Millions of people depend heavily on Indonesia’s rich natural resources for food, shelter, water, energy, and jobs. However, climate change is endangering Indonesia’s sustainable development by increasing the frequency and severity of hazards, including cyclones, floods, landslides, droughts, and earthquakes, which continue to undermine the country’s progress. The United States, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), partners with the Government of Indonesia to strengthen the resilience of populations, their communities and economies, and the ecosystems that support people’s livelihoods.
USAID works closely with the Government of Indonesia (GOI) and other key partners on shared environmental priorities: improving natural resources management; accelerating Indonesia’s energy transition towards a clean future through reliable and sustainable energy; increasing access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) for the urban poor; countering wildlife trafficking and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; conserving terrestrial and marine biodiversity; and reducing urban air pollution. USAID also enhances Indonesia’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises.
Since 2015, USAID has supported the generation of 438 megawatts of renewable energy—more than one-fifth of all of Indonesia’s newly added renewable energy-generating capacity over the past six years, providing clean energy access to more than 3.3 million people. USAID also helped reduce 6.9 million metric tons of GHGs since 2015, which will increase to 48 million metric tons by 2030, and mobilized $1.62 billion in private and public investments in clean energy. Over 5.3 million Indonesians are expected to get improved access to clean energy as a result of these investments.
To date, over 900,000 people have accessed improved water services from new connections from 33 water utilities supported by USAID. Furthermore, 14 water utilities have conducted climate change vulnerability assessments, and 13 of them engaged private sector partners to construct 616 infiltration ponds. Furthermore, an estimated 600,000 people obtained access to safe sanitation services.
USAID helped reduce emissions by 41% in selected biodiverse areas, totaling more than 76 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG). USAID trained and connected more than 11,000 farmers and their families to markets, helping to raise their incomes. USAID formed 25 public-private partnerships between community groups, government agencies, and private sector buyers. USAID programmed $33 million of domestic funding for forest and peatland management and fire prevention.
USAID helped over 2,000 small-scale vanilla farmers in Papua attain Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard certification for their farms, allowing them to earn a premium price for their products.
For the past five years, USAID collaborated with the Government of Indonesia to improve the management and development of 26 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), totaling 5.5 million hectares in Eastern Indonesia. To sustain Indonesia’s fish stocks and protect fishing livelihoods, USAID supported the development of five evidence-based fisheries management models at national and local levels and three provincial marine spatial plans. These efforts benefited the livelihoods of over 180,000 people, improved the welfare of small-scale fishing communities, protected key ecosystems and species, and reduced poaching by as much as 70 percent in certain MPAs.
ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY AND RESILIENCE
Marine Biodiversity and Sustainable Fisheries
Indonesia is located at the epicenter of global marine biodiversity and comprises a large portion of the Coral Triangle, an area that is home to 76% of the world´s coral species and 37% of the world's coral reef fish species. Indonesian fisheries depend on this exceptional marine biodiversity, but illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing poses a growing threat to food security, livelihoods, and the long-term sustainability of Indonesia’s fishing industry. Furthermore, Indonesia’s fisheries and marine biodiversity are exacerbated by climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hampered Indonesia’s efforts to govern these resources effectively. In partnership with the Government of Indonesia and stakeholders, USAID supports Indonesia's self-reliance and ability to protect marine biodiversity by improving the sustainable and equitable management of fisheries and strengthening the management, functions, and benefits of marine protected areas. These partnerships will address the key underlying drivers to marine biodiversity which in turn will increase marine ecosystem resilience, strengthen local livelihoods, and improve the country’s economy, food security, and maritime security.
Forest Conservation & Sustainable and Land Management
Over 30 million Indonesians depend on Indonesia’s expansive tropical forests for their livelihoods. USAID partners with the GOI to improve the sustainability of initiatives that reduce threats to forest conservation, biodiversity protection, and greenhouse gas emissions from unsustainable land use in West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, and Aceh provinces. These provinces are home to carbon-rich peatlands and biologically diverse tropical forests that provide habitat for orangutans, rhinos, elephants, and tigers. USAID collaborates closely with the GOI, communities, civil society organizations, and private businesses to increase the economic and social benefits from improved natural resource management practices. USAID’s expertise, training, facilitation, and funding improve Indonesia’s ability to balance biodiversity conservation and sustainable land use with inclusive economic and livelihood development.
BALANCING CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY
While energy is widely viewed as a critical engine for sustainable and inclusive economic growth, Indonesia struggles to strike a balance between energy security, equity, and sustainability. With annual growth in energy demand of around five percent, Indonesia faces the dual challenge of meeting this growing demand while also achieving emission reduction targets. To address these challenges, the Government of Indonesia (GOI) enacted a National Energy Policy that prioritizes enhancing energy security and diversifying its energy mix to increase new and renewable energy share to 23 percent by 2025. USAID supports Indonesia’s energy sector transformation towards a more sustainable, equitable, and reliable system, with robust private sector participation. USAID works alongside the GOI to level the investment playing field in the energy sector, particularly to advance cost-effective renewable energy deployment to meet Indonesia’s growing energy demand and provide sustainable solutions for expanding access to energy. USAID works with the national and subnational governments, the state electricity company, the private sector, and the financial sector to accelerate clean and advanced energy deployment, improve energy utility performance, increase transparent and best value procurement, and strengthen the institutional framework and capacity to support energy sector transformation.
Indonesia is a top global producer of high-value crops such as rubber, coffee, cocoa, and spices, including vanilla. USAID’s agro- and social forestry programs empower thousands of farmers and related businesses to improve crop production, harvesting, and processing while connecting farmers to global markets and businesses. USAID’s work with local communities helps farmers pursue more profitable and sustainable livelihoods while strengthening self-reliance and conservation at the grassroots level.
Urban Water, Sanitation, and Higiene (WASH)
USAID supports Indonesia’s efforts to increase access to safely managed drinking water and sanitation, strengthen climate-resilience WASH infrastructure, and improve water resource management (WRM) in Indonesia’s vulnerable urban areas. This involves partnering with local governments and service providers to improve their operations, governance, and financial structures while reducing vulnerability to climate-related shocks and risks. USAID adopts an inclusive approach that focuses on the urban poor and women and seeks to promote and elevate the roles of women across all segments of the WASH sector.
In order to accelerate service delivery to the urban poor and unlock household demand for WASH services, USAID is working with a variety of partners to expand the market for local private sector suppliers and WASH businesses. Improving the business environment for WASH enterprises and entrepreneurs involves addressing binding constraints to private sector investments such as advocacy for enabling policies and regulations as well as business administration. To sustain market demand for WASH products and services, USAID is collaborating with the Ministry of Health, local health units and community organizations to build awareness of the benefits of adopting improved WASH behaviors, such as latrines upgrading and handwashing with soap.
In Indonesia nine percent of plastic waste, equivalent to 620,000 tons, enters the ocean annually. USAID supports Indonesia’s goals of reducing land-based sources of ocean plastics through improved solid waste management and recycling systems. Poor solid waste management poses a major risk to human health and the environment by polluting land, air, and water bodies, and worsens the world’s ocean pollution crisis. Improper waste management, through the open burning of solid waste, is now also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and another danger to human health. To reduce land-based sources of ocean plastic, USAID is working with national and local government counterparts to strengthen the enabling environment and build capacity for planning, budgeting, and implementing waste collection and management. USAID also partners and coordinates with private sector counterparts to promote circular economy models and increase efficiency in the value chain for recycled plastics. To sustain long-term improvements, USAID is working with local communities to improve behavior and promote plastic reduction, reuse and recycling.