New Energy Project launched in Indonesia

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) along with the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoCT) have launched a new energy efficiency project. The project is called “Sustainable Tourism through Energy Efficiency with Adaptation and Mitigation Measures in Pangandaran” (STREAM). The official presentation of STREAM was made in Jakarta, Indonesia on 13 June 2011. The Secretary-General of UNWTO, the Indonesian Minister of Culture and Tourism, along with many representatives participated in the event.

The project focuses on Pangandaran and four small villages located on the southern coast of Java Island. Pangandaran is a popular tourist destination with beaches, a secondary rainforest, and coral reefs along a small peninsula. The impact of the July 2006 tsunami and weak tourism management are among the factors that have threatened this environmentally sensitive location.

Some goals of the STREAM project are
- implementing climate change adaptation and mitigation measures to aid Pangandaran’s climate change resilience,
- achieving energy efficiency in all development,
- strengthening local businesses and Pangandaran’s tourist infrastructure for long-term success,
- increasing the competitiveness of tourism in Pangandaran, and
- showing Pangandaran to be an example of the innovative climate change mitigation possible at other tourist destinations both in Indonesia and in South-East Asia

Methods for attaining the goals of STREAM include
- using energy efficient technologies in hotels and public buildings,
- applying renewable energy technologies in public areas and buildings,
- rehabilitating coral reefs and mangroves, which capture and store carbon emissions naturally,
- identifying and making use of low-carbon tourism planning tools, and
- holding seminars and workshops to increase the awareness and ability of local organizations to minimize the energy cost and the environmental impact of tourism,

UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai offered his commendation: “This project is a clear example that the tourism sector is taking its responsibility to contribute to the reduction of global greenhouse gases emission and climate change adaptation seriously.”

Jero Wacik, who is Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, added his hearty agreement, saying, “We are happy to cooperate with UNWTO in this project as its activities represent strategic development steps for Indonesia and its tourism sector, in line with our four-pronged strategy – pro-growth, pro-job, pro-poor, and pro-environment.” Jero Wacik also stressed that STREAM’s local initiatives were an important step in Indonesia’s developing policy on climate change mitigation, adaptation, and tourism development

A decision by the German Bundestag made STREAM part of the International Climate Initiative of the German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. This initiative supports climate protection projects worldwide in developing, newly industrializing, and transition countries in order to contribute effectively to emission reductions and adaptation to climate change.

The STREAM project will build upon work done on the “Tourism Development Supporting Biodiversity Conservation in Pangandaran” plan, which was initiated in August 2007 by the MoCT with the support of UNWTO. Thus, UNWTO and the MoCT had been involved in a long-term harmonization of Pangandaran’s tourism development with the conservation of biodiversity and its ecosystem services.