building and scaling up human and institutional capacity. It also analyzes the current state of knowledge and resources available for climate change education in Indonesia. The Strategy has a particular focus on providing more knowledge to affected communities through climate change education. The Strategy also focuses on educating educators and ensuring that climate change information is accurate. In addition, the learning strategy references the 2014 National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation several times and highlights the need for better cooperation. Yet, apart from the learning strategy published on the Climate Corner Website, it was unclear how and if the strategy has been used since its creation at the time of this review.
iv. Terminology used for climate change communication and education
‘Capacity building’ is one of the key phrases used in Indonesia's discourses about climate change communication and education. The country’s Climate Change Learning Strategy (2013) has the subtitle “capacity building of human and institutional resources to address climate change,” demonstrating the importance of this terminology.
Climate change communication and education can also be found in Indonesia’s National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation (2014), which refers to “socializing public awareness of the phenomenon and impact of climate change” (p. 45) and “education, counseling, and training on climate change adaptation” (p. 47). This reflects Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) terminology including ‘public awareness,’ ‘education’ and ‘training.’
“Internalization of climate change in the education curriculum” is a concept introduced in 2021 by the Climate Corner, a discussion forum run by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
v. Budget for climate change education and communication
In 2018, Indonesia had a climate change budget of US$7.5 billion (IDR 109.7 trillion), or around 4.9% of the state budget. It is not clear how much of this amount is reserved for climate change education and communication.
Indonesia spends around 3.5% of its GDP on Education.
i. Climate change in pre-primary, primary, and secondary education
The Indonesian education system is one of the largest in the world due to the country’s population size and demographics. The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Religious Affairs steer primary and secondary education in Indonesia, with the Ministry of Education and Culture overseeing 84% of schools. A description of the types of climate change-related keywords discussed in the curricula may be found in the MECCE Project Monitoring section of this profile
The Ministry of Education and Culture organizes climate change events, such as the regular Climate Change Education Forum & Expo, which focuses on climate change education topics and provides networking spaces for schools and educators. No public information was available on what the Ministry of Religious Affairs does in support of climate action at the time of this review.
The 2013 National Curriculum Framework, published by the Ministry of Education and Culture for elementary and middle schools, updates the older Kurikulum Tingkat Satuan Pendidikan developed by the National Body of Educational Standards. Both curricula give individual schools the authority to develop a more specialized curriculum. The newer curriculum, which emphasizes ‘moral education,’ is mandatory for all Indonesian citizens attending school in the country. Moral education teaches values the Ministry of Education and Culture have identified as being important and includes topics such as citizenship and the role of the individual in the community. Climate change is included in the national curriculum as a basic competence and is taught in class 3 (age 12-14) of the Bahasa Indonesian language curriculum (a ‘basic competence’ is defined as the attitudes, skills, and knowledge students must learn to fulfill the standards of the class). The term ‘climate change’ appears only three times in the National Curriculum Framework, all three times in the language class as part of the competencies for understanding and correctly interpreting text. For example, one learning competency is defined as: “Having concern and a sense of responsibility for living things, energy, and climate change, as well as the earth and the universe through the use of Indonesian and/or regional languages” (2013, p. 74).
The 2016 Standard Contents of Basic and Medium Education provides guidelines on what students are supposed to learn during primary and secondary education, and complements the National Curriculum Framework. Knowledge about global warming and humanity’s role in it is part of the learning standards of years 7-9 and 10-12. In years 10-12, climate change-related problem solving is also mandated.
Indonesia's Green School Program, the Adiwiyata program, has been offered in both rural and urban areas by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry since 2006. The program follows a holistic perspective and integrates climate change. The program aims to change the behavior of students, encourage financial savings by limiting resource use, create a sense of belonging and connectedness, and improve the overall quality of learning. Additionally, the program aims to include the community in the school system.
The 2013 National Climate Change Learning Strategy, which was part of a pilot program by UN: CC Learn, has a broad capacity-building focus across society, but also includes a specific focus on improving climate change education training for primary and secondary educators, and increasing climate awareness in young Indonesians. Yet, it was not clear to what extent the Strategy is used at the time of data collection for this review.
The National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation (2014) published by the National Development Planning Agency stresses the need to increase awareness about climate change in all areas of life, especially schools. It mentions that the number of people educated in secondary school about climate change will be used as an indicator to measure the success of climate change education. The Plan also highlights the need to educate men and women equally about climate change issues and emphasizes the importance of using methods that are appropriate for different livelihoods and regional particularities.
