Managing climate change requires collective efforts and a strategic approach from various sectors. Collaboration across disciplines is essential to foster sustainable and eco-friendly communities.
Recognizing this imperative, the Faculty of Law at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) has embedded the principles of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its student curricula. This initiative was discussed during a focus group discussion on Monday (Feb. 5).
The 17 SDGs pillars for 2030 encompass 169 targets and 289 indicators, including education and agriculture.
“We observe a synergy between the SDGs agenda and our National Action Plan. Agriculture is the sector most impacted by climate change,” remarked former Indonesian Minister of State Secretary Dr. Bambang Kesowo.
“Many of our youth, who hail from rural areas, often choose not to return, contributing to the challenges in revitalizing the agricultural sector. Therefore, I believe education on climate change is crucial.”
Despite opposition from various quarters, the climate crisis is an undeniable reality. Global warming, erratic weather patterns, and droughts are perceived as natural occurrences rather than the outcomes of human negligence.
The world has set its sights on achieving global net-zero emissions and bolstering climate resilience by 2050. Education plays a pivotal role in raising awareness about the urgency of the climate crisis.
However, awareness alone is insufficient; concrete action based on data, research, and academic studies is imperative.
“Education is among the six sectors influencing the climate crisis. Environmental issues transcend technicalities, hence the significance of targeting the education system. The STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) are closely linked to the climate crisis,” said Dr. Wahyu Yun Santoso, a Department of Environmental Law lecturer.
“However, it’s crucial to recognize that addressing climate change requires a multidisciplinary approach, prompting discussions on integrating it into the curriculum.”
Dr. Santoso highlighted the challenge of preparing students to navigate the “Environmental Century.” It’s a monumental task to restore, rebalance, and enhance environmental conditions for the well-being of future generations.
Students must grasp the concepts and be instilled with a sense of responsibility, action-taking, and leadership. Moreover, they should appreciate the significance of local values in every aspect of their studies.
As a leading national university, UGM is committed to realizing the SDGs in its strategic objectives. Professor Wening Udasmoro, UGM Vice-Rector for Education and Teaching, underscored the alignment between UGM’s vision, mission, and programs with the implementation of SDGs principles.
UGM’s Strategic Objectives for the 2022-2027 development period emphasize establishing a healthy, safe, environmentally sustainable, culturally rich, and socially responsible campus. This commitment is evident in various UGM initiatives for students and the wider community.
“Our vision and mission prioritize environmental sustainability, cultural richness, and social responsibility, which inherently align with the SDGs,” affirmed the vice-rector.
“Everything we do is already contributing to the SDGs; we simply need to reinforce this message by collecting and disseminating data to promote SDGs awareness among the broader community.”