Perspectives

Y20 Invites Young People to Realize a Sustainable and Liveable Planet

Y20 Pra-KTT
Photo caption Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya and Governor of East Kalimantan Province Isran Noor attend the Y20 Pre Summit held in Balikpapan, 21 May 2022. © YKAN

As inhabitants of the earth today and the future, young people have an essential role in the efforts to create a sustainable and liveable planet.

That message was echoed at the Third Pre-KTT Y20 Indonesia, held in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, on Saturday (21/5/2022). In this forum, representatives of the G20 youth, including delegates from invited countries and the youth of Kalimantan, exchanged ideas on creating issues for a sustainable and liveable planet.

Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya and Governor of East Kalimantan Province Isran Noor attend the Y20 Pre Summit held in Balikpapan, 21 May 2022.
Photo caption Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya and Governor of East Kalimantan Province Isran Noor attend the Y20 Pre Summit held in Balikpapan, 21 May 2022. © YKAN

Co-Chair of Y20 Indonesia 2022 Indra Dwi Prasetyo emphasized acting now to save the earth. Whether it's the overuse of resources and waste production or a linear economy, the way we live on this earth needs to change.

"The power, voice, networking, and connections of young people need to be utilized by this forum to help rebuild connections with nature for a sustainable future for all," said Indra.

Meanwhile, Acting Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Jonni Mardizal said the issue of a sustainable and liveable planet must be an issue that sticks to young people. The Minister of Youth and Sports also emphasized the need for further discussion and concrete solutions, especially for young people.

Herlina Hartanto, Executive Director of YKAN was one of the speakers at the Y20 Pre Summit in Balikpapan, 21 May 2022.
Photo caption Herlina Hartanto, Executive Director of YKAN was one of the speakers at the Y20 Pre Summit in Balikpapan, 21 May 2022. © YKAN

"Young people will inherit life on planet earth in the long term. If solutions are unsought for the current environmental problems, human life is also under threat. Likewise for the lives of young people," said Jonni.

The Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, said the same thing. According to Siti, the younger generation expects to have a significant role in overcoming the current environmental crisis.

"The Y20 Forum expects to continue to encourage the implementation of the circular economy model, strengthen partnerships between G20 countries and youth who are agents of change in creating a safe, inclusive, sustainable and decent environment for all," said Siti.

Satu Kahkonen, World Bank Country Director for Indonesia and Timor Leste also emphasized the importance of youth involvement in climate action as, "We rely on you to convey these aspirations to the G20 leaders and governments. We also rely on your innovation and passion so that we can build together a sustainable and liveable earth for all," said Kahkonen.

Meanwhile, East Kalimantan Governor Isran Noor welcomed the implementation of the 2022 Y20 Indonesia pre-Summit in Balikpapan. Isran Noor said that most of East Kalimantan is a tropical rainforest.

"We hope that the Y20 Pre-Summit, Indonesia's G20 Presidency, and field visits will allow you to look at the condition of the forests and the environment here. While acting as an eye opener of the world about Indonesia, Kalimantan, especially around Balikpapan, which is real," said Isran.

On the first day of the third Pre-Summit, a talk show was held on the topic "Conserving Natural Resources." This talk show presented experts such as the Executive Director of Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN), Herlina Hartanto, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil CEO Joseph D'Cruz, the Coordinator of the Kenyan Youth Biodiversity Network Kevin Lunzalu, and the Digital & IT Director of BRI Arga Mahanana Nugraha.

Herlina invites young people to protect the earth jointly. YKAN assesses that environmental problems and global warming remind us of the importance of collective action by all parties wherever they are. The movement needs to start at the local level, which will have a global impact if carried out together and continuously. "Youth are at the forefront of change. To them, we entrust the future, "said Herlina.

On the one hand, Joseph D'Cruz said the G20 as a platform can determine how the world's major countries set their priorities. However, the challenge is that G20 countries need to balance priorities between development and planetary sustainability.

"Y20 can make sure that the decisions that the G20 make have implications and trade-offs. (Y20) can explain it from the perspective of how these trade-offs impact those who will live on this planet 50-100 years into the future," explained Joseph D'Cruz.

The Y20 pre summit speakers took a group photo.
Photo caption The Y20 pre summit speakers took a group photo. © YKAN

Nugraha added that it is essential for the G20 countries, as large-income countries, to accelerate efforts to deal with climate change. "This is very important for us, especially the younger generation," he added.

Kevin Lunzalu explained that the G20 must realize how dire the consequences can be if there is no collective action. "We need transformative steps to get out of the crisis we are currently experiencing. We must realize the role of young people in the issue of the climate crisis to natural wealth," explained Kevin.