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KOBAR Pekalongan: Youth in Pekalongan Take Action and Work with Government to Combat Climate Change

Dok. Kemitraan

Ganjar Pranowo met the delegates of KOBAR Pekalongan at the governor office in Semarang (4/7)

Pekalongan, 4-5 of July 2022 – The environmental experts predict that several northern coastal areas in Central Java will sink due to experiencing extreme land subsidence and the threat of climate change. According to Heri Andreas, a geodesy expert from Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), the most vulnerable areas are Semarang, Pekalongan, and Demak. Ganjar Pranowo, The Governor of Central Java, once said that about 45 percent of the Pekalongan City area was risky for drowning. 

This fact demonstrates that there is a genuine threat posed by climate change, and everyone should be concerned. Increased effort must be made to address the threat of climate change at all levels, starting with policy. On the other hand, young people who will become agents of change in the future, have started to take action to combat climate change. Some of the youth activities are community advocate, waste sorting, reforestation, and many more.

Collaboration with Pekalongan Youth (KOBAR PEKALONGAN) for Climate Change is a series of 4 days and 3 nights activities from 3-6th of July 2022, held in Green Valley, Bandungan, Semarang Regency, Central Java. The participants were selected from the top 100 of the Competition of Action of the Young Generation on Climate Change in Pekalongan City held last June. The Partnership for Governance Reform or KEMITRAAN organized KOBAR Pekalongan with the support of the Adaptation Fund, Pekalongan City Government, and Central Java Provincial Government.

Dewi Rizki, the Sustainable Governance Strategic Program Director of KEMITRAAN, said, “KOBAR Pekalongan event encourages the young generation of Pekalongan to be more aware and understand further the real impacts of climate change. Pekalongan’s young generation can play an important role as actors and community mobilizers in public awareness efforts related to climate change. Therefore, we hope that KOBAR Pekalongan will encourage climate change action, from young people and for them.”

The Participants of KOBAR Pekalongan

During the activity, participants were invited to discuss climate change to see the real impact of climate change. They also learn to make social campaigns through photos, videos, and public speaking. In addition, the participants planned real action and collaborations with each other to prevent climate change. In order to create concrete action, participants had the opportunity to have a dialogue with the government representatives.

Games of teamwork in KOBAR Pekalongan

One of the KOBAR Pekalongan Participants asked a question during a talk show with the government representatives.

On Monday 4th of July, 2022, KOBAR Pekalongan participants had a dialogue with the Governor of Central Java, Ganjar Pranowo, at the governor’s office in Semarang city. The delegates of KOBAR Pekalongan shared their concern regarding environmental issues accompanied by Laode M. Syarief, The Executive Director of KEMITRAAN. 

Sekar Ingrid Prameswari, a student from SMKN 2 Pekalongan, took advantage of this moment to ask about the lack of water access from local PDAM (Municipal Waterworks) to the people of Pekalongan city. Currently, government regulations prohibit people from taking groundwater.

Ganjar Pranowo responded by suggesting that Sekar should gather the courage to ask the mayor of Pekalongan to remind PDAM to build their pipe. Ganjar said that it was the duty of the regional government and related agencies to help such as the PDAM or Regional Clean Water Company from the Province.

Ganjar also gave appreciation to the participants of KOBAR Pekalongan, “This is a good program, educating young people from Pekalongan, and we hope that the program can increase their awareness about the environment.”

The Head of the Environment Agency of Central Java Province, Widi Hartanto, the Executive Director of KEMITRAAN, Laode M Syarif, and the Deputy Mayor of Pekalongan, Salahudin, attended the talk show.

On Tuesday, 5th of July 2022, the dialogue with the government representative continued. Widi Hartanto, the Head of the Environment Agency of Central Java Province, Deputy Mayor of Pekalongan, Salahudin and Executive Director of KEMITRAAN, Laode M Syarif were the speakers of the talkshow. 

The Head of the Environment Agency of Central Java Province, Widi Hartanto, said his intitution was eager to collaborate with young people. ”As the representative from the provincial government, we are ready to collaborate. We focus on handling mangroves to save the environment. For example, you do not have to worry about the seeds because we will support anything that the youth of Pekalongan needs. Young people also need to connect with business actors because they care very much about the movement to save the environment,” said Widi.

The Deputy Mayor of Pekalongan, Salahudin, suggested that young people divide their roles in the movement to save the environment. ”There are young people who are engaged in media campaigns. Some are engaged in planting mangroves, and some in fisheries and waste reduction. All of those potential programs must be in collaboration. Including how young people collaborate with the City Government, Provincial Government, national level government, and others,” said Salahudin.

The Executive Director of KEMITRAAN, Laode M Syarief, expressed his appreciation for the dialogue between the youth and government representatives. “The dialogue between representatives of the Pekalongan city government, Central Java province and the participants of KOBAR Pekalongan is an important first step to demonstrate the efforts of policymakers to involve young people in dealing with the climate crisis. Hopefully, the climate policy made by the local government will also involve the voices of young people in the field for a better future.”

The press release and the documentation of the KOBAR Pekalongan event can be downloaded here.