The Strategic Plan of The Directorate General of Climate Change Control 2020-2024 (2020) addresses a number of challenges which impact climate change education in Indonesia. It also acknowledges the importance of capacity-building programs in mainstreaming climate change education into the national education system. For example, Indonesia does not have enough school places available for their growing population and school attendance rates vary greatly by region (which is particularly problematic in rural areas), according to a 2015 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) study. The study also claims that the Indonesian education system does not match the requirements of the labor market. The Strategic Plan thus stresses the need to consider jobs related to climate change when adapting the national curriculum to respond to climate change. The Plan also brings together concerns of unequal access to knowledge by location, group, and gender, highlighting the need to distribute knowledge and technology evenly and adequately across the country. Finally, the Strategic Plan also acknowledges an urgency to further develop knowledge about climate change, stating that knowledge about climate change is still relatively new in the country.
According to Indonesia’s 3rd National Communication (2017), climate change was mainstreamed into the school curriculum in 2011 due to efforts by the Ministry of Education and Culture. A special climate change curriculum has been developed by the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency but was not available online at the time of this review, although it was referenced in the National Communication.
ii. Climate change in teacher training and teacher resources
According to a survey conducted to inform the National Climate Change Learning Strategy (2013), Indonesia is home to a diversity of experts on climate change in a vast number of disciplines, with a strong focus on environmental issues. Nevertheless, the Strategy concluded that a larger number of individual and institutional capacities are needed to provide quality climate change education, and that more educator training is required.
The Climate Change Knowledge Center published by the Directorate General of Climate Change Control provides a small number of resources for teachers to use in the classroom and continues to provide further information by updating the resources frequently.
Rumah Belajar–Learning House is a learning portal run by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The website includes a 2016 teaching resource on climate change and what students can do about it. The resource includes an example lesson and suggests ways to engage students in learning related to climate change.
There was limited publicly available information available regarding other resources currently available to teachers for climate change at the time of data collection. The 3rd National Communication (2017) mentions that the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency developed a Climate Change Curriculum as a reference for teachers in elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools, and marine vocational high schools. Additionally, capacity-building events were used to develop educational and training materials, but no further information was available online.
The 2020 Strategic Plan Directorate General of Climate Change Control 2020 – 2024 places a strong focus on the engagement of “non-party stakeholders” (people outside the government who promote understanding of and action on climate change). The document acknowledges the importance of teachers in introducing climate change to students and helping them understand and ultimately take a role in climate action.
iii. Climate change in higher education
Higher Education in Indonesia is steered by the Directorate General of Higher Education, which is part of the Ministry of Education and Culture. In the Directorate General’s Strategic Plan 2020-2024, climate change is noted as one of the largest challenges facing the country’s higher education sector, yet the plan does not state how higher education should or will address climate change.
The 2014 National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation states the need to increase the involvement of universities in capacity-building projects, particularly in the health and climate change sector. Likewise, the 2013 National Climate Change Learning Strategy articulates a need to strengthen universities’ roles in implementing adaptation and mitigation measures. The Learning Strategy also calls for the development of study programs at higher education institutions that include climate change.
According to the Voluntary National Review of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs; 2019), the public and internationally recognized University of Mataram, University of Nusa Cendana, and University of Timor have included climate change in their curricula to strengthen their response to SDG Indicator 13.3, and offer courses on climate change adaptation. Another university project mentioned in the 2019 Review is the Collaborative Australia-Indonesia Program on Sustainable Development and Climate Change, a collaboration between Griffith University in Australia and the Universitas Indonesia. The government also consulted a large number of universities to inform the National Climate Change Learning Strategy (2013), which has the goal of basing climate change learning on the foundations of science and increasing the higher education sector’s involvement in policy-making.
Indonesia receives support from a large number of international donor agencies and over 49,000 Indonesian students study abroad. Many students who study abroad return after completing their studies to help the country mainstream climate change communication and education into government agencies, schools, and communities.
Indonesia's 2018 Biennial Update Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) states that climate change is becoming an increasingly popular field of study and research in the country. The Report also notes that increasing numbers of Indonesians studying overseas are choosing to study subjects and engage in research related to climate change. However, the Report also notes the need for the country to increase knowledge exchange and access to information.
According to the 3rd National Communication (2017), universities play an important role in Indonesia’s responses to climate change. Universities and their research institutes were involved in the National Communication’s preparation and are seen as important advisors to support government decision-making in relation to climate change policies. A lack of cooperation between universities and governments is described as problematic in terms of implementing mitigation initiatives.
iv. Climate change in training and adult learning
Climate change training, particularly regarding capacity building, is a frequent topic in Indonesian climate change policies and is one of the country’s largest areas of investment. The 2013 National Climate Change Learning Strategy has the subtitle “capacity building of human and institutional resources to address climate change and achieve low emission and climate resilient development.” The Strategy states that mitigation initiatives are more common than adaptation initiatives in Indonesia. It also estimates that the country’s forestry sector is the climate-related area with the most trained staff. The Strategy also notes that it aims to strengthen training and support for Indigenous farming methods in challenging areas; however, no further information was publicly available on the inclusion of Indigenous and marginalized groups, or on how localities are considered in general, at the time of this review.
Capacity building initiatives in Indonesia are usually directly related to the country’s largest polluters or the areas that are/will be most affected by climate change. Example initiatives from the country’s documents include:
The Farmers’ Field School Program, which aims to combat drought and related food shortages by training agriculture and local government workers in sustainable practices through local television broadcasts (Voluntary National Review, 2019).
Capacity-building programs designed to increase religious leaders’ knowledge of climate change and showcasing the relevance of climate change to religion (Biennial Update Report, 2018).
Training journalists to write news about climate change (Biennial Update Report, 2018).
Capacity building within the private sector to increase implementation of climate change mitigation initiatives (Biennial Update Report, 2018).
Training to increase use of clean fuels and reduce energy consumption for forest communities (Guidelines for Determining Climate Change Mitigation Actions, 2018).
The National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation (2014) also mentions the country is developing a climate change capacity-building cluster to exchange best practices and lessons learned; working with the construction industry to use more sustainable construction material; and implementing training to improve driving habits. These initiatives are offered through a partnership between civil society organizations, international organizations, and the government.
Finally, Indonesia receives support from Annex 1 (industrialized) countries to enhance its capacity-building programs. For example, organizations based in Sweden, Germany, and Australia offer training and supporting development of climate change initiatives in the country, as acknowledged in the country’s 3rd National Communication (2017).
i. Climate change and public awareness
The Directorate General of Climate Change Control and the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry are the main organizations responsible for climate change communication in Indonesia. These government agencies organize events, media campaigns, and research to enhance the public’s understanding of climate change. For example, in 2017 a study called Communicating for Climate Change: Closing Gaps between Science and Action by the Climate Change Control Advisory Council analyzed young people’s knowledge of climate change and recommended that more effort is needed to close existing knowledge gaps.
The Climate Village Program was one of the most frequently mentioned public awareness programs in the policies reviewed. Launched in 2016 by the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry, the Climate Village Program aims to engage Indonesian villages and communities in climate change adaptation and mitigation through a place-based approach. The program’s adaptation-related topics include drought; flood and landslide control; increased food security; handling anticipated sea level rise, seawater intrusion, storm surges, and abrasion; wind ablation or erosion; and climate change-related disease control. The program’s climate change mitigation initiatives focus on increasing public awareness of solid and liquid waste management; energy conservation, including new and renewable energy; greenhouse gas emission reductions in agriculture; the importance of increasing vegetation cover; and forest and land fire prevention and management.
In 2019, the Directorate General of Climate Change Control organized the 2019 Climate Campaign and Climate Festival, which included a large number of awareness initiatives. The 2019 Climate Campaign’s main aim was to inform the public about the goals set in Indonesia’s Nationally Determined Contributions and tell them about the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The activities included a car-free day, a program to promote cycling, a series of workshops and training on writing about climate change, and a forum on ethical discussions on climate change. In 2020, a Climate Festival was also announced, but no further information was available online.
Indonesia’s 3rd National Communication (2017) describes the government’s challenges related to implementing climate change initiatives, citing limited public recognition of the importance of climate action as the most important barrier. Based on this obstacle, the government has recognized the need for awareness-raising campaigns, access to information, and public participation to change the mindset of its citizens and foster ownership for climate change among Indonesians.
ii. Climate change and public access to information
Three websites hosted by the Directorate General of Climate Change Control provide information and insight into Indonesia’s climate action related to public access to information. The Directorate General’s own website provides information, publications, and resources for the public. The Climate Corner is a forum that brings together different stakeholders with Indonesia’s Climate Change Control Advisory Council and publishes their discussions and results. The Climate Change Knowledge Center aims to educate and inform Indonesians about climate change through the provision of climate change-related science and data. The Climate Change Knowledge Centre has documented the negative impacts of climate change on air, habitat, forest, health, and agriculture. The website includes videos, infographics, and other tools to make understanding climate change easier. The website also provides a glossary of climate change terms and abbreviations compiled from various scientific and legal sources.
The National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation (2014) sets a communication-related goal for government agencies to use easy-to-understand communication methods adapted to local realities and socio-cultural values. The Plan suggests using radio, television, the internet, newspapers, cell phones, and local leaders to share information on climate change with the public. The Plan also indicates that women have more limited access to information about climate change and disaster warnings than men, and notes the importance of making such information more accessible to all members of the public. Finally, the Plan describes the Information and Communication System Development Cluster, a strategy for raising awareness and informing the public about climate change. The Cluster brings together different actors, such as representatives from the media and government agencies, to increase the availability and accuracy of information and data on climate change for both the government and the public.
iii. Climate change and public participation
Limited information on public participation in climate change initiatives in Indonesia is available, although several initiatives require the participation of marine communities most affected by climate change, according to the National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation (2014). These initiatives include preparing the population for climate change by giving them ownership of their own environment. The National Action Plan also includes an objective to establish a Cluster of Science Advancement, Technology Innovation, and Public Participation. The Cluster would involve different government agencies and civil society stakeholders and aim to increase awareness of and participation in climate change adaptation and mitigation among people living in rural and urban settings, with civil society organizations being the primary participant. The Plan defines the Cluster’s goals as being “geared towards research, education and development of technology related to climate change and adaptation related to health, health sector human resource development and community participation related to health adaptation to climate change” (p. 40). No information was publicly available if the Cluster has been created at the time of data collection.
The 3rd National Communication (2017) acknowledges the importance of having the public’s active support and participation to reach the country’s climate goals, but no further information besides a reference to the cluster mentioned in the National Action Plan is given.
i. Country monitoring
Indonesia’s main auditing agency, the Supreme Audit Board monitors Indonesia’s activities in all areas, including climate change. The Board also hosts training programs to build capacity for monitoring climate change, including to ensure data is collected more efficiently and according to international standards. Statistics Indonesia also collects data on climate change impacts.
The National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation (2014) indicates the country’s intension to monitor the number of capacity-building events, campaigns, messages, and news disseminated to the public regarding climate change adaptation and mitigation. No information on implementation progress was publicly available online at the time of the review.
Additionally, the National Climate Change Learning Strategy (2013) lists the National Council on Climate Change (today the Directorate General of Climate Change Control) as the main organization responsible for monitoring climate change communication and education. The Strategy describes several mechanisms for how monitoring should take place: through reviewing climate change communication and education literature, evaluating achievement of the Strategy’s priorities, holding quarterly and annual coordination meetings, establishing reporting mechanisms, and developing a cooperation mechanism. No public information was available on whether those structures are operational.
Indonesia also participated in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Global Competency Study. Indonesian students were among the lowest scorers in their understanding global issues, including climate change, with only six other countries ranking lower than Indonesia in the study.
Finally, Indonesia’s National Development Planning Agency monitors the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but no data were available for Indicators 4.7 (sustainability education) and 13.3 (climate change education) at the time of data collection. Nevertheless, Indonesia’s SDG Dashboard is constantly updated as new information and data becomes available.
ii. MECCE Project Monitoring
The Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education (MECCE) Project examined the National Curriculum Framework (2013) (NCF) and the Education Sector Plan 2020-2024 (NSP) for references to ‘climate change’, ‘sustainability’, ‘biodiversity’, and the ‘environment.’
Indonesia’s 2013 National Curriculum Framework (NCF) mentions ‘climate change’ 3 times, ‘sustainability’ 10 times, general ‘environment’ once, and ‘biodiversity’ 0 times.
A search of the Education Sector Plan 2020-2024 did not find references to these keywords.
Figure 1 highlights the distribution of references to ‘climate change’ relative to those to general ‘environment,’ ‘sustainability,’ and ‘biodiversity’ in Indonesia’s NCF and ESP. Only a total of 14 references to environment-related themes were found across both documents.
This section will be updated as the MECCE project develops.