There Is No Planet B and Youth Groups Taking The Lead In Sustainability: How To Deal With It?

At this moment in time, experts and billionaires flock to research and explore to measure the level of life on planets other than Earth. Of course we are no stranger to the Proxima B Space Project which is claimed to be a place of life other than Earth which is about 4 light years away. The results of the observations were published in a report entitled Habitable Climate Scenarios for Proxima Centauri B with Dynamic Ocean. On the flip side, Elon Musk's and SpaceX's space missions also amazed the world because their goal is to plan how humans will live on Mars and even form colonies there. And there are many other transient project observation programs. So the question is, what will happen to Planet Earth as known as “Si Kelereng Biru Rumah Kita”? The planet, which is about 4.543 billion years old, has become a foothold and home for living things ranging from humans to microorganisms.

Indonesia or often referred to as The Emerald of Equator is one of the countries with the largest population of the younger generation, especially Z Generation and Millennial Generation. Based on the results of the 2020 Population Census, the number of Generation Z reached 75.49 million people or equivalent to 27.94 percent of the total population in Indonesia. This condition indicates that Indonesia is experiencing a Demographic Bonus which is both an opportunity and a challenge. How come? Indonesia is also one of the countries that mainstream the mandate of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but there are still some challenges that need to be resolved, especially in the fields of spatial planning/infrastructure, energy and climate change, water management, waste management, transportation, education/research, etc. As the consequence, the young generation as the front line of nation development must be ready to realize the Indonesia Emas 2045. One of the various efforts that can be done is through constructive dialogue and real multi-stakeholder cooperation between students and stakeholders who have the same vision in the field of sustainability. As far as I’m concerned, NSLSM is here to create a program that embraces universities, especially student organizations in order to accelerate the transformation of universities that uphold the values ​​of sustainability with UI GreenMetric as one of the flagship programs of Universitas Indonesia that ranks universities around the world.

As a student from the Eastern Indonesia Region and representing the SDGs Center of Universitas Hasanuddin, I am genuine enthusiastic, proud, and grateful for this extraordinary opportunity so that I have been able to meet the figures behind the success of UI Green Metric, UIN Raden Intan Lampung, and 30 student leader speakers from Sabang to Merauke whose represent their respective universities. The annual activity entitled The 1st National Student Leaders on Sustainability Meeting (NSLSM) 2021 which was held on 27 – 29 October at the Green Campus of UIN Raden Intan Lampung gave me the prior knowledges and experiences related to sustainability issues which is also in line with global agreement contained in the SDGs.

On the first day, the keynote speech from Prof. Dr. Ir. Riri Fitri Sari, M.Sc., M.M as the Chair of the UI GreenMetric World University Rankings provides powerful insights about the essence of sustainable development in collaboration with the contributions of young people. Through her gorgeous and solemn poem entitled “Feri Merak Bakauheni” contains a message and great hope for youth to work together as a milestone for change in the present and in the future. “On the mainland of Sumatra, dozens of youths gathered. A continuing oath will be pronounced. For the sake of unity and strength to face the challenges of the times. Hey young generations, promise to be a winner. Nothing is impossible." These are the key and useful messages conveyed by Mrs. Riri as a reminder for young people not to stop working and fighting for their dreams to create a better world. “Earth is no substitute. You have to do things in parallel because everything is possible.” Biidznillah, in 2045, in accordance with the mandate of Prof. Riri, I want to meet Prof. Riri to share my best contribution in the field of sustainability as a follow-up initiative of NSLSM. I will do everything in my power.

The second day was a very memorable moment. This was motivated by a Focus Group Discussion session with 30 Student Leader Speakers and participants from various regions in Indonesia through Zoom Meetings and the UIN Raden Intan Lampung YouTube channel which discussed issues in the fields of arrangement and infrastructure, energy and climate change, water management, waste management, transportation, education and research. Video shows from each student as a university representative are packed with interesting, informative, educative, and inspiring content. The discussion forums have produced various solutions to problems in the field of sustainability in the context of higher education up to now. Dialogue with millennials to analyze and provide the best recommendations is an invaluable transfer of knowledge throughout my academic exploration.

There are several realizations of the green campus program that became a reference and motivated me as an Ambassador for the SDGs Campus of Universitas Hasanuddin so that in the future the framework can be made and implemented massively and inclusively, including: Assembling and using electric motors from the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh November which aims to create adaptive- the behavior of the academic community and the surrounding community to start switching to the use of low-emission and carbon vehicles, waste management innovation through the Rumah Inovasi Daur Ulang (RINDU) program to collect and process all waste at Universitas Gadjah Mada which is integrated with research, community services, education, and application of rainwater runoff management through the construction of 8 reservoirs (embung) and 8,000 points of biopore infiltration holes at UIN Raden Intan Lampung. These nnovations should be implemented by every campus in Indonesia in order to create a campus environment that upholds the concept of SIS (Smart, Integrated, and Sustainable).

On the third day, the agenda of learning while traveling in Ketapang Harbor and Pahawang Island provided an opportunity for my friends and I to take real action as Environmental Enthusiasts which was implemented in mangrove planting activities as well as cleaning beaches from plastic waste. As we know, plastic waste is the biggest enemy of the environment that needs to be mitigated from now on. The waste problem is not over yet as well as other aspects so that it requires the contribution of multistakeholders to accelerate the achievement of sustainability in the campus environment in accordance with the 17th point of the SDGs, namely Partnerships for the Goals.

The 1st National Student Leader on Sustainability Meeting (NSLSM) 2021 activity is an extraordinary momentum between UI GreenMetric, UIN Raden Intan Lampung, 30 best students from each province in Indonesia to create an integrated and ideal arrangement and infrastructure, accelerate energy transition, proactively utilizing new and renewable energy, mitigating and preventing the multiplier effect of climate change, encouraging an environmentally sound water management system, accelerating integrated waste management and utilization, maximizing the application of green and smart transportation, optimizing the advantages of educational aspects and strengthening scientific awareness through sustainable research. NSLSM is a step to transform our sustainability campus, both now and into the future. Youth at the forefront of sustainability for the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.


by Samintang, Universitas Hasanuddin