Today, we, a young group in Riau, consisting of high school students and students from various universities, have gathered to declare a situation of climate injustice and environmental damage. We depart from different educational backgrounds, experiences, and close knowledge. However, we agree on one thing in common, namely the environmental crisis and climate crisis will exacerbate the situation for the protection and fulfillment of our rights and those of future generations. We are threatened with losing our rights to a good and healthy environment.
Mutual solidarity and network building are important choices at this time to ensure that the country meets the demand for a good and healthy environment. This demand is part of the struggle to realize ecological justice and intergenerational justice. We as a group of young people are the heirs and inheritors of the earth which unfortunately is getting more and more fragile every day. Every day 3-5 disasters occur in various parts of the world, including in Indonesia, and most of them are climate disasters.
We, the young people of Riau, see that the older generation who are state administrators are unable to meet our demands for intergenerational justice. As a group that must have a good and healthy environment, we have been left with various crises due to degraded natural conditions. The impact of environmental damage, such as floods, illegal logging, garbage accumulation, air pollution and water pollution failed to be resolved by the state. This failure is because the state only focuses on economic development which only benefits a handful of people. In the name of economic interests, our rights to the future are being destroyed and the country is placing us in a situation called the climate crisis.
The issue of the climate crisis is a human rights issue. The climate crisis has resulted in reduced fulfillment of the rights to food, education, health, security, and others. This condition is very dangerous for our lives and the next generation. In order to fix this, we, the young generation, as heirs and inheritors of the environment, have taken a stand to speak out. We young people of Riau declare that the climate crisis that we are currently facing must be overcome and restored immediately.
We, the Riau youth group, have the rights to determine our destiny and become subjects in determining a good and healthy environment. Meaningful involvement of Riau youth group in the country’s political agendas, including in the 2024 election is important to ensure intergenerational justice can be realized.
Representing the Riau youth group, we ask the state, political parties, election organizers and candidates in the 2024 election to ensure the protection and fulfillment of our rights to a good and healthy environment. We propose demands for intergenerational justice for the state to formulate in the form of concrete actions as follows:
1. Provide adequate facilities, infrastructure and budget to facilitate the need for proper public transportation, accessible to vulnerable groups and able to reach various areas at affordable rates and operate on time. With the fulfillment of this demand, it is hoped that people can switch from private vehicles to public vehicles, thereby reducing the impact of carbon emissions generated from motorized vehicles;
2. Improve the waste management system by educating the entire community, providing adequate facilities and infrastructure for transporting and sorting waste, and holding full responsibility and control over waste management;
3. Punish plantation, forestry and mining corporations that cause environmental damage and deprive people from their living spaces;
4. Ensure a just energy transition sourced from clean energy in accordance with local energy availability conditions and paying attention to aspects of community protection;
5. Make improvements to environmentally friendly urban planning and increasing green open spaces that can become spaces of expression for youth group;
6. Ensure more effective processing of industrial waste so as not to pollute the waters;
7. Develop technology that can overcome environmental problems and social inequality;
8. Provide spaces for young people to speak out, listen to and fulfill our aspirations;
We issue this statement on Human Rights Day, 10th December 2022, to warn the state, especially political parties and candidates who will contest on the 2024 election to state their commitment to fulfilling demands for intergenerational justice, so that the state ensures the fulfillment of our rights as heirs and inheritors of a good and healthy environment can be fulfilled. Fulfillment by the state with its political apparatus for these demands, will make young people begin to believe that the state places intergenerational justice as a priority issue.
Pekanbaru, 10th December 2022