Building climate change resilience in West Java

The Australian Water Partnership (AWP) is supporting the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Indonesia to build climate change resilience in water-stressed basins in West Java, Indonesia.

The Water Security and Climate Resilience in West Java project, which commenced in July 2021, will build on the momentum already generated by the Indonesia Water Coalition (IWC) to increase climate and water resilience through capacity building, strategy development, promotion and implementation of the AWS Standard as a framework for joint and credible action on water.

As a densely populated centre for economic development, West Java is expected to face water scarcity and climate change impacts that will affect millions of people. The region is already facing a water balance deficit and with water demand continuing to increase. Major private sector players are increasingly recognising and acting upon their role as good water stewards.

However, actions are often still taking place on individual company basis which can lead to high costs and duplication of efforts in basin-level data collection or stakeholder engagement processes for example. There is an urgent need for coordinated and joint action on water at the basin level to tackle these growing water challenges and build resilience.

The IWC is a multi-stakeholder organisation working to enable collective action, promote good water stewardship and contribute to water security in the region. The IWC is building a movement led by larger private sector stakeholders that have the capacity and commitment to take action and contribute productively to the region’s complex challenges.

IWC members—which include AWS Indonesia, the Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN, country partner of The Nature Conservancy), Global Water Partnership Southeast Asia, Coca-Cola Indonesia, Unilever Indonesia, LÓreal Indonesia, Multi Bintang Indonesia, Nestlé Indonesia, and Danone Indonesia—are driving best practices on water at both site and catchment levels and encouraging participation by other larger water users.

During the Indonesia Water Coalition virtual charter signing ceremony in January, YKAN’s Associate Director of Development for Corporate Practice Ratih Loekito said, “We all believe that sustainable Earth can be achieved through strategic partnership…Indonesia Water Coalition would be a platform that assembles various perspectives and interests, for joint action to protect and manage water and water resources in Indonesia.

Over the next 12 months, AWS Indonesia will hold three tailored capacity-building and knowledge-sharing events for IWC members to support the uptake and replication of knowledge on building climate resilience and water security. They will also undertake company assessments to develop water stewardship plans at site and catchment levels for two IWC members. These plans will include roadmaps for AWS certification and highlight opportunities for joint action with other IWC members and government actors.

The highlights and learnings from the project will be shared in a knowledge product designed to promote good water stewardship practices in Indonesia and globally.

Feature image: Aerial view of the devastation wrought by flooding in Bekasi, West Java, Indonesia, 26 February 2020 (credit: bangoland / Shutterstock)
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