Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Climate Security for Global Security

Last year I wrote for the report on a seminar held by Tabloid Rumah “Challenges for Indonesian Architects: How to overcome the climate change and the global warming”. Then another wikimu’s contributor, Aloysius Weha, wrote “Global Warning of Global Warming”(Unfortunately both articles were written in bahasa Indonesia). I presented the complete report on the seminar, where the challenges for the architects are not solely stressed on designs, but also on education for the future architects and education for the clients. Aloysius Weha wrote more comprehensive report on global warming and the risks and consequences that would affect Indonesia.

Margaret Beckett when she was a British Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs (2006) said: “So climate insecurity means greater global insecurity. That’s a problem for politicians like me, but it’s a problem for business too. It makes managing commercial risk much harder. And it means tackling global warming is a business imperative, not a business choice. And the second equally basic commercial imperative for action: staying competitive.” (read more here ) So, climate security is not only an issue for the government, but also for the private sectors as well.

I found her statement together with other expert’s statements from the discussion forum of “Climate Security: Risk and Opportunities for the Global Economy”. Another speaker mentioned the great amount of insurance lost due to the tragic effects of climate change and global warming. I can easily imagine this as I knew fully well how much one’s suffer in a disaster like this. My brother had to go through the big flood and lost a lot. Although he wasn’t totally covered by the insurance, but the paid claim helped eased down his lost. Calculate the lost for the whole Jakarta (personal, companies, and government) and we can get an enormous nominal of economic lost. Beside the physical and economic lost that could be seen easily, we are still suffering mentally or emotionally.

We, Indonesian, called our country as ‘tanah air’ (meaning the land and the water). We are surrounded by water as we only have five big islands. Thousands of other islands are small islands. If the sea water level is increasing then we would probably lost a lot of islands, or worse…there will be no more Indonesia!

Until today, Indonesian rainforests are still among the counted large forests that Mother Earth has in her lap. When people are talking about carbon trade, they are also thinking of Indonesia as one of the carbon keeper. That is why the REDD (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degradation) proposal came out. Indonesia has an important function in keeping the earth green! Hopefully by keeping it green we can minimize the effect of climate change and global warming. This topic on REDD is still controversial as others might have other perspective to share.

The effect of climate change and global warming is not limited to certain country or location, perhaps that is the reason why climate security should be discussed between nations and it does need the active participation from every global citizen (read my older post “A global Action is Needed for Mother Earth”). It is not solely the problem of politicians, or a problem to be solved only by the scientists, but it needs the whole world to participate.

The product of the forests, for example the timber and rattan, are among those valuable products which have made Indonesian economic soared in the past. In a seminar on forest hosted by Centre Cultural Français and CIFOR, it was discussed the function of the forest for Indonesia in the future. Which sustainable forest that would benefit the world and also the inhabitant of the forest? The real forest community is usually the poor. Those who took the product of the forest became rich, but the real owner of the forest was kept poor. These people are sometimes accused as the cause of fires, while there is always a possibility of natural cause such as lightning. Although we can’t omit the possibilities of human as the source of wildfires, we need to remember that Indonesian forests are also very vulnerable to thunderstorms.

Empowering the poor is also empowering their country. When the economic condition is better, then it would be easier to build the country. Then, the better economic situation would perhaps provide better safety in the country, so the government’s promise to provide safety in visiting or working in this country will be more reliable.

In my older posting, Indonesia’s Hidden Treasures, I said that the future of Indonesia is also lied in the tourism industry. Climate change and global warming will really play important role for the success of Indonesian tourism’s programs. Beaches like Anyer and Carita (the northern part of Java)were empty after people saw the tsunami in Aceh through television programmes. The flood in Jakarta which made the airport paralyzed also made people reluctant to come to Jakarta. Loosing tourists will affect the economic situation of the citizen. If the economic situation is not stable, then the possibility of national insecurity will probably rising up. And, as we live in a more global world, one local insecurity could also affected other countries' security.

My other related articles:
Climate changes and our actions
What’s up in Bali
Some notes on UNFCCC Bali Convention

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