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UNPAGE
6 December 2023

People at the Heart of PAGE Work – Dr. Medrilzam

PAGE - Discover the People at the Heart of PAGE work interview featuring people who have collaborated with PAGE at a given time. The purpose is to voice experiences, opinions, and insights on how the green economy is evolving and how the green economic transformation is being implemented around the world. In this interview, Dr. Medrilzam shares his experience in advancing an Inclusive and Green Economy in Indonesia.

Advancing the green economy: Indonesia’s commitment to moving towards a sustainable path.

Medrilzam is the Director of Environment within the Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas), Indonesia. He has been with Bappenas since 1993 and has served in various structural and functional positions. He is one of Indonesia’s leading experts in environmental and climate change issues. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering from Institut Teknologi Bandung (1992) and holds a master’s Degree in Professional Economics (1998) and a PhD in Environmental Management (2013) from The University of Queensland, Australia. His areas of expertise include carbon policy, climate change economics, and the application of system dynamics to environmental management and socio-ecological systems.

Q1. When was your first contact with the PAGE team?

Under the Ministry of Planning/Bappenas coordination, Indonesia joined the PAGE in 2018. In the first year (or inception year), 2019, the stocktaking study was conducted. It resulted in the PAGE intervention focusing on the energy sector, green industry development, and food loss and waste issues to support the strengthening of low-carbon and greener development initiatives.

Q2. What was the IGE perception at that time?

The green economy had explicitly yet to become Indonesia’s economic transformation strategy back then. However, the backbone of its strategy through the low carbon development framework has been introduced to strengthen Indonesia’s development pathway that incorporates the climate change and carrying capacity aspects. In 2019, low carbon and climate resilience became one of Indonesia’s development priorities in the National Medium-term Development Plan 2020-2024. This initiative becomes more substantial and more explicit in the current draft of the National Long-term Development Plan 2025-2045.

"As committed as ever, Indonesia has demonstrated its leadership in promoting the green economy by launching our green economy index during the G20 Summit in 2022. [...] The Index is developed based on our low-carbon development model—which PAGE has also supported during the development process, especially the energy sector—and some existing global references and studies, including GEP, and then tailored to the characteristics of Indonesia’s green economy concept and development targets"

Q3. How has IGE evolved in the country since then?

As committed as ever, Indonesia has demonstrated its leadership in promoting the green economy by launching our green economy index, or GEI during the G20 Summit in 2022. Supported by UN-PAGE, our Index shares the same objective as the GEPI Framework — measuring the progress of green economic transformation. Our GEI marks a new milestone for Indonesia in transforming towards a low-carbon and green economy by providing a comprehensive set of 15 multidimensional indicators covering the interlinkages between three pillars of sustainability: environment, social, and economy. Bappenas has developed a system dynamics model comprising all GEI indicators based on the Green Economy model to understand the interlinkages between each indicator. This green economy model is intended for future green economy planning and policies.

The Index is developed based on our low-carbon development model—which PAGE has also supported during the development process, especially the energy sector—and some existing global references and studies, including GEP and then tailored to the characteristics of Indonesia’s green economy concept and development targets. Indonesia’s strong commitment to transform its economy continues as we incorporate the Green Economy Index as one of the development indicators into our development planning documents, starting from the National Long-Term Development Plan for 2025-2045. Bappenas will lead in implementing, monitoring, and evaluating green economy achievements.

Check out the GEI

Q4. What are the challenges and opportunities for your country and why?

As beneficial as it is, transforming into a green economy faces several challenges. For example, implementing a green economy requires high investment needs and cannot be met solely by the state budget. Thus, new alternative funding resources are strongly needed. Next, there still needs to be a technology and innovation gap. There will also be a significant policy reform to manage the risk of stranded assets as we try to phase down coal as an energy source. We will also face some challenges in the workforce as we migrate to green jobs, requiring some upscaling skills.

The opportunities come from the gained common understanding of state and non-state actors both global and national, that the green economy will leverage significant benefits for all aspects: economy, society, and environment in a sustainable manner.

"The opportunities come from the gained common understanding of state and non-state actors both global and national, that the green economy will leverage significant benefits for all aspects: economy, social and environment in a sustainable manner."

Q5. What is the strength of a program like PAGE?

PAGE has provided several inputs for countries like Indonesia to push its green agenda and just economic transformation. To do so, in the last four years, PAGE has also focused on demonstrating the Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production Program to encourage green industry in Indonesia that focused on three vital sectors: fertilizer, iron and steel, and the food & beverages industry. Since 2021, PAGE has also provided support for the development of circular economy policy under the Green Recovery framework. PAGE has also provided support for improving the capacity of human resources in Indonesia to accelerate the green economy through a learning needs assessment and capacity-building activities. Hopefully, this kind of support and partnership will continue in the future.

Source: https://www.un-page.org/news/people-at-the-heart-of-page-work-dr-medrilzam/