CWTS UGM and FISIPOL UGM Held Circular Economy Policy Forum

PSPD dan FISIPOL UGM Adakan Forum Kebijakan Ekonomi Sirkular


Maria Angela Koes Sarwendah

Kepala Divisi Diseminasi, Pusat Studi Perdagangan Dunia Universitas Gadjah Mada.

Penulis :

Lukas Andri Surya Singarimbun

Website Manager, Pusat Studi Perdagangan Dunia Universitas Gadjah Mada.

Penulis :

Christina Vania Winona

Writer, Pusat Studi Perdagangan Dunia Universitas Gadjah Mada.

Centre for World Trade Studies (CWTS) UGM and the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIPOL) UGM organized the Forum on Sustainable Development Policy, Circular Economy, and Industrial Transformation on Tuesday (6/12). As part of the UGM International Forum for Inclusive and Sustainable Development in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean Region, this forum aims to generate policy proposals on trade and industrial transformation based on the circular economy through multi-stakeholder dialogues. The forum participants at the UGM Central Building include WTO delegates, national and local governments, academicians, local communities, and businesses. 

The Policy Forum was opened by Dr. Wawan Mas'udi, Dean of FISIPOL UGM, and Dr. Riza Noer Arfani, Head of CWTS UGM. Dr. Wawan and Dr. Riza emphasized the importance of learning from the community as initiators of the circular economy in formulating policies. "There is no need for overly theoretical frameworks, but we can learn from grassroots initiatives," said Dr. Wawan. Together with Dr. Poppy Sulistyaning Winanti, Vice Dean for Academic and Student Affairs at FISIPOL UGM, Dr. Riza facilitated the first session of discussions, featuring presentations from Dr. Werner Zdouc (Director of the Knowledge and Information Management, Academic Outreach and WTO Chairs Programme Division of the WTO), H.E. Dandy Iswara (Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia II in Geneva/Ambassador), Dr. M. Pramono Hadi, M.Sc. (Head of the Center for Environmental Studies at UGM), and Prof. Dr. Catur Sugiyanto, MA (Head of the Center for Economic Democracy Studies at UGM).

In his speech, Dr. Werner Zdouc underlined the importance of the circular economy in replacing the traditional economy that exploits resources and harms the environment. In the context of circular economy development in ASEAN, Latin America, and the Caribbean (SEA-LAC) countries, Dr. Werner mentioned the urgency of addressing several issues, such as the definition and classification of end-of-life products, conformity assessment procedures, licensing, trade-related issues, and capacity building related to trade. It is also essential for SEA-LAC governments to not only promote a circular economy among business stakeholders but also raise consumer awareness and engage civil society in sustainable consumption practices.

Continuing from Dr. Werner, H.E. Dandy Iswara highlighted Indonesia's interