Talking about natural resource certainly closely related to youth generation. Good or not good the natural resource management will directly impact for the next generation. Thus, involving the youth group in natural resource management is important, and it makes the youth become the change actor. The #20YearsReformation “Youth Generation Talking Natural Resources” last (25/5) invited the youth to have further discussion about the challenges in natural resource management, including the role taken by youth.

Ahmad Sajali, national coordinator of Youth Proactive, one of speaker in the discussion highlighted the effort of corruption eradication during 20 years after the reformation in 1998. According to Ahmad Sajali, the progress of combating corruption so far is not significant, seen from the stagnant Corruption Perception Index (CPI). Indonesian CPI score in 2017 is 37, which this is the same with CPI score in 2016. With scale from 0-100, 0 is estimated as mostly corrupt, and 100 is very clean from corruption practice.

The enactment of regional autonomy after the Reformation also affected the uncontrollable scale of corruption. Whilst the corruption in Soeharto era occurred by its cronies, the corruption in post-Reformation 1998 occurred at the regional level and done by both the executive and legislative. One of the highlighted corruption case is the corruption by Nur Alam with a state loss value of Rp. 4.3 trillion followed by the environmental damage worth as 1.45 trillion.

Ahmad Wali Radi, Coordinator of the Student Executive Board (BEM) of Indonesia, emphasized that the youth need to be more aware of the political issues so they can evolve as an agent of change after graduating from the university. Aside from the youth awareness, they also need to be more involved in encouraging social change to be better.

Youth and Natural Resources Management

Lots of information conveys that Indonesia is rich in natural resources, even there are lyrics mentioned that “sticks and stones turned into plants” due to its great nature of Indonesia. However, does our natural resources is still that abundant?

Rizky Ananda researchers of PWYP Indonesia presented various data that Indonesia is no longer oil-wealthy, even since 2002 Indonesia has become a net importer of oil. In 2022, Indonesia is predicted to become a net importer of gas. In 2046 the Indonesian coal reserves will be exhausted. In addition, 1.1 million hectares of Indonesia’s forests are lost per year due to deforestation (1996-2017). On the other hand, Indonesia’s energy consumption has doubled after the 1998 Reformation era, caused by economic growth and population growth.

Responding to this issue, Muhammad Agus Sihotang of the Young Energy Forum said that the government needs to immediately focus on more sustainable renewable energy compared to fossil energy. Although, the development of renewable energy would face challenges in financial matter and the unstable regulation. According to him, the use of renewable energy in the outer areas that have not been powered by electricity can be done with more affordable financing mechanism.

Also, Rizky Ananda highlighted the disparity occurred in Java and outside Java, such as poor access to electricity, low access and facilities for education, inadequate economic access and poverty in resource-rich areas. She gave a portrayal to young people that those problems are burden for everyone as well. “As simple as coal that are dredged in Kalimantan, those are used for power plants in Java. Hence, the management of natural resources is problems for everyone, “said Rizky.

What can young people do? First, in the era of information democracy, social media can be used as a tool to raise the voice of marginalized people. Social media can be used to raise issues of energy inequality, poverty, and other social problems. Addressing common issues through social media can create collective awareness of the problem, and trigger a larger social movement. Second, young people need to participate in politics. The regional head election will be held in the near future, so young people need to use their voting rights by choosing an eligible candidate and have a good vision of natural resources management.

Third, the involvement in the youth movement and volunteerism, so that the youth could be more aware of their important role. Within a huge percentage of youth population, 25% of Indonesia’s youth population can have a potential position. Fourth, a more eco-friendly lifestyle, which could be achieved by using plastic and electricity more wisely.

In this event, also launched the Youth XtrActive as PWYP Indonesia’s effort in outreached the youth generation. Youth XtrActive is an initiative so Indonesian youth know and aware about the important of natural resource management that transparent, accountable, and sustainable, and beneficial for the future generation.