The Challenge of Communicating Climate Change Amid the Lack of Public Awareness
JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – Based on YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project data, 18 percent of Indonesians doubt that climate change is caused by humans. "This is dangerous. This is because doubts are one of the factors of awareness of change to lack," said Yenrizal, a researcher in environmental communications at the Faculty of Social Science and Political Science of the Raden Fatah Islamic State University Palembang, South Sumatra, at a discussion titled "Climate Communication Forum #5: Emergency Communication on Climate Change, Development and Environment Issues" held by CPROCOM virtually on Thursday (18/6/2020). "We don't realize that the real problem comes from us," he added.
Yenrizal then explained Indonesia's contribution to climate change, such as fossil energy like natural oil and coal, exhaust emissions, agriculture and livestock, industry, to deforestation.
Referring to this fact, according to him, the village community is one of the stakeholders whose understanding must be improved. This is because the village is not only one of the causes of climate change, but is also the one that is affected. Change of land use, forest fires, and agricultural systems occur here. "Unfortunately, so far, the village has only been required to understand, but there is minimal facilitation. Supposedly, we encourage and support them to modernize agriculture that is environmentally friendly," he said.
The next challenge, 90 percent of villagers, especially in South Sumatra, do not understand the term climate change. What they do know is that the planting season is getting worse, the weather is getting warmer, drought and floods are getting more frequent. "Climate change predictions need a separate language to make it easy to understand," he said.
According to him, one of the ways that can be done is to update local wisdom according to the current context while still bringing up the noble values of local wisdom that are beneficial to the villagers. This step must be strengthened with the support of environmentally friendly facilities and applied technology. The campaign is delivered in the form of a direct action using more down to earth terms.
To get around this, the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Areas, and Transmigration (Kemendes) has implemented a ten-step communication strategy. Agus Kuncoro, the Director of Facilities and Infrastructure Improvement of Kemendes, mentioned several of them. For example, there needs to be an assessment, production planning, action, and reflection. "To generate good environmental communication, it is necessary to begin with analysis, development of communication strategies and messages, to its dissemination through various communication media channels," he said.
According to Suzy Hutomo, the Executive Chairperson of The Body Shop Indonesia, conducting a campaign to raise public awareness must be done in an exciting, memorable, and inspiring way. Plus, give them incentives. For example, The Body Shop gives points every time they return used bottles.
The efforts to invite public participation are also carried out by the Provincial Government of DKI Jakarta, such as holding the Climate Village program, Waste is Shared Responsibility (Samsata), and the Garbage Bank, Adiwiyata School. "No less important, we from the local government must also set an example," said Agung Pujo Winarko, the Head of Community Participation Department at the DKI Jakarta Environment Agency. The method that has been done is to reduce and sort waste within the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government. (rtn)