The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed our way of life and impacted all areas of policy. It has also impacted the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including in Indonesia.
The implementation of the SDGs has entered its sixth year since their adoption in 2015. With only nine years left to achieve the SDGs by the 2030 deadline, there is an urgent need to step up action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
The ‘LOCALISE SDGs: Leadership, Ownership, and Capacities for Agenda 2030 Local Implementation and Stakeholders Empowerment’, a programme funded by the European Union (EU), supports the acceleration of SDGs achievement in Indonesia through policy advocacy, capacity building, and knowledge management for 30 Local Authorities (LAs) and 5 Associations of Local Authorities (ALAs). This programme has been implemented since 2018 by the United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC) in collaboration with the Association of Indonesia Municipalities (APEKSI) and involves other associations, such as APPSI, APKASI, ADEKSI, and ADKASI.
The conference held today (24/6) marks the conclusion of the LOCALISE SDGs programme. With the theme “Encouraging the Acceleration of Pandemic Recovery to Accelerate the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals”, this event highlighted the important role of local authorities in combating the pandemic and taking the lead in recovery from the economic and social impact, which simultaneously will help to achieve SDGs. An estimated 65% of the 169 targets spread out across the 17 SDGs will not be reached without engagement of local governments.
The conference aims to disseminate data and concrete results of the LOCALISE SDGs programme and the lessons learned with a range of stakeholders, launch various publications and products that are accessible to the public, and demonstrate the commitment of various parties who have been involved in the implementation of the programme in continuing efforts to localise and implement the SDGs in Indonesia.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is making it harder to meet the SDGs. It also makes it more necessary. The local authorities, municipalities, towns and regencies have a leading role in mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on each SDG target,” said EU Ambassador to Indonesia Vincent Piket.
“The European Union is proud that the EU-funded LOCALISE SDGs programme implemented by UCLG ASPAC in collaboration with APEKSI has been able to support the Government in these important areas. The local government is a key player in achieving SDGs in Indonesia. It is at the local level where we can have a most direct and positive impact on people’s lives,” he added.
Marking the end of the programme, Ambassador Piket symbolically handed over various results of the LOCALISE SDGs programme in the form of Pocket Books for Local Authorities and the Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) regarding their role in implementing SDGs during the pandemic, research and cross-sectoral policy recommendations, and other educational materials that can be used by LAs and ALAs.
As part of the event, three talk shows were held focusing on the central government's perspective on the contribution of LOCALISE SDGs, the commitment of LAs and ALAs after the programme ends, and inspiration from LAs in the Asia-Pacific region for Indonesia.
Erna Witoelar as the Board of Trustees of the Yayasan Pembangunan Berkelanjutan was also present to deliver the keynote speech; and Alissa Wahid as the Indonesian SDGs Ambassador acting as a moderator of the talkshow series. Also present in this series of events were Dr Bima Arya Sugiarto (Chairman of APEKSI and Mayor of Bogor), Dr H. Syarif Fasha, M.E (Mayor of Jambi) , Deri Asta, S.H. (Mayor of Sawahlunto), and Marten Taha, S.E., M.Ec.Dev. (Mayor of Gorontalo), who represent the target LAs and ALAs of the LOCALISE SDGs programme.
Several LAs in the Asia-Pacific region – Naga City in the Philippines, Subang Jaya City in Malaysia, and Hamamatsu City in Japan – were also present to share their experiences at the last talkshow session, to provide inspiration for pandemic recovery and SDGs attainment programmes that can be adapted by LAs in Indonesia.
The event concluded with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UCLG ASPAC and three leading universities in Indonesia: Universitas Indonesia, Institut Teknologi Bandung and Universitas Diponegoro. Secretary General of UCLG ASPAC, Dr Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi, said, “The signing of this MoU is a form of UCLG ASPAC's commitment to continue its support to the Government of Indonesia and local authorities, in collaboration with the SDGs Centers of each university and the Associations of Local Authorities to conduct campaigns, policy advocacy, research and publications on SDGs post LOCALISE SDGs. The initiation of this partnership is very important, considering that the success of achieving the SDGs in 2030 requires a joint effort from all parties,” she added.
About LOCALISE SDGs
LOCALISE SDGs is a programme implemented by UCLG ASPAC in collaboration with the Association of Indonesia Municipalities (APEKSI). The programme is aimed to strengthen the capacity of local governments and their associations to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 16 provinces and 14 cities in Indonesia, as well as building a strong network with local governments in Indonesia and other countries, alongside other development actors. The programme, which has been running since 2018, is funded by the European Union, and also involves other local government associations, such as APPSI, APKASI, ADEKSI and ADKASI.
About the European Union
The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union between 27 Member States. Together, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for advancing the causes of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. The EU is the largest trade block in the world; as well as the world's largest source and destination of foreign direct investment. Collectively, the EU and its Member States are the largest donor of Official Development Assistance (ODA), providing more than half of ODA globally.
About UCLG ASPAC
UCLG is a world-class association of cities and local governments founded on January 1, 2004, in Barcelona, Spain. UCLG is the only local government recognised by the United Nations. UCLG is a merger of the IULA, UTO (United Towns Organization), and METROPOLIS (World Association of the Major Metropolises). UCLG has a network of more than 250,000 cities and regions.
UCLG ASPAC is the regional section of UCLG for the Asia Pacific region. Headquartered in Jakarta, UCLG ASPAC is part of the largest UCLG region with a network of more than 7,000 local governments, representing about 3,76 billion people – more than half of the world’s population- and uniting fast-growing countries, such as the People’s Republic of China, India and Indonesia.
UCLG ASPAC is the key knowledge management hub on local government issues in the Asia-Pacific region. It promotes democratic local government, supports cooperation between cities, local governments, and their associations, and facilitates programmes, networks, and partnerships to develop local governments and associations’ capacity. UCLG ASPAC activities cover decentralised cooperation (cities/local governments to cities/local governments exchange), advocacy, capacity building and training, research and knowledge management, and project development.
APEKSI is a forum consisting of 98 cities in urban areas, aiming to assist its members in implementing regional autonomy and creating a conducive climate to establish cooperation among regional administrations. APEKSI is a representative of local government (city government) working alongside the government or other parties; guiding the local autonomy policies and implementation; facilitating the member’s services such as capacity building, advocacy, and information and data dissemination; ensuring a transfer of knowledge among the members and with others relevant parties; and creating an information centre of city governments.