Citizen Crowdfunding through Individual Emission Data and Education to Restore Jakarta’s Forests

Jakarta CURE Project

Northern Jakarta, Indonesia

Posted 2020-08-31


Jakarta has made rebuilding of parks and urban forests one of its environmental priorities. This includes its governmental budget for map-based inventorying of trees in partnerships with WRI Indonesia, health-environment nexus research with Vital Strategies, and public sustainability commitment with ICLEI and C40.  However, their greening efforts on the ground may not be sufficient to cover most of Jakarta areas and immediate public participation are needed to ensure the trees’ survival and integration of their plans with citizens’ initiatives. 

At the same time, Jakarta is seeking to improve on its air quality and land use for citizens’ better health, quality of life and economic productivity. One of its government’s main programs for this is increasing forest cover and open green spaces to specific target area %, as more trees in cities will play a natural role to sequester more emissions and air pollutants (green infrastructure).  In Jakarta where COVID-19 is still heavily spreading, more trees that lead to better air quality would also indirectly help reduce risks of respiratory damage due to the virus in the long run. 

However, Jakarta Government cannot do it alone and requires direct climate action and participation from public as individuals or organizations. To make individuals willing to do so effectively, provision of transparent self-reported emission data and easily accessible city-based forest restoration programs are required. One example is individual land transport emissions, which is tracked and informed because the average portion of Indonesian cities’ CO2 coming from individual land transport was 12% in 2017, and even higher in Jakarta.  Individuals are then given voluntary options to crowdfund plantation and growing of land and/or coastal trees by themselves and/or with planter communities to sequester the relevant amount of emissions released, starting from IDR 10,000 (less than USD 1). 

Project focus

The Fall 2020 project will focus on the following topics:

  • Assessment of what drives greater citizen tree planting action: emissions/environmental-related, health/social-related, or financial/economic-related.
  • What are other urban resilience strategies that could be alternative options for public climate actions? For instance, crowdfunding for household-scale solar cells provision.
  • Through an online survey, identify different climate education segment of citizens (aware vs. neutral vs. denier), deepened through online mini FGDs (Jakarta city does not have this available, although there are some Indonesia-wide preliminary studies conducted by other organizations. This information would be beneficial for the platform to create appealing incentives in changing Jakarta citizens’ behavior).