Category Archives: Climate Change

Is Urban Farming Impossible?

By Achmad Solikhin

The adoption of the Urban New Agenda remains challenging for urban think tanks, most notably agriculturists who strive to resolve a dilemma between urban population expansion and agricultural land use. For instance, in Bandung, Indonesia, the increase in urban population growth needs two hundred hectares of agricultural lands to be converted into human settlements, industries, and other public properties. The increase also exacerbate the ecological burdens, such as pollution, water crisis, fossil fuel energy issues, and climate change.

Besides Bandung, the lack of agricultural landscape for farming that would feed the urban inhabitants has been an emerging issue throughout Indonesian cities. This is not in line with the Indonesia Government Regulation No. 19, 2016, which demands sustainable farming land for food. In addition, it is contradictory to paragraph 95 of the New Urban Agenda, that clearly supports urban agriculture and farming. Furthermore, if interlinked with nexus approach and Indonesian commitment for green house gas emission reduction and food security, 41% GHG reduction will be very tricky to be implemented in urban area over rural area.

With all these challenges, urban farming seems impossible on a scale. On the other hand, with new technologies and willingness to make a change, it can be done. As a possible solution, urban farming has been introduced to the urban sites, using various innovative techniques such as vertical gardens, aquaculture, small agriculture and rooftop agriculture,to name few. These techniques are demonstrated in the following projects, which are potent for tackling alarming urban farming burden, such as: Food Field, Farm, Sky Green, The Distributed Urban Farming Initiative, and Sharing Backyard. Inspired by these great initiatives as a potential urban landscape solution, a project called : “Carbon Farming Schools” initiated by the Indonesian Green Action Forum emerged.


The Carbon Farming Schools are suported by UNEP Eco-Peace Leadership Center, Yuhan Kimberly, YUNGA UNFAO, UNESCO, and Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition. The project focuses on both food source and education. I tis run in Bogor, approximately 2 hour drive from Jakarta. Two elementary schools are engaged and supported young agriculturists of Bogor Agricultural University. Around 500 students have been actively involved.


There is a wide participation also from other segments of society including other youth and local farmers. In the schools, the students are educated about climate change, urban farming, and ecological issues to find solutions and suggest innitiatives to tackle these issues. Subsequently the innitiatives are translated into real action plans. To test-run and implement them, they use a small agroforest in abandoned lands and limited spaces. And how does it look in practice? For example, a small number of fast growing and multipurpose tree species are coupled with vegetable plants. A vertical farming is also alternative technique suitable for limited spaces in front of a house or backyard. The great thing about the project is that it supports the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, making it more than just a collection of words on paper.



Anti-Pollution Drive Foundation bags UN Habitat Grant


City based not-for-profit organisation Anti-Pollution Drive (APD) Foundation has been granted with the prestigious India Youth Fund Award by UN-Habitat & Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation. The award was given for APD’s Smart Swaccha Mangaluru (SSM) project for SWM during the Young Social Innovators Conclave 2016 held in Mumbai on l5th November. APD Foundation’s founder Abdullah A. Rehman received the award certificate from Padmini Somani, Director, Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation. The award will also include funding of the awarded project of up to Rs. 8 Lakhs. Mangaluru’s APD Foundation was one among seven recipients to be selected for the award out of the 550 applicants from across the country The other recipients are: (1) Awaajan Kalyan Samhiti, Bhopal, (2) MicroX Foundation, Delhi, (3) Green Cross India, Trivandrum, (4) Born2Win Social Welfare Trust, Chennai, (5) Shaishav Gujarat and (6) Friends Union for Energizing Lives, Pune indifferent categories. SSM is a programme to achieve segregation at source through targeted campaigns, workshops and training programmes. It will be executed side by side with APD’s current IEC campaign which is conducted along with Antony Waste Handling Cell Pvt. Ltd.

“In the coming months through workshops and toolkits, we aim to actively help schools, colleges, government buildings; offices, malls etc., to adopt sustainable waste management techniques,” says Sobia, APD’s strategic planner. “This conversion strategy is adopted in cities like Taiwan, Japan, Singapore& London. To introduce this program to Mangaluru will be a great challenge. So we hope this award for Mangaluru city will encourage the citizens to actively participate in waste segregation and work jointly to achieve the cleanest city tag for Mangaluru city,” says Rehman. Anti-Pollution Drive (APD) Foundation was founded on October 2, 2014 to spearhead a crusade against air pollution caused by smoke emitting vehicles and thereby to ensure a safe, clean and sustainable environment for healthy living. The drive aims to wake the conscience of people by emphasizing the problem in hand, connecting & aggregating professionals from different fields to address the crisis, meeting officials to capture & fill the gaps in the system, producing actionable data & proof regarding the health impact & levels of air pollution. APD Foundation has also initiated Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities along with Antony Waste Handling Cell Pvt. Ltd. on Solid Waste Management in the city on behalf of Mangalore City Corporation towards the Swaccha Mangaluru mission.

