As world leaders gather in Copenhagen to wrestle with the threats posed by climate change, Mercy Corps in Portland, Oregon, has announced a $525,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation and support from the Urban and Regional Development Institute to implement the Indonesian Cities Project.
In Semarang and Bandar Lampung — two Indonesian cities struggling with climate change-related impacts such as flooding, lack of clean water, and the spread of diseases — Mercy Corps is working with government entities, university and research institutions, local nongovernmental organizations, and others to assess the vulnerability of both to climate change while testing innovative adaption and risk-reduction strategies. As part of the twelve-month project, the organization will conduct focus groups and engage in discussions with poor people and communities to learn how climate change is affecting them.
Mercy Corps expects that the effort, which falls under the umbrella of the Rockefeller Foundation's Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN), will lead to new, robust models that help people prepare for, withstand, and recover from the predicted impacts of global warming and climate change. The partners plan to replicate theose models in additional cities in Indonesia and beyond through ACCCRN by 2012.
"Communities around the world need better tools, techniques, and strategies to address the risks of climate change," said Ashvin Dayal, managing director of the Rockefeller Foundation in Asia. "We may not be able to reverse all of the impacts that global warming has already had, but we hope this partnership with Mercy Corps and URDI will play a catalytic role in building the capacity of the institutions and communities in Indonesian cities in order to cope with and successfully adapt to these impacts."