Urban food systems

Kota Kita Launches ‘Urban Climate Food-print’ Research Study As Part Of Think Climate Initiative (TCI)

Vanesha Manuturi
Mon, 13 Sep 2021

Kota Kita is excited to be a part of the Think Climate Initiative (TCI), a coalition to foster climate change mitigation and adaptation in Indonesia. The initiative is a three-year partnership supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Oak Foundation to enable local think tanks in Indonesia to engage more effectively in climate actions.

The three-year partnership provides core funding for the organizational and research activities of five local think tanks: Kota Kita, Yayasan InobuWorld Resources Institute (WRI) IndonesiaPATTIRO Centre for Regional and Information StudiesPartnership for Governance Reform.

The initiative aims to strengthen the ability of selected think tanks that straddles research, policymaking, and citizen engagement 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. The initiative is structured around three major approaches:

  • Increase relevant data and evidence generation by supporting think tanks in filling data gaps and generating evidence for policy needs that address emissions reductions and climate resilience.
  • Deepen research capacity and strengthen policy engagement so that think tanks can meet the demands for evidence and connect and communicate with appropriate actors.
  • Seed change coalitions by fostering “coalitions of the willing” to collaborate for the purposes of identifying data needs, articulating policy research agendas, developing knowledge needs, and creating political momentum.

As a whole, the initiative will provide a thorough knowledge of climate change mitigation and adaptation in Indonesia, with each of the five think tanks focusing on distinct aspects of climate change.  It will highlight practices on local-based adaptation on forestry, climate policy and budgeting, and interconnection between climate and climate urban food systems.

To formally launch the initiative, Kota Kita and the four other think tanks participated in a virtual inception workshop on July 21- 22 and July 27, 2021, with IDRC. The workshop brought together the TCI partners to build a shared understanding of the initiative while building a sense of community among the think tanks to encourage cross-organization collaboration. 

During the workshop, we had the opportunity to introduce our research proposal Urban Climate Food-print in Indonesian Cities, to the forum. The summary of the inception workshop can be accessed here

A screenshot of Zoom meeting of the inception workshop of  of the Think Climate Initiative (TCI), a coalition to foster climate change mitigation and adaptation in Indonesia.

What is Urban Climate Food-print?

For this initiative, Kota Kita will be investigating the relationship between urban food systems and climate risks in Indonesian cities to offer insight into policies and activities that can help expose climate risks and vulnerabilities while improving the sustainability of urban food systems. 

Indonesia’s agriculture is highly dependent on its climate. Increasingly frequent and intense extreme weather events and droughts, sea-level rise, and increasing irregularities in rainy season patterns are already impacting Indonesia’s agricultural production. Temperature increases and water availability have further heightened risks of crop failure and loss of livestock, threatening the country’s food security, among other factors. Indonesia’s National Development Planning Agency projected that agriculture production is predicted to decrease by around 10-17% due to decreasing water availability by 8% (2020). 

Urban areas—with complex interconnected social, economic, environmental, political, and cultural processes—shape unique geographies and present unique implications on food systems. With unprecedented rapid urban growth alongside growing climate pressures, the issue of food security has arisen in the urban landscape, affecting not only people’s access to food but also the urban economic system as a whole. At the same time, food consumption patterns in the cities affect the global food system and contribute to carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change, reinforcing the positive feedbacks that exacerbates the impact of climate change on food security. 

In the research, Kota Kita will investigate the urban food consumption pattern and configuration of urban food systems from two different urban contexts and socio-economic settings in Indonesia: Jakarta, a diverse and expansive capital city on the northern coast of Java; and Solo Raya, a growing small-sized inland metropolitan with strong cultural identity and heritage. With the urban food system as the center, this research aims to review the relationship and potential impact of climate change on the urban food system and comprehend how urban food consumption patterns and food systems contribute to climate change.

The research will begin with understanding the extent of the urban food system as a baseline. Secondly, the study will focus on generating evidence on the potential impacts of climate change, both biophysical and economic/environmental impacts, that affect food security, including availability, accessibility, and utilization. In particular, the research will examine the impacts at different levels: regional, city, and specific areas/actors, e.g., informal systems, markets. Lastly, the research study will focus on how urban food systems (from production, distribution, to consumption) contribute to the production of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. 

Watch this space for more information about Kota Kita’s Urban Climate Food-print research study and our activities with the Think Climate Initiative.

Supported by:

Logo of International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and OAK Foundation