Anti-Pollution Drive Foundation a brain child of Abdullah A Rehman was founded on October 2nd, 2014 to pioneer a campaign against air pollution and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for living. We are improvising on our ways to keep a tap on the air that we breathe is breathable and also on waste management which has become a major issue now. Disposing of waste has a significant effect on our environment. It is necessary to discuss on producing excessive amounts of waste which can take the very land that we are standing on. It’s high time that we act as a team before the thrash actually thrashes us OUT. As a team, we constantly make decisions that shape the rest of our activities. Each choice we make can forever affect our future, our impact on society, and the way others perceive us. That’s why it is so important to develop our character as a team. Even a simple notion can spark a positive or negative thought. When we help out, we are influencing ourselves in a positive way that often follows us throughout. We believe each tiny thought, word, action, and habit, changes YOUR future. Our opportunities are growing, and serving the society and educating our peers can only increase our opportunities. The team has always felt that volunteering and community service are something that we, as citizens, are internally obligated to do. When we find a cause we care about, a cause we connect with, we are able to dedicate some time from our lives for this cause. And this one cause is driving our society towards a `Zero Waste Society’. The team also believes that small-small ideas when put together to a mighty talent pool of members can create magic. Whether you have a thought of becoming a potential actress, or peculiarity for science, or love for animals, or space to recreate history: this seemingly small thought just might shape your world. Remember it all starts with your thoughts. They soon become words, which becomes your actions, your habits, your character and your destiny. You don’t really have to go out of the country to make a difference; you can do activities in your home town. You would be surprised how a little goes a long way. Please leave any suggestions or feedbacks so that a healthy conversation builds up and together with you and the team we can mitigate pollution and safeguard our environment.

Urban Youth have to be recognized in any sustainable climate agreement

Good partnerships are worth their weight in gold – and in that sense UN-Habitat´s Youth Unit is a millionaire. For COP21, UN-Habitat has partnered up with two brilliant youth-led partners; the YMCA and the Climate Tracker Initiative. The YMCA is organizing Camp Climate © and UN-Habitat´s Youth Unit is proud to partner with one of the largest youth organizations in the world with more than 58 millions members globally and programs on the ground in more than 118 countries around the world. During COP21, YMCA has been a home away from home for close to 400 youth activists from 43 different countries. There they have been trained on both the issues at stake in the negotiations as well trained on how to influence policy makers and the decision-makers present in Paris. For more information on the work YMCA is doing in Paris, going here would be a good starting point!

So inspired by @unhabitatyouth and @KFUKKFUMGlobal. You are thoughtful and smart, and you will change the world!

Climate Trackers are a ever growing group of young communicators who blog, sketch, design and create communication materials on what is happening at COP. Currently they’ve done upward of 400 articles globally. If you are interested, you can follow some of them on twitter   .

There is no lack of young people participating at the 21st Conference of Parties of the UN´s Framework Convention on climate change (UNFCCC) – popularly known as the COP21 taking place these two weeks in Paris, France. Yet, walking around in the Climate Generation Areas of the COP21 venue seeing all the engaged young people, it is hard not to ask the question whether or not the perspectives of urban youth really impacts the governments negotiating their future. It is the youth in cities who´s going to inherit the planet and sort out the mess left behind by today´s decision-makers.

One thing is clear: cities and local governments hold the key to a sustainable future, and the people who´s going to implement it are the youth. It is hard to see these two stakeholder groups around the table where the agreement is drafted.

To put things in perspective[1]; every second, the total population of world cities grows by two people. Every year, about 6 million people join the other 828 million already living in slums. More than 3 million people in cities die each year of air pollution – that is more than HIV/Aids, malaria and flu combined. And if nothing is done, half of the homes in 21 US cities will be under water by 2100.

Youth and Climate Change

Luckily for this planet, the youth community is not going to sit quietly and idle watching this go by. UN-Habitat is millionaires in two ways – first, we have the coolest mandate of all the UN agencies and secondly, we have the best partners. As the UN agency for sustainable cities and urbanization, we partner with local authorities and cities all over the world enabling them to be safe, inclusive, resilient for all urban citizens. At the same time, we know that in developing countries as much as 50% of the urban population is below the age of 30. That is why youth and youth-led organizations are part of the “gold” we are saving up on. To imagine a sustainable urbanization and a sustainable future without true and meaningful participation of youth-led organizations is, in lack of better words in the middle of December, to believe in Santa Claus.