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The Youth of Pekalongan Against Climate Crisis


Climate change is causing more floods in coastal areas of  Indonesia, such as Pekalongan City. The high sea levels due to global warming have caused some coastal areas in Pekalongan City to be inundated. This condition is exacerbated by the occurrence of land subsidence in some areas of Pekalongan City up to 34 cm per year (KEMITRAAN, 2018). This fact is saddening considering that Pekalongan is famous as the world’s Batik city. The city is even listed among the creative city network by UNESCO.

Climate change also threatens young people’s lives, such as limiting their activities due to the flood, the occurrence of various skin diseases, and also causing women’s reproductive disorders. Therefore, it is critical for the young generation in Pekalongan to take action now to reduce the impact of climate change, as it will have a significant impact on their futures.

Since the end of December 2021 to February 2022, Pekalongan youth from 15 high schools, universities, 8 urban villages and various other communities, including 20 participants from Pekalongan State School for students with disabilities, participated in Semesta movie screening. A total of 1,140 people participated in the activities initiated by KEMITRAAN and Pekalongan City Government with support from Adaptation Fund (AF).

Semesta movie showcases the struggle of seven figures from different backgrounds in seven provinces with the same goal, to slow down the impact of climate change. The characters in the movie were very keen on protecting nature according to their culture, customs and religions. After the screening of Semesta, the participants were expected to be inspired, take action and create collaborative efforts in facing climate change. 

Some of the Pekalongan youths who attended the event began to raise their concerns about the issue of climate change. “Indonesia is very beautiful, but today the country is sick due to climate change. In order to heal Indonesia, we need to preserve nature, and young people must take part in it,” said Okta, a youth of Karang Taruna in Kandang Panjang Village.

“In order to protect the environment, young people in Pekalongan can carry out initiatives like going green and going clean in order to save the environment and enable water to seep into the ground,” said Uswatun Khasanah, a student of class XII in Pekalongan Islamic Senior High School.

Semesta screening events were also attended by teachers and the headmaster of the school as student mentors. Mr. Drs. H.R.M. Firdaus, M.Si as the headmaster of Salafiyah Islamic senior high School said, “Semesta movie is a reminder for all of us as God’s creatures to preserve nature.  The Qur’an has warned us that damage to nature is caused by human hands, so people should not destroy nature because it is the source of life for all. When nature is damaged, human life is threatened.”

The preservation of nature requires the effort of many people. The more young people are aware of the consequences of climate change, the more likely we can prevent the situation from becoming worse.