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As the world continues to face the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation, it is becoming increasingly clear that we need to take action to protect our planet. Governments around the world have an important role to play in this effort, and young people can play a critical role in shaping green policies and promoting sustainable practices. One of the main ways that young people can contribute to green government is by getting involved in politics. By running for office, volunteering for campaigns, and participating in local and national elections, young people can help shape their government's policies and priorities. This can include advocating for policies that promote renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and protect natural resources.
In addition, important efforts can also be made by pursuing a career in government related to sustainability and environmental protection and contributing to it. This can include working in government agencies focused on environmental policy, as well as in private sector organizations committed to sustainable practices. As an example, we can learn from this effort from Indra Kumara's experience. Who is Indra Kumara?
Source: Indra Kumara's Private Document
Getting to Know Indra Kumara and His Background
Indra Kumara, or fondly called Mr. Indra, is the secretary of the Public Housing and Settlement Area, Land and Environment Service, one of the government agencies in Kapuas Hulu district which is one of the districts in West Kalimantan that is committed to the environment and has recently been designated as one of the Biosphere Reserves in Indonesia since 2018.
In his daily life, Mr. Indra plays a role in managing financial program planning, human resources, office administration and office asset resources. His passion for forestry and the environment is based on his personal desire to be able to live comfortably in a flood-free environment. It was his childhood experiences and the actions of his parents that inspired this desire. One example is how Mr. Indra saw his late father making simple dikes from boards at the door of the house to prevent floods during the rainy season from entering the house.
From these various experiences, Mr. Indra is determined to find out why floods can occur and how to handle them. Successfully passing the UMPTN to the best university in Bogor, Mr. Indra took a lecture program in the field of forest resource conservation which studied the management of forest resources and their biodiversity, including the hydrological cycle. When he got the opportunity to study for the second time after work, Mr. Indra took up a field related to spatial and landscapes, where according to him natural resource management must be carried out in harmony between upstream and downstream areas. His experience in government has increasingly made Mr. Indra want to study and make how government policies in the forestry and environmental sectors, which are very closely related to other development sectors (health, community welfare, etc.) so that they are mutually aligned for sustainable development.
The Government's Role in Environmental Protection
According to Mr. Indra, working in the government sector can also help and play an active role in sustainable environmental management through community development and making environmentally friendly policies. However, the government also faces various challenges in maintaining environmental sustainability, including in terms of funding and expertise from human resources.
Source: Pemerintah Kabupaten Kapuas Hulu
To support sustainable environmental management in the Betung Kerihun Danau Sentarum Kapuas Hulu Biosphere Reserve area, in addition to adapting to technological developments, such as the use of ONLIMO which is supported by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to monitor pollution of the Kapuas river in real time, the Public Housing and Settlement Areas Office, Land and Environment Kapuas Hulu also collaborates with various parties through the establishment of a stakeholder communication forum to save Lake Sentarum which consisted of various actors from the government, private sector, academics, to community groups. Through this forum, as the secretariat of the forum, Mr. Indra actively collaborates with BPDAS Kapuas and CIFOR as well as various other parties to formulate goals and PCI (principal, criteria and indicators) of joint success, link the roles of the parties, develop causal loops of various programs/activities and dynamic systems for how to manage the landscape of the Danau Sentarum Catchment Area in a sustainable manner. Apart from that, Mr. Indra also plays an active role in the initiation of strengthening the Biosphere Reserve forum in Kapuas Hulu Regency which was also supported by GIZ to create a better Kapuas Hulu.
The Future of the Environment in the Hands of the Young Generation
It is clear that in 5-10 years, the green jobs industry in government agencies will be heavily influenced by technological developments, especially in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental monitoring. In this era of globalization, the use of satellite imagery technology will make it easier for the government to monitor and obtain data in real time. The support of the Integrated Data Center (integrated data center) will make it easier for the government to make decisions/policies in realizing a better environment. Skills in adapting, understanding situations, building connections, and understanding in data science, thinking systems, geographic information systems, dynamic systems and social media are things that young people must have to prepare for the future.
Innovation and environmental awareness possessed by the younger generation will improve environmental functions and utilization of environmental resources. This can be proven by the fact that no business can be carried out in a damaged environment. Therefore, the younger generation has a very wide opportunity to participate in the green government sector. And the thing to remember is, the enthusiasm and commitment of the younger generation can be a powerful force for positive change in the fight against climate change and environmental degradation.
Our special thanks go to Mr. Indra Kusuma for the insightful interview.
So, is the green government sector a job you want to pursue? What other sectors would you like to know about?
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Photos and Sources:
Interview with Mr. Indra Kumara