Yogyakarta, as a student city and a destination for cultural and natural tourism, Jogja is confronted by air pollution problems. Last week, Jogja was recorded to have a moderate condition of air quality.
In this condition, people who are considered sensitive groups are appealed to use masks to avoid pollution exposure. Various elements from Yogyakarta citizens strive to find a solution to solve this problem.
Some parties then collaborated to launch the Jogja Lebih Bike Campaign. The Jogja Lebih Bike program aims to increase awareness of Jogja citizens and stakeholders about air pollution. Besides, it encourages changes both in policy and community behavior in choosing a more environmentally-friendly transportation mode.
Dr. Ir. Arif Wismadi, MSc from the Center for Transportation and Logistics Studies at Gadjah Mada University (Pustral UGM), stated in line with the rapid increase of engine-driven, mobile sources, or land transportation is appraised to contribute more than 60 percent of total emissions in Jogja. There are three policy options to overcome this problem:
- Reducing the number or distance of trips
- Technological and efficient innovation
- Shifting to environmentally friendly transportation modes
"Jogja Lebih Bike is absolutely an excellent initiative because it encourages people to make changes to their preference of transportation modes with minimum emissions. As part of the collaboration with Jogja More Bike, UGM Pustral projects a Cycling Feasibility Study, Bikeability Study, " he said at UGM Pustral on Thursday (18/2).
Citing data from Kompas, Arif revealed that in daily mobility, 88 percent of the people of Yogyakarta are still very reliant on engine-driven vehicles, especially motorbikes, and only 2.6 percent of residents ride bicycles. The Jogja Lebih Bike Initiative is a movement with the community to revive bicycles as part of their daily activities and formulating cleaner air in Jogja.
Hence, there was also a collaboration from various partners ranging from academics, non-governmental organizations, the cycling community through Jogja Lebih Bike that aims to stimulate public conversations about the importance of good air quality and encourage citizen participation in producing clean air through cycling activities.
As Kompas Research and Development researcher collaborated to conduct a Public Perception Survey on Air Pollution with Jogja Lebih Bike, Nurul Fatchiati added a survey. She revealed that 500 respondents in Jogja recorded that air pollution was one of the three most important issues for Jogja citizens other than handling Covid-19 and crime. Besides, 62.5 percent of the people living in the city of Jogja admitted that they have bad air quality in their environment. Still, they have optimism about restoring the air quality conditions in the next few years.
To help acknowledge people about the air quality data, Jogja Lebih Bike also collaborates with Nafas - a startup with the largest air quality sensor network in Indonesia. Through this collaboration, there were five air quality sensors installed at various pollution points in Yogyakarta, namely in Gondolayu (Tugu), Sayidan, Umbulharjo, Janti Bridge, and at the UGM campus.
As a Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer of Nafas, Piotr Jakubowski said people could easily access the air quality data. Meanwhile, there is still a limitation in real-time data even though air quality data is an important reference for the community in their activities, essentially for sensitive groups, for example, children, the elderly, and people with respiratory diseases.
"People can easily access the real-time air quality data, and it is a free charge through the Breath application and the Jogja Lebih Bike website," he said.
Jogja Lebih Bike invited Jogja citizens to accomplish their cycling commitment on the website www.jogjalmorebike.id. Besides educating the public about air pollution through Instagram and various other activities, this campaign also welcomed cyclists to share their stories through #jogjalebihbike to inspire all Yogyakarta citizens as a way to support this collaborative movement. Jogja Lebih Bike is supported by Kompas Data, Kompas TV, UGM Pustral, Nafas, Srengenge, Sego Segawe Reborn, and more than 24 Jogja cycling communities.
This campaign is important to be soon carried out because WHO reports 7 million premature deaths related to air pollution occurred worldwide in 2017. Air pollution data from the Ministry of Environment indicates that for six months in 2019, Jogja only had 50 days with good air quality, and The rest 92 air quality in Jogja is considered moderate to unhealthy. Meanwhile, in the 2019 Environmental Quality Index report, data reported that air quality in Jogja had decreased in the past five years.
Author: Agung Nugroho
Translator: Natasa A