A network for resilient rural livelihoods to support climate adaptation and conservation

The Kolibri Alliance was recently established in 2021 after six national and local organizations, including Kaleka, joined forces to form a network of non-government organizations (NGO) in six provinces to build resilient rural livelihoods to support climate adaptation and conservation. 

The Alliance aims to strengthen the individual capacity of local organizations to:

  • Conduct applied research on the topics of resilient, rural livelihoods, including piloting and refining effective models, to support adaptation to climate change and conserving biodiversity and natural resources;
  • Strengthen their financial and administrative capacity to manage projects;
  • Improve their technological knowledge, and access to technology, on the topic of resilient and profitable rural livelihoods;
  • Build a network for sharing lessons, knowledge and experience across different geographies; 
  • Build an alliance to improve fundraising for members, ultimately creating a fund. 

With strong local organizations, the members of Kolibri Alliance:

  • Will advocate for change to achieve sustainable and equitable policies with local governments, using scientific information and robust evidence; 
  • Will provide innovative solutions and livelihood models to rural communities to help them practice resilient rural livelihoods, that are profitable, meet their nutritional needs and enable them to adapt to the extreme weather of climate change;
  • Will be able to transparently and responsibly manage their organization and projects enabling them to independently raise more funds to achieve their vision and mission. 

The roles of the Alliance to achieve the above objectives are (Figure 1): 

  • Improving the access of individual organizations to knowledge, technology, finances etc. to improve the livelihoods of local communities across the Indonesian archipelago;
  • Enabling large scale research that will improve knowledge and expertise on the topics of resilient rural livelihoods for climate adaptation and conservation, which can be published in scientific journals, improve policy and be directly shared among members and their communities;
  • Improving fundraising opportunities through joint funding applications and potentially a shared fund. 

Figure 1. How a network of civil society organizations can build the resilience of farming communities in Indonesia to climate change

The Alliance aims to overcome the existing challenges faced by civil society organizations due to the following points:

  • Current funding modalities do not provide resources to organizations that can advocate for political and policy change or funding is not provided to address critical local issues;
  • Support to communities is provided on ad hoc project basis rather than through ongoing support;
  • It is challenging for local organizations to fundraise by themselves for topics that are important to their local communities.  

Six organizations that are currently the members of the Kolibri Alliance include Serikat Petani Kelapa Sawit (SPKS), Walhi Southeast Sulawesi (Walhi Sultra), Wahana Tani Mandiri (WTM), AKAPe, Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN) Kotawaringin Barat and Yayasan Citra Mandiri (YCM). 

SPKS is an oil palm farmers association which aims to promote sustainable oil palm plantations in Indonesia with members located in Sumatra and Kalimantan islands. Located in Southeast Sulawesi, Walhi Sultra is the arm of Walhi, the oldest environmental NGO working to support environmental protection in 28 provinces across Indonesia. WTM, a local NGO based in Sikka District, East Nusa Tenggara, has been working to promote community forestry, environmental protection, sustainable farming, as well as customary rights recognition. AKAPe Foundation is a local organization based in Fakfak, West Papua, focusing on supporting environmental protection, customary rights, community empowerment, and sustainable local commodities. AMAN Kotawaringin Barat has been working to support recognition of customary rights through participatory mapping and to introduce sustainable land management and agriculture practices without using fire in two districts namely Seruyan and West Kotawaringin. Finally, YCM, based in Mentawai District, West Sumatra, has been providing support to empower indigenous communities to contribute in sustainable natural resources management in the district. 

Think Climate Indonesia

As part of the Think Climate Indonesia, a three-year partnership supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Oak Foundation, the Alliance provides support for the members to build organizational effectiveness and research capacity, to research and develop a database on climate adaptation, and to improve the public communication to disseminate the results. The six provinces are West Papua, Southeast Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara, West Sumatera, Central Kalimantan and Jambi.  

With Think Climate Indonesia, Kaleka seeks to strengthen the individual capacity of local organizations to help them take effective climate actions and support farmers and fishers to adopt resilient rural livelihoods. This approach is different because it addresses a major issue in today’s climate movement by making the people in the grips of the climate crisis as the active and central driver of solutions. There are four key activities to achieve this goal:

  1. Improve efficiency of local organizations:
    • Providing financial and administrative training as well as developing online administration and management systems as an attempt to equip local organizations with skills and techniques to manage larger projects
  2. Improve applied research
    • Providing a research training program on climate mitigation and adaptation as an attempt to build resilient and profitable rural livelihood models
  3. Improve communications and policy outreach
    • Disseminating and communicating the research findings of climate change as an attempt to achieve optimal impacts in public outreach
  4. Develop the capacity of local organizations for future independent research
    • Assisting local organizations in data collection, creating a data platform, and establishing rules on data sharing and data usage as an attempt to give access to knowledge and experience of other farmers across different geographies

Think Climate Indonesia aims to enable local think tanks in Indonesia to engage more effectively in climate actions. This partnership provides the core funding for the organizational and research activities of five local think tanks, selected through an open, competitive call, whose missions and mandates focus on using research to inform and influence development policy and practice, namely Kaleka, WRI–Indonesia, PATTIRO, Yayasan Kota Kita, and Kemitraan. 

The initiative believes that think tanks straddling the boundaries between research, policymaking, and citizen engagement have the ability to respond to the complex challenges of climate change through informing evidence-based policy with local knowledge and expertise in timely, relevant, and accessible ways. Working in partnership with the Oak Foundation, a family-led foundation that commits its resources to address issues of global, social, and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged, IDRC’s Think Climate Indonesia initiative supports Indonesia’s efforts to meet its climate commitments by helping local think tanks to produce policy-relevant research and influence large-scale change. 

Think Climate Indonesia also contributes to IDRC’s broader mission to expand targeted programming and research support to think tanks addressing regional development challenges. The contribution is consistent with IDRC’s focus to invest in high-quality research in developing countries, share knowledge with researchers and policymakers for greater uptake and use, and mobilize its global alliances to build a more sustainable and inclusive world.

The experiences and insights gathered from the Think Climate Indonesia initiative will be relevant to respond to the shifts in regional development needs and challenges forced by climate pressure across the Global South and will inform thinking on the best practices for creating positive change amid the indistiction of the separation between climate adaptation and climate mitigation and the increase of interest in supporting climate resilience and low-carbon development pathways.

Note: Kolibri is an abbreviation of the Indonesian phrase “kolaborasi riset ber-Inovasi,” which in English translates to collaboration for innovative research. Kolibri is also the Indonesian word for the hummingbird, which helps farmers through natural pollination.

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A New Subnational Alliance for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: Peer Learning Exchange

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A New Subnational Alliance for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: Inception Workshop

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Climate Change, Biodiversity, Climate Actions.