Building Climate Resilience of the Community in Watershed Ecosystem in South Sulawesi

28 Jul 2022
Dok. Kemitraan


From left to right: Laode M. Syarif Ph.D. (Executive Director of KEMITRAAN), Dr. Abdul Hayat, M.Si (Regional Secretary of South Sulawesi Province), M. Ichwan, M. hut, (Director of KAPABEL)

Makassar, 28 July 2022 - According to the 2015-2019 Ministry of Environment and Forestry Strategic Plan, the Saddang Watershed (DAS) is a “Priority Watershed in Indonesia.” The Saddang watershed flows into four districts in South Sulawesi Province, and small parts of its area are in West Sulawesi. Currently, almost 1 million people depend on the available resources in the Saddang Watershed ecosystems that cover an area of ​​661,932 ha. 

However, 93% of the surrounding villages are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, especially food availability and access (food security). Additionally, plantations are disappearing, food supply is declining, and crops are failing because of floods and droughts. In Enrekang Regency, there was a drop in agricultural production due to the rotting of fruit stalks, the attack of disease and pests, and the changing of the morphology of agriculture production. These problems arise because the community was unable to anticipate and adapt to weather anomalies.

These challenges require early anticipatory steps for communities around the Saddang watershed to adapt to climate change. In collaboration with KEMITRAAN (Partnership for Governance Reform), Adaptation Fund supports The Community Adaptation Project for the Saddang Watershed Ecosystem Based on Forest Food Management implemented by the Climate Change and Environment Adaptation Consortium (KAPABEL). This consortium consists of five (5) institutions, they are: 1) Community Forestry Service Team Foundation (TLKM) as the Lead Consortium; 2) Unhas Forestry Alumni Foundation (YAKU); 3) Research and Development Center for National Heritage, Biodiversity, and Climate Change, Hasanuddin University; 4) Kanopi Hijau; 5) Bumi Lestari. The main objective of this program is to improve the food security of the Saddang ecosystem watershed community by adapting to climate change.

Laode M. Syarif, Executive Director of KEMITRAAN

Laode M. Syarif, KEMITRAAN Executive Director, said, “We are in a race against time to support the most affected communities to adapt quickly to the challenges of climate change. With the support of the Directorate General of Climate Change Control (Ditjen PPI) - Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), KEMITRAAN as the national entity accredited by the Adaptation Fund, is currently assisting five projects in various regions in Indonesia. The one main mission of these projects is to increase the community capacity to adapt to climate  change. Together with KAPABEL, one of the main goals we want to achieve is to increase the economy of local society by utilizing natural resources in environmentally friendly ways. “We believe that the process of adapting to climate change will go more smoothly once people are less dependent on agriculture and their welfare level rises.”


Moh. Ichwan, Director of KAPABEL

One of the efforts is to expand the social forestry area for local communities. Moh. Ichwan, Director of KAPABEL, explained that since the project started about 21 months ago, 9 Social Forestry Decrees have been issued for villages around the Saddang watershed. This means an increase of 5000 hectares of forest use permits. “The establishment of 18 KUPS (Social Forestry Business Groups) are formed in various villages. One of them, KUPS Kopi in Toraja, has collaborated with famous coffee shop, Kopi Kulo, and KUPS hazelnut in Enrekang Regency has been exported to Hong Kong. We are trying to increase their productivity through the production equipment and marketing strategy training.”

Home industries in the downstream area of ​​the Saddang watershed have also been formed by involving various groups of women who are vulnerable to climate change. Among them are Salak chips (Salacca Zalacca), seaweed chips, and Marasa. "To ensure the sustainability of this home industry, we have also collaborated with the One Stop Integrated Service and Investment Agency (PMPTSP)," added Ichwan.


On 27-28 July 2022, The KAPABEL Festival and Expo was held at the Aston hotel, Makassar. The place is to share the process and learn the results achieved from this project. The themed activity Towards Community Climate Resilience based on Watershed Landscapes in South Sulawesi is expected to strengthen mutual understanding of the parties regarding climate change adaptation, especially in the context of watershed landscapes that include both upland ecosystems (mountains/forests), aquatic ecosystems (downstream of rivers, and coast). Various KUPS and home industries also participated in this event.


Dr. Abdul Hayat, M.Si, Regional Secretary of South Sulawesi Province

Dr. Abdul Hayat, M.Si., Regional Secretary of South Sulawesi Province, was also present at the event, and stated, "We appreciate the involvement of KEMITRAAN and KAPABEL with the support of the Directorate General of PPI – KLHK and international institutions, the Adaptation Fund, to drive community around the Saddang Watershed in improving their economic level through environmentally friendly techniques. Hopefully, the whole society can realize the importance of adapting to climate change today for our future.