Climate Change Threat in Real livable cities

Climate Change Threat in Real livable cities

“Some researchers argue that urban expansion can accommodate larger populations and potentially reduce fossil fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions,” wrote Zhong et al., [2023] in the journal Habitat International at

But in the same journal, many studies also note the major influence due to urban expansion on ecological security and sustainable development. For example, the formation of urban heat islands [ Urban Heat Island ] [Thanvisitthpon et al., 2023], air pollution, reduction of agricultural land, loss of biodiversity, and increased traffic congestion.

According to Prof. Dr. ing. Wiwandari Handayani, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Dipenegoro University, population growth is indeed one of the problems in urban areas. But mainly, there is a distribution of population that is not balanced with the existing resources and land.

“Our earth is now increasingly urbanized. In the future, we must create cities that are livable and balanced between the population and the current availability of resources,” he continued, during the Mongabay Indonesia Nature Talk: Preparing for Sustainable Development Amidst Trends in Growth and Climate Change, Thursday [20/7/2023 ].

To achieve this, a city must be able to measure urban carrying capacity . The first is related to the land available to the population. Second , water is currently a major problem in cities around the world. Third , is energy.

Citing Dąbrowska et al., [2023] which refers to the United Nations Population Division, [2018]; and Zięba et al., [2020] stated that about 59 percent of 1,146 cities with at least 500,000 residents were at high risk of being affected by at least one disaster [cyclone, flood, drought, earthquake, landslide, or volcanic eruption].

Wiwandari added, both the government and the community currently still have a reactive mindset when facing environmental problems in urban areas, such as raising roads or houses to avoid flooding. Not long term.

“The government and society must be more proactive, able to address all the current impacts of climate change. Think transformatively, long-term and full of innovation. Local values ​​also need attention. Early anticipation of the impact of climate change is important,” he continued.

Economy vs Environment

Currently, urban areas are experiencing a dilemma. On the one hand, urban areas are the center of global business and economy, but on the other hand cities are the core of climate change mitigation and are currently facing unparalleled challenges [Betsill & Bulkeley, 2003]; Mi et al., 2019], in (Wang, 2022).

Wiwandari gave an example of a case in a coastal city area which is currently becoming an “arena of battle” between economic and environmental interests. The climate crisis, in fact, is happening in many countries not only in Indonesia. Regions that have a strategic location for economic growth also have environmental challenges.

For information, since 1980, there have been 4,588 floods in 172 countries, killing more than 250,000 people. While drought is estimated to have cost the global economy 6–8 billion USD per year and far greater than any other meteorological disaster.

“Thus, as population increases, cities are at the forefront of the climate change adaptation agenda [Carter et al., 2015],” continued Zhong et al., [2023].

Dreamed city

Rizqa Hidayani, Kota Kita Manager, said that everyone has their own projection of a dream city. For example, a city that is comfortable for walking, free of flooding, security at what time to get out, and adequate integration of public transportation.

Indonesia is currently trying to design and build an ideal city. This is what is expected in the Nusantara IKN project.

“If the development plan and its implementation are in line, IKN Nusantara can become an ideal city, a sustainable forest city . However, the most important thing is how we can oversee the planning process until this implementation can be realized,” he explained.

According to Rizqa, even though there are concerns from the community that the IKN will only move problems, if the implementation goes according to plan, the IKN can be a case example of how a city can turn out to be sustainable, comfortable, and still maintain ecological and economic balance.

“We have to control so that IKN remains in accordance with the existing carrying capacity , and can anticipate further developments. Therefore, the mechanism to monitor what is planned and implemented is important,” he said.

Heat Waves on real climate change

Heat waves are currently hitting several countries in Asia, such as India, Bangladesh, China , Japan, Laos, Korea, Myanmar and Thailand. The temperature in these countries has increased from usual to 40 degrees Celsius.

The temporary peak, Kumarkhali area, a city in Kusthia district, Bangladesh became the hottest area with a recorded daily maximum temperature of 51.2 degrees Celsius on April 17, 2023.

Dwikorita Karnawati , Head of the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency [BMKG] explained, heat waves can be explained in terms of the characteristics of the phenomenon and statistical indicators of the temperature of the incident.

“By the characteristics of the phenomenon, heat waves generally occur in areas located at mid to high latitudes, in the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere,” Dwikorita said in a written statement, April 25, 2023.

Heat waves occur in geographic areas that have or are adjacent to large land masses, or continental or sub-continental areas.

In terms of statistical indicators of temperature occurrence, heatwaves in weather and climate science are defined as weather periods with unusually warm temperatures lasting at least five consecutive days or more [as defined by the World Meteorological Agency or WMO].

A weather phenomenon is included in the heat wave category if a location records a daily maximum temperature that exceeds a statistical threshold, for example 5 degrees Celsius hotter than the climatological average maximum temperature.

In terms of the characteristics of the phenomenon, the hot temperature is the result of the apparent motion of the sun which is a cycle every year.

Not only that, the conversion of forests for agriculture, mining and settlements also causes emissions, because when trees are cut down, they release the carbon they have stored.

“Devil Frog” Extinct due to Climate Change?

Referring to research by experts from China and America recently, devil frogs are destroyed due to climate change. The group of researchers wrote their report in the Elsevier Journal entitled “ Extreme-sized anurans are more prone to climate-driven extinctions ” edition of 2023.

The researchers revealed that medium-sized frogs have a higher resistance to climate change than large ones. The uneven risk of extinction helps researchers explain why frog extinction rates were low during the Cretaceous-Paleogene [K-Pg] period. While in the long winter period there was an increase in body size variation in the frog group.

The researchers suspect that the tropical frog group will feel the most impact related to climate change in the future. It is estimated that up to 500 species will face climate-related extinction pressure by 2100. Of course, a big loss if that happens.

The research was carried out by Anderson Feijo from the Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, Chin, and 4 other researchers involved.

Five times the extinction

Experts explain, citing LiveScience , that the world has experienced five eras of mass extinctions. Defined as at least 75 percent of species extinct in a relatively short time by geological standards [usually less than 2.8 million years].

The Ordovician-Silurian extinction [440 million years ago], when ocean temperatures changed which caused the majority of marine inhabitants to perish

The Late Devonian extinction [365 million years ago], when animals began to evolve on land.

The Permian-Triassic extinction [253 million years ago], when 90 percent of the species on Earth were destroyed. At that time the Siberian volcano erupted causing carbon dioxide to fill the atmosphere. There is a greenhouse effect that heats Planet Earth.

The Cretaceous-palaeogene extinction [K-Pg, K for Kreide or Cretaceous, 66 million years ago]. During this time the dinosaurs died out. An asteroid 13 km long hit Earth, creating a hole 180 km wide and 19 km deep in Yucatan, Mexico. The explosion sent temperatures rising followed by a long winter as the atmosphere was covered with dust.

So why are medium-sized frogs more adaptable? Researchers think they have an energetic and thermodynamic balance. To survive drought, amphibians need to regulate water loss primarily through the skin.

A video from PBS, tells the environment when Beelzebufo ampinga was there. Described, the devil frog lived about 70 million years ago in northwestern Madagascar. The climate is subtropical, with long dry seasons, interspersed with heavy rainy seasons.

Therefore, medium size seems to represent the best match between water availability and energy requirements of frogs living in extreme environments.

Frogs and Toads, What’s the Difference?

In English naming, the term toad is for frog, while frog is for frog, because it represents two tribes. Frogs come from the Bufoidae Tribe, while frogs come from the Ranidae Tribe. “Judging from the morphology, most frogs have more nodules while the skin of frogs is smoother.”

Amir continued, in fact in Indonesia, there are many species which when viewed morphologically do not only represent the Bufonidae and Ranidae Tribes. “In West Java itself, there are six tribes that represent both. The mention of a species must also be synergistic with the systematics and nomenclature of zoology,” explained Amir who is the Head of the Herpetology Laboratory for Zoology at the LIPI Research Center for Biology, Cibinong.

Djoko T. Iskandar, in his book Amphibians Java and Bali (1991), explains that in Indonesian, there is no agreement on the use of the term frog or toad. He explained, frog is the name of the Javanese language. In West Java, frogs or toads are called bangkong, while bancet is for small frogs. “While in Central Java, small frogs are called percil which applies to frog or frog puppies.”

Eggs that hatch, usually grow into larvae that are different from their adult forms, known as tadpoles. Almost all tadpoles will undergo metamorphosis when they become adults, but in some types there are adults immediately.

Mirza D Kusrini in his book Illustrated Guide to Identification of Amphibians in West Java , explains that around 450 species of frogs or toads are found in Indonesia, representing 11 percent of all Anura peoples in the world. About 28 species exist in West Java, from the Bufonidae, Dicroglossidae, Microhylidae, Megophyridae, Ranidae, and Rhacophoridae Tribes.

Benefits in nature

Miki, as he is usually called, explained that frogs or toads also have an important function in controlling the ecosystem. Insects that are enemies of farmers will be reduced by the presence of frogs or toads that prey on them, without having to use pesticides.

In fact, the life of frogs and toads in nature is not free from threats. There are four main factors that cause the population to be disrupted, as explained by Mirza in his book Guidelines for Research and Surveys of Amphibians in Nature.

First , loss of habitat and wetlands. Several types of terrestrial amphibians, for example Leptobrachium hasseltii and Megophrys montana  (mountain horn frog) are forest dwellers, so forest loss can destroy these species. Wetland changes due to eutrophication, pollution, introduction of foreign fish, loss of forests and surrounding plains can reduce amphibian populations.

Pollution and UV-B radiation in some industrialized countries or areas with high air pollution result in acidic rainwater that can kill amphibian and tadpole embryos.

The entry of immigrant amphibian species from other countries is also a risk to the life of native amphibian species. For example, the type of bullfrog Rana catesbeiana which is tadpole shaped and adults are predators. When intentionally mixed, it can eat other types of frogs.

Indonesia is the largest exporting country of frozen frog legs in the world, reaching 4,000 tons per year. “Besides that, frogs and toads are traded between countries as pets in terrariums,” explained Mirza.

2025, Plastic Waste Reducing 70 Percent?

Presidential Regulation Number 83 of 2018 concerning Management of Marine Debris, mandates the Indonesian Government to carry out the target of reducing marine waste handling by 70 percent by 2025.

With the remaining time from now on, the Government has less than three years’ chance to be able to catch up with the targets that have been set. Certainly not an easy job, even arguably difficult to be realized.

One of the problems is that there is still data that is out of sync between the Central Government and the Regions in 34 provinces. Not only that, in fact, not all of the data that goes to the center comes from the regions.

This was the conclusion expressed by Marine Chemistry and Ecotoxicology Researcher at the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) Muhammad Reza Cordova when he was one of the speakers at the “Road to G20: Beating Plastic from Source to Sea” activity in Bali, early last November.

After the event, he told Mongabay that waste management in Indonesia had indeed gotten better compared to previous years. But unfortunately, the data that has been presented at this time is still considered not optimal.

In fact, with Indonesia’s area exceeding that of Western Europe, complete and comprehensive data presentation is urgently needed. This is so that appropriate policies can be taken in implementing waste management.

“Marine garbage comes from land. If on land it is not managed properly, then there is no hope of improving management at sea,” he said.

Reza Cordova then explained, based on existing data until 2021, out of 415 regencies/cities that have collected data on their respective management, only around 50 percent are already good.

That means, more than 200 regencies/cities currently have data on waste management in their respective regions. All of this data has been validated by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK).

A simple example that can be learned is the difference in customs, culture and thoughts in each region from another. This fact can be overcome if the data collected is very good, complete and comprehensive.

Data problems also do not end there. He acknowledged that within the scope of the Government’s internal also still facing similar problems. Until now, there has been no synchronization of data that has been collected in each state ministry/agency (K/L).

“Likewise, research results cannot be disclosed to the public, unless they have been published. In fact, research results can also be input for policy making,” he added.

Reza said that data on plastic and marine waste in Indonesia is still sourced from the Indonesia National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP), the World Bank, BRIN, and the National Coordinating Team for Marine Waste Management (TKN PSL).

If there is no effort to improve data related to waste, then it is possible that the targets set by the Government of Indonesia will not be achieved. Although, since 2018 various efforts have been made to reach the target of 70 percent free of plastic waste by 2025.

Director of Waste Management of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Novrizal Tahar in the same panel discussion session said that although Indonesia now has a National Waste Management Information System (SIPSN) which is managed directly by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the incoming data is still not optimal.

In addition to data from regions that are still low, reports from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) regarding waste management also cannot be taken in its entirety by the Government of Indonesia. In fact, the data is no less important to be part of SIPSN.

Most importantly, he said that data collection activities on marine waste management must continue to be improved, because the focus is still on the sea. In fact, the source of marine debris comes from waste on land.

Another issue is related to budget allocation related to waste management. Until now, the Regional Government is still allocating less than one percent of the regional revenue and expenditure budget (APBD).

Without good management, waste is believed to continue to be a problem in the future. The reason is, at this time, waste has become a problem like an iceberg in the sea. It can look small from sea level, but it turns out to be very large when seen underwater.

The production of inorganic waste is the original source of plastic waste that ends up in the sea. Based on data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, plastic waste from inorganic amounts to 17 percent. This figure is more than paper which produces 12 percent and other waste with 16.8 percent.

Of all the waste in Indonesia throughout the year, Mohamad Bijaksana Junerosano explained that some was managed through composting (7.5 percent), stockpiling (10 percent), taking it to the final disposal site (TPA), and burning it (5 percent).

The record, which until now has become a problem in waste management in Indonesia, is the low recognition of cleaners. They all still face the problem of economic difficulties to this day.

In fact, he believes that waste management without diligent and agile cleaning staff will not work well. Strictly speaking, the main actor in waste management in Indonesia is still facing the problem of poverty.

By understanding what is currently happening in waste management practices, it can be concluded that waste management in Indonesia is like an iceberg in the sea. The part that is visible to the naked eye, is the mountains of garbage all over the area.

Meanwhile, what is not visible is the behavior of waste management, governance in waste management, bureaucratic and political alignments, and moral values ​​that apply nationally. The last issue is very important because all parties must unite to improve waste management.

The head of NPAP, ​​Tuti Hadi Putranto, at the opening of the same activity, said that in an effort to assist the Government of Indonesia in pursuing the target of reducing waste by 70 percent by 2025, his party was building a database (database ) .

The goal is that all initiatives that have been carried out by the NPAP and also actions that have been carried out by members can be recorded in detail. Thus, it is hoped that it can become a reference for the next step plan.

Meanwhile, the results of research that has been conducted since 2019 obtained data that the NPAP through all members has succeeded in collecting more than 400 thousand tons of plastic waste; avoiding more than two million tonnes of plastic use; recycling 450 thousand tons of plastic waste; and impacted more than 500 thousand people in Indonesia.

Then, in assisting the implementation of the Multistakeholder Action Plan, NPAP has formed 5 task forces led jointly by the government and the private sector, as well as financial institutions.

“The five task forces have now made five roadmaps on finance, innovation, policy, behavior change, and measurement,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Deputy for Coordination for Environment and Forestry Management of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment Nani Hendiarti said that NPAP has become a multi-stakeholder platform that brings together and connects policy makers, experts, business leaders, civil society organizations and academics through five task forces.

To calculate the achievement of reducing plastic waste in 2022, TKN PSL will consider the leakage of plastic waste from activities at sea, such as abandoned, lost, discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) from the capture fisheries and aquaculture sector.

The goal is to be able to produce environmentally friendly products and packaging to mitigate waste generation. Then, in the downstream sector, it is carried out by increasing the ratio of waste handling through sorting, collection, transportation and recycling activities, with a circular economy principle approach.

In particular, he mentioned that the government’s serious commitment at this time cannot be separated from PP 83/2018 which regulates five main strategies that need to be carried out by 16 Ministries/Institutions to achieve the target of 70 percent handling of marine waste by 2025.

These efforts are then supported by plastic producers through contributions by producing products and/or packaging. It is hoped that this effort can realize the waste reduction target of 30 percent by 2029, as stipulated in the Minister of Environment and Forestry Regulation No.75/2019 concerning the Roadmap for Waste Reduction by Producers.

The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan when closing the two-day activity, admitted that he was increasingly optimistic that the handling of plastic waste could run well and be in accordance with the targets that had been set.

The presence of NPAP since three years ago, he admitted, has contributed to accelerating efforts to reduce plastic waste in Indonesia. It is hoped that the commitment that has been built among stakeholders will maintain consistency to focus on reducing plastic waste.

This commitment is estimated to reach and have a direct impact on more than 34 million people and has a valuation of around IDR 1 trillion or the equivalent of around USD 66.7 million. He is sure that this collaborative action will determine Indonesia’s future.

Regarding the NPAP, ​​Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said that the alliance had grown and developed into a local multi-stakeholder unit that brought together policy makers, experts, business leaders, entrepreneurs and leading civil society organizations in the country.

“This is a momentum to answer the global challenge to beat plastic pollution. Let’s show the world that Indonesia is ready to take part in this new chapter,” he concluded.

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