Inang Jalaludin Shofihara – More than 50 individuals and organisations have initiated a petition through the platform change.org urging President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to immediately declare a climate emergency.
Extinction Rebellion (XR) Indonesia National Coordinator Melissa Kowara said that such a declaration is something which must be done immediately or everyone will suffer even more looses than they are now.
"We can already feel the impact of the climate crisis. We the ordinary Indonesian people are not waiting for it, because it's happening right now", she explained in a statement received by Kompas.com.
Kowara said that the initiators of the petition have waited too long for concrete action from the administration of President Widodo.
"We the ordinary people need concrete action which holds justice in the highest regard and can take us out of the climate crisis. For too long we have been stuffed full of false actions and promises", she continued.
Kowara said that the petition will be disseminated throughout all layers of society because the climate problem is related to the safety of the ordinary people. "We will also ensure that President Jokowi listens to it and takes immediate and concrete action", she said.
Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) Campaign Manager Yuyun Harmono added that the government continues to campaign for individuals to make change for the environment. But it is government policies themselves that in fact facilitate environmental destruction on the pretext of economic development.
"We have to ask, is Indonesia's commitment in line with the Paris Accords? Because the reality is that [Indonesia's] climate commitments and [government] policies which have been implemented of late are the absolute opposite of each other", asserted Harmono.
Harmono said that the public needs to know that what is written in the Jobs Law is promoting the extractive industries.
"Yet, if there was strong and firm political will, President Jokowi should already have pressed the climate crisis button to safe the ordinary people of Indonesia", asserted Harmono.
The urgent call of the petition is part of a campaign to confront environmentally linked disasters which have brought destruction to different parts of the world this year.
The example closest to home is the massive floods which inundated South Kalimantan at the beginning of the year claiming the lives of 21 people and destroying the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of others.
Not long after this, hot spots emerged in Sumatra and Kalimantan caused by the burning of forests and peatlands. The climate crisis is having an increasingly real impact on communities and ecosystems throughout the world.
Meanwhile a Global Climate Strike action will be held virtually on Wednesday March 17 which will take place simultaneously at 2 pm West Indonesia time. The petition can be signed at change.org/stopbencana.
Off-line actions meanwhile will be held on Friday March 19 and will take place in several Indonesian cites including Jakarta, Yogyakarta (Central Java), Palembang (South Sumatra), Makassar (South Sulawesi), Palangkaraya (Central Kalimantan), Bandung (West Java) and several other cities.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Aktivis Iklim Inisiasi Petisi Desak Presiden Jokowi Deklarasikan Darurat Iklim".]