Banjarmasin, Involving People with Disabilities in Its Climate Action
- Category: News
- Published: Wednesday, 15 December 2021 16:01
- Written by Maria Serenade
In Banjarmasin, the capital city of Indonesia’s South Kalimantan Province, floods and fires vulnerabilities may increase due to climate change. The Local Government is stepping up to tackle this issue by increasing the adaptive capacity of its most vulnerable groups: people with disabilities (PwD).
The Mayor of Banjarmasin H. Ibnu Sina, S.Pi., M.Si, speaking in the Human Rights Festival webinar, 18 November 2021, said rivers in Banjarmasin are like veins. Rivers are the source of life and livelihood for local communities. With at least 290 rivers flowing through the City, Banjarmasin is also prone to rob floods due to the overflowing of river water. The incident is also affected by city topography that lies 16 centimetres below sea level and the location of the City in the downstream area. 
Banjarmasin is also at risk of fires occurring in dense urban areas. The Regional Mid-Term Development Plan of South Kalimantan 2016-2021 also identified Banjarmasin as the most fires-prone area in the province. “Climate change gives rise to an increase of fires and floods threats that pose a grave challenge for people with disabilities in Banjarmasin,” said the Mayor.
At least 3,897 people with disabilities (0.56% of the total population) live in Banjarmasin. The majority of them reside in two sub-districts of Pelambuan and Kelayan Barat.  The Local Government has rolled out several policies and programmes to increase city resilience.
Climate Village Programme
Banjarmasin has implemented a national Climate Village Programme (Program Kampung Iklim/Proklim) in its 20 sub-districts to promote community engagement in climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. Each Proklim has its flagship activity depending on the condition and challenges the area faces. In one of the neighbourhoods, Sungai Miai, as an example, water management becomes a priority programme through rainwater harvesting, biopore holes, floods-adaptive design and drainage management.
The Mayor said that the Proklim programme includes people with disabilities. “When it comes to the early warning system, we connect people with disabilities to emergency contacts that can inform them on areas that are at risk. People with disabilities are also the group we prioritise for evacuation during floods and fires,” he adds.
Policies and development plans
The Local Government of Banjarmasin also ensures that policy instrument is in place to fulfil the rights of people with disabilities. The Local Government has issued Banjarmasin City Regional Regulation Number 9/2013 on Protection and Fulfilment of the Rights of People with Disabilities. In addition, the Local Government is currently formulating the Regional Regulation Draft on Protection and The Fulfilment of the Rights of People with Disabilities.
To ensure active participation of people with disabilities, the Local Government involve them in the development planning processes, starting from the sub-district to the city level. “The result of development planning processes must benefit people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups. The design and development of public facilities, as an example, must consider the needs of people with disabilities,” the Mayor said.
Public facilities in Banjarmasin are already built to be accessible for people with disabilities, such as guiding block on the City’s sidewalks. The Local Government also invested in the education sector by embedding disaster preparedness in learning activities, including inclusive schools.
Political will is the modality for Banjarmasin to develop its disability-inclusive policies and programmes. CRIC Field Officer Ardhi Wardhana, responsible for the city engagement, said that the vision to be an inclusive city that the Mayor promotes is well communicated to all local government institutions in Banjarmasin. “Throughout my engagement process with the city, I could see that city stakeholder very much attempt to maintain the spirit and the vision of Banjarmasin as an inclusive city,” he said.
Banjarmasin is one of ten pilot cities receiving assistance from CRIC from 2020 to 2024. CRIC is helping the City develop its Climate Action Plan to strengthen and complement existing initiatives. The first training will take place in January 2022.
 Urban Analysis Report: Banjarmasin, Climate Resilient and Inclusive Cities Project, 2020.
 Banjarmasin City: A Disability-Inclusive City Profile, UNESCO, 2019
 Dinas Lingkungan Hidup Kota Banjarmasin, September 2020, https://dlh.banjarmasinkota.go.id/2020/09/verifikasi-nominasi-proklim-utama-di.html