COVID crisis a chance to change, prioritize environment: Walhi

COVID crisis a chance to change, prioritize environment: Walhi

Screenshot - Walhi executive director Nur Hidayati (right) and political desk coordinator Khalisa Khalid (left) during the virtual launch of the Environmental Review 2021 here on Wednesday (February 3, 2021). (ANTARA/Prisca Triferna)

The next few months are a crucial momentum for the Indonesian nation
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has urged the government to use the COVID-19-induced multi-dimensional crisis to make a change, particularly in the environmental sector, and treat it as a priority issue.

"The next few months are a crucial momentum for the Indonesian nation," Walhi executive director Nur Hidayati said during the virtual launch of Environmental Review 2021 here on Wednesday.

The multi-dimensional crisis is related not only to health, social, and economic issues, but also environmental issues, including climate change, she remarked.

She pointed out that hydro-meteorological disasters, such as extreme weather-induced flooding, hit several parts of Indonesia in early 2021. The extreme weather is a concrete impact of climate change caused by the increase in greenhouse gas emissions due to use of fossil fuels and reduction in forest cover, she said.

Hence, the current moment is an important chance to improve and transform the existing system into an environmentally friendly one, she stressed.

Several countries have started taking steps in this direction, take for instance, the Green New Deal initiated by members of parliament in the United States, she said.

Coordinator of Walhi's political desk, Khalisa Khalid, also highlighted the significance of green politics and encouraged the endorsement of environmental issues as a priority.

Green politics may offer a solution to the polarization of environmental issues, encourage the adoption of more environmentally friendly policies, and support public interest since the environment has a direct and indirect impact on human life, she noted.

"We hope political awareness at the individual level, which refers to collective political awareness, will be able to turn environmental issues into the main agenda," she said.

So far, the environment has not been seen as a priority issue, she remarked. (INE)

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