Blog Belantara

The Launch of the Conservation and Environmental Philanthropy Cluster to Combat Environmental Waste Issues

Indonesia will produce around 66 - 67 million tons of waste in 2019, higher than its annual waste output of 64 million tons which are dominated by organic waste (60%) and plastic waste (15%).

Based on World Bank's 2018 documents, the world's five great ocean garbage patches are expanding, bringing insight about the marine waste crisis hitting various coastal areas, mangrove forests, and water flows in various parts of the world.

It's estimated that around 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year, which causes an increasingly global ocean pollution crisis. Currently, there are 150 million tons of plastic waste floating in the ocean and will continue to increase by another 250 million if urbanization, production, and consumption trends continue.

Indonesia is a country with a very rich and diverse marine biodiversity. The area encompasses three bio-geographical areas and is a haven for abundant marine life -home to 76 percent coral species, mangrove forests, and vast seagrass beds. However, deforestation in coastal areas, degradation of water quality, pollution, and over-exploitation of marine life have a fatal impact on the ecosystems. The Indonesian ecosystem is in great danger due to the ongoing waste production. With the rapid pace of urbanization and population growth in coastal areas, the pollution level that will penetrate and damage various ecosystems will also increase; worsening the existing conditions.

On July 17, 2019, Dompet Dhuafa in collaboration with the Environmental and Conservation Philanthropy cluster, organized the 24th Philanthropy Learning Forum at Accelerice Indonesia, on the 2nd Floor of Ariobimo Sentral, in South Jakarta. The event raised the theme "From Trash to Treasure: Action and Collaboration to Overcome Urban Waste," and was moderated by Dr. Ir. Tachrir Fathoni, M.SC, an advisor of the Belantara Foundation and had four speakers from Dompet Dhuafa, the Tzu Chi Foundation, the National Zakat Agency (BAZNAS), and the Keanekargaman Hayati Foundation (Kehati).

The four speakers explained various ways their organizations are helping.

Dompet Dhuafa supports efforts to improve the environmental sector to raise the independence of the poor through the Semesta Hijau (Green Universe) program. The Semesta Hijau program is a commitment to alleviate waste problems to improve the environment while at the same time encouraging the economic growth of the community, especially the poor.

 The Tzu Chi Foundation is currently promoting a zero-waste lifestyle for urban communities. The program starts with sorting waste, then recycling and utilizing waste, and appreciating energy.

The Keanekargaman Hayati Foundation (Kehati) with is environmental preservation program of Bird Watching (BW) held at Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) aims to provide data sources and inspiration for data centers in urban areas. Bird Watching (BW) can be done with the naked eye, and Indonesia is a crossing point for bird migration.

And BAZNAS with its program to overcome waste in urban areas by conducting community empowerment through a waste management program that recycles waste into plastic pellets. One of the places is in Bengkulu City, which has been selected as the first SDGs City in Indonesia. 

The 24th Philanthropy Learning Forum also held the launch of the Environmental and Conservation Philanthropy cluster. Rizal Algamar, Country Director of The Nature Conservacy (TNC) who was appointed as the cluster coordinator stated that the basis of the formation of this cluster was to encourage cross-sector collaboration to facilitate environmental conservation programs. He also explained that philanthropic organizations that are concerned with ecological issues could learn from each other, share information, conduct synergies, and advocacies. In 2019 it was agreed that the focus of the cluster work was to address environmental problems in urban areas, such as waste, water resources, and others.

The cluster facilitated by Indonesian Philanthropy consists of several organizations, such as The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Dompet Dhuafa, the Greeneration Foundation, the National Amil Zakat Agency, the Belantara Foundation, the Kehati Foundation, the Tzu Chi Foundation, and the Coca Cola Foundation Indonesia.

The Director of Indonesian Philanthropy, Hamid Abidin, stated that the formation of the Environmental and Conservation Philanthropy cluster aims to address the needs of philanthropic organizations members and Indonesian philanthropy networks to meet and have discussions with organizations with mutual concerns and programs, and to hopefully have more intense discussions and understandings of various initiatives and inspirations from other organizations.

At the end of the event, eight conservationists and environmental observers namely, Dompet Dhuafa, the National Amil Zakat Agency (Baznas), the Belantara Foundation, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the KEHATI Foundation, the Greeneration Foundation, the Tzu Chi Foundation and The Coca-Cola Foundation signed the launching charter of the Conservation and the Environment cluster.