In a world where economic challenges dominate and the COVID-19 pandemic's lingering shadow, global conflicts, and climate change intensify, the pressure to finance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has never been greater. But in the midst of these hurdles, Indonesia is paving the way towards a sustainable future.
Since 2021, the Government of Indonesia (GoI), led by the Ministry of Finance, has raised over US$ 1.1 billion for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Bonds to support the 2030 sustainable development agenda. This is where the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has stepped in, under the joint programme of "Accelerating SDGs Investments in Indonesia (ASSIST)", to support the pre- and post-issuance process of the SDG Bond.
Our field visit to Bali in September took us on a journey that goes beyond numbers and figures. We visited the Polytechnic for Fisheries and Aquaculture, a vocational education program managed by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture located in Jembrana Regency, Bali, as one of the projects chosen for funding from the 2022 SDG Bond issuance. It is a hub for budding aquaculture and fisheries experts, offering three essential programmes: aquaculture, capture fisheries, and seafood processing. These programs cater to a diverse student body, with a majority hailing from fishers and coastal communities who are often left behind. The institution prides itself on providing high-quality education that equips students with practical skills and knowledge relevant to the evolving field of aquaculture.
But it is the hands-on learning experiences that make this place truly special. Witnessing the Polytechnic's state-of-the-art shrimp ponds is a testament to their commitment to sustainable fish farming, a vital industry for Indonesia’s economy. The visit also reveals the magic of the aquaculture program, as another instance, has a dedicated aquaponics facility where students learn how to cultivate fish in a symbiotic system. This approach not only imparts practical skills but also fosters a deeper understanding of sustainable agriculture.
The hands-on learning experiences the Polytechnic provides are what make it truly special. Within their facilities, they boast state-of-the-art shrimp ponds and demonstrate their commitment to sustainable fish farming, a vital industry for Indonesia’s economy. At their dedicated aquaponics facility, students learn how to cultivate fish in a symbiotic system as a part of Polytechnic’s aquaculture program. This approach not only imparts practical skills but also fosters a deeper understanding of sustainable agriculture.
It is not just about education, it is also about opportunity. The SDG Bonds have enabled the Polytechnic to reach out to children from fishing and coastal communities, offering them vocational skills that were once beyond their grasp.
The field visit in Bali also took us to another SDG Bonds-funded project named 'Social Barn', a lifeline during disasters managed by the Ministry of Social Affairs. It is a place where volunteers tirelessly organize and distribute essential supplies such as food, water, medical supplies, and shelter materials, a symbol of community solidarity and resilience in the face of adversity.
The SDG site visit activity concluded with a beach clean-up, uniting diverse stakeholders to restore nature's beauty and emphasizing the close link between environmental sustainability and community well-being.
Deserving of mention is the SDG Talk show at Universitas Udayana, where over 100 participants, including university students and local youth-led NGOs, gather to discuss the importance of SDGs and Indonesia's journey towards achieving them.
The event brought together a diverse group of experts and stakeholders, including representatives from key ministries, foundations, and international organizations such as the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of National Development Planning, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ministry of Social Affairs, Kalimajari Foundation, UN Resident Coordinator Office, and UNDP. Their resounding message: The SDGs are a pressing priority, and innovative financing, like thematic bonds, is the path forward.
The highlight of the event was a dynamic panel discussion that emphasized the urgency to act in the Decade of Action, where challenges and opportunities in financing SDGs must take centre stage. It was a powerful dialogue about building resilience and partnerships for SDG progress on the ground.
About ASSIST JP
Through the UN Joint Programme “Accelerating SDGs Investments in Indonesia (ASSIST)” – funded by the UN Joint SDG Fund under the coordination of the UN Resident Coordinator in Indonesia - UNDP Indonesia supports innovative debt instruments linked with SDGs. The SDG Bond follows the Republic of Indonesia SGDs Government Securities Framework, developed in 2021 and supported by ASSIST, and has managed to raise more than US$ 1.1 billion from international and local investors.
Written by: Ralista Haroen of UNDP, Devjit Roy Chowdhury of UNDP and Diandra Pratami of UN RCO
The Joint SDG Fund's joint programmes are under the prestige leadership of the Resident Coordinator Office and implementing United Nations Agencies. With sincere appreciation for the contributions from the European Union and Governments of Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and our private sector funding partners, for a transformative movement towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.