By: Hizbullah Arief *

175 nations came to UN headquarters in New York on April 22 to sign Paris Agreement that marked an effort to limit global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius and if possible push forward more ambitious target of limiting global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. The signatories are members of United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The signings follow nations’ adoption of the Paris Agreement at the end of last year in Paris.

In the last couple of months, signs of worsening effects of climate change were imminent. Starting from Earth rotation shift by 17 cm due to the melting of ice cap in Greenland and Antarctica followed by the news from Japan meteorological agency mentioning that March is the hottest month ever since 1891, first time in a hundred twenty-five years period.

The assignations in New York heralds the urgency of climate actions. However, more subsequent actions await including ratification of Paris Climate Agreement. Ratification means the country that has signed Paris Agreement needs to integrate Paris Agreement target into their national climate action plan.

First 15 countries have ratified Paris Climate agreement including Palestine which was included as member state of UNFCCC on March 17, 2016. In the next 30 days UNFFCC has targeted more than 50 countries – which contributes 50% of greenhouse gas emissions – will ratify the agreement.

Ratification of Paris Agreement will also open another opportunity. Hundreds of millions dollar funds from developed countries have been channeled into programs in Indonesia that will contribute to goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through various initiatives in peat land, forestry, agriculture, energy sector, communities etc.

Many of these programs were buried under the radar and have been designed to answering technical challenges like reducing greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity protection. These challenges require the project to undertake research-like activities at field and use the results as baseline information to meet the target in example of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

These solutions finding activities, with the right management approach, can build up new knowledge to tackling environmental problems. Business as usual is these projects will hire consultants or specialists to help identify the right solutions at field using scientific approaches. The projects will also work with local government or local stakeholders to make sure coordination and recommendations are implemented. Chances are the consultants will work with local communities, analyze their livelihood, to help find answers for climate change and environmental problems.

Interaction between scientific groups with local groups offers opportunity of trading knowledge to channel local knowledge to become international findings vice versa. Local knowledge in which contain the local wisdom provides the context for targeted solutions, as scientific approaches used in global scientific network are needed to make sure the lesson is learned and well-documented.

Green mediums – mediums that promote green economy and sustainable development – provide the opportunity for these international and national programs to connect to green stakeholders – people and organizations with environmentally and climate friendly actions – that will put the process of building solutions for local, national and global environmental problems on spotlight.

Bappenas or Indonesian Ministry of Development Planning hosts all these initial information. The next step, building knowledge of project’s implementation by focusing on the project cycle at national and local level, follow the project coordination with affiliated stakeholders like Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources etc.

From my experience as consultant, many of these environmental programs will only start telling their success stories at the end of the program period which usually lasts in 5 years. Tracking hundreds of millions of dollars programs from the very beginning are needed to ensure the right implementation, transparency and accountability of the programs.

These right from the start stories if well-documented can create local knowledge building up to global wisdom. These approaches can also lead to better collaboration among nations to help solve the climate change and environmental problems.

Where do we go from Paris? Central Kalimantan with its haze problems, Papua with mineral exploitation problems and Aceh with its biodiversity protection challenges could pay the next visits to produce inspiring stories, solutions taken from the world and local wisdom.

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*Hizbullah Arief is Founder of Hijauku.com (www.hijauku.com), independent portal which provides green inspirations and solutions towards sustainable development.