SARDEIN Vol. 3: The Important Role of Villages and Local Communities in the Circular Economy

SARDEIN Vol. 3: The Important Role of Villages and Local Communities in the Circular Economy


Zachary Nichols-Lang

Student Intern, ACICIS - Center for World Trade Studies Universitas Gadjah Mada.


Lukas Andri Surya Singarimbun

Website Manager, Center for World Trade Studies Universitas Gadjah Mada.

On Sunday (12/03), CWTS UGM collaborated with the Suryakanta Institute and Sumberharjo Green Tourism Exploration (JWHS) to deliver Volume 3 of the Sarasehan* Indonesian Economic Democracy (SARDEIN). This Sarasehan was held in Sumberharjo Village, Yogyakarta, with the theme "Vision of the Indonesian Circular Economy: Where is the Position of Villages and Local Communities?". Discussions were attended by local policy stakeholders of the Special Region of Yogyakarta (DIY), as well as practitioners and academics. Volume 3 of SARDEIN was also used to generate momentum for launching a book compiled by CWTS UGM and circular economic experts from various fields.

The SARDEIN workshop commenced with Klero Hamlet, Sriwidodo, welcoming the speakers and presenters to the Sumber Budhaya Building, which is said to hold historical significance for the people of Sumberharjo. Remarks were continued by the Head of CWTS UGM, Dr. Riza Noer Arfani, who identified the purpose of SARDEIN as a forum for discussion and knowledge dissemination, especially learning about circular economy practices at a local level context by involving various elements of society. During the event, Dr. Riza officially launched a book titled "Circular Economy in Universal Ideas and Local Practices" as CWTS UGM's contribution to developing a circular economy in 10 potential Indonesian sectors.

The Head of Sumberharjo Urban Village, Kurniawan Widiyanto, S.E, started discussions by highlighting that the village's 3R system (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) has not been maximally implemented. Kurniawan emphasized the importance of collaboration between the local government, university academics, the community, and local industry to campaign for circular economic practices at the sub-district and village levels, such as in Sumberharjo.

Director of the Independent Study and Administration Institute, Agus Hartono, S.S., discussed the problem of waste, which remains a long-term burden for Yogyakarta. Agus shared his belief that the government must maintain a firm approach toward managing waste with local communities and commercial industry. Agus further elaborated that companies should design products made from materials that are easy for consumers to process.

Ishadi Zayid, S.H., Head of the Sleman Regency Tourism Office, raised the environmental sustainability aspect of DIY’s provincial tourism sector as a topic for discussion. Ishadi expressed the commitment of the Sleman Tourism Office to developing community-based tourism that does not cause harm to the environment or conflict with the socio-cultural aspects of local communities. This commitment is manifested in the SAPTA PESONA campaign: Security, Orderly, Cleanliness, Coolness, Beauty, Friendliness, and Memories.

Representing the DIY Cooperatives and Small-Medium Enterprises (UKM) Office, the Head of the Cooperative and SME Entrepreneurship Services Division, Wisnu Harmawan, S.P., MT. said that 90% of DIY SMEs are still constrained in developing environmentally sustainable businesses due to a lack of financial support and guidance. Furthermore, based on European countries' rejection of DIY-based SME products, Wisnu conveyed the importance of pushing for environmental sustainability certification to expand these SME products into international markets.

SARDEIN Volume 3 was closed by Rizky Alif Alvian, MIR., CWTS UGM researcher and editor of the book "Circular Economy in Universal Ideas and Local Practices," which underlined the book's findings related to four circular economy trends visible in Indonesia. These trends include 1) circular economy practices driven from above (e.g., governments or international organizations); 2) practices driven from below (e.g., society and community); 3) potential production process improvement; 4) potential for policy making at the industrial level.

* Sarasehan (in Bahasa) is a semi-formal discussion between experts and audiences on certain issues.