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Indonesia Initiate New Global Water Center

The Center of Excellence (CoE) on Water and Climate Resilience is a network of global centers of excellence. Indonesia aims to lead the initiative by connecting these various centers to collaborate more effectively.

Dwi Rachmawati

24 Mei 2024 - 20.01
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Indonesia Initiate New Global Water Center

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan (right) and PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono (left) at the 10th World Water Forum 2024 at the Bali International Convention Center, Nusa Dua, Badung, Bali, Monday (20/5/2024). Water World Media Center Forum 2024/Aprillio Akbar/nym.

Bisnis, BADUNG – Indonesia is pioneering the establishment of an integrated center of excellence (CoE) for water and climate resilience, aiming to address the global water crisis risk. This initiative was announced at the 10th World Water Forum held in Nusa Dua, Badung Regency, Bali.

The Center of Excellence (CoE) on Water and Climate Resilience is a network of global centers of excellence. Indonesia aims to lead the initiative by connecting these various centers to collaborate more effectively.

Currently, these centers operate independently, leading to suboptimal results in addressing the water crisis. Despite numerous efforts and technological advancements made by countries worldwide, the water crisis persists. Many initiatives based on science, technology, and political commitment have been implemented to prevent the crisis, yet water-related issues continue to escalate.

Head of Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Dwikorita Karnawati observed that stakeholders have been addressing climate change and the resulting water crisis independently. She emphasized that strong coordination and commitment between countries are crucial for effectively tackling these issues. To foster such collaboration, Indonesia initiated the formation of the CoE on Water and Climate Resilience during the world's largest water forum. This CoE was ratified and included as one of three parts of the declaration at the 10th Ministerial Meeting of the World Water Forum, which was attended by representatives from 106 countries and 27 international organizations.

The CoE is not merely a physical structure but an alliance that coordinates various centers of excellence addressing water issues worldwide. "There must be world-level coordination," said Dwikorita.

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Currently, five working groups have been established, preparing concrete steps to be coordinated with other centers of excellence. These working groups focus on sustainable lake management, integrated water resources management in small islands and developing countries, role of young people in water and climate resilience, funding mechanisms for water and climate resilience projects.

As an initiator in fostering the commitment of centers of excellence worldwide, Indonesia is dedicated to ensuring that issues and solutions related to water and climate resilience are addressed sustainably.

Dwikorita stated that the CoE will convene regular meetings at least once every six months to devise solutions for the water and climate crisis affecting various regions.

"All countries can join, not only those in the Asia Pacific but also in Europe, along with the private sector. This represents a smarter approach to tackling the water crisis and the impacts of climate change," she said.

Head of the Sabo Technical Center of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing (PUPR) Eka Nugraha Abdi added that the 10th World Water Forum has officially designated the Sabo Technical Center in Yogyakarta as the physical secretariat for the CoE for Water and Climate Resilience. He emphasized that this move demonstrates Indonesia's serious commitment to rallying global efforts to address the climate and water crisis.

President Joko Widodo (second right) shakes hands with World Water Council President Loïc Fauchon (third left) witnessed by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi (left), Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan (second left) and PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono (right ) after opening the 10th World Water Forum 2024 at the Bali International Convention Center, Nusa Dua, Badung, Bali, Monday (20/5/2024). Water World Media Center Forum 2024/Aprillio Akbar/nym.

"We function as a secretariat, but discussions can take place anywhere and can evolve," he said.

The Sabo Technical Center, established through Indonesia-Japan cooperation since 1958, focuses on developing technology to control sediment flow in natural landscapes, particularly rivers and mountains.

Meanwhile, Expert Staff to the Minister of PUPR for Technology, Industry, and the Environment, Endra S. Atmawidjaja highlighted Indonesia's goal to enhance South-South Cooperation (SSC) in implementing the CoE for Water and Climate Resilience. He pointed out that many countries in the Global South face similar water-related issues, such as floods, sedimentation, and other water management challenges.

"CoE will address the climate challenges we are facing today. We will educate each other, exchange ideas, and share experiences to find the best solutions for real-world implementation," he stated.

The 10th World Water Forum in Bali has spotlighted the global commitment to improving lake ecosystems, recognizing their critical role as one of the largest sources of raw water. Director of Inland Water and Mangrove Rehabilitation at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) Inge Retnowati emphasized the growing urgency for concerted efforts to sustain lake ecosystems. These ecosystems are essential for various life functions, including household needs, agriculture, fisheries, transportation, and energy.

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According to BRIN and KLHK, Indonesia boasts over 2,000 lakes across its territory. Regrettably, many of these natural lakes have suffered ecosystem degradation, including issues like water contamination, sediment buildup, and biodiversity loss.

In response to these challenges, the Indonesian government has initiated a program aimed at rescuing 15 national priority lakes under Presidential Regulation No. 60/2021. 

"It's deemed a priority due to both its dire state and its crucial role in supplying water."

Indonesia, through its Ministerial Declaration at the 10th World Water Forum, has put forward the idea of establishing World Lakes Day to enhance global dedication to preserving the longevity of lake ecosystems. Inge pointed that the initiative for World Lakes Day stemmed from the aspiration to foster a unified vision for sustaining lake ecosystems.

"If we lack a shared vision, the approaches across different sectors will diverge, potentially hindering the attainment of our common objectives," she noted.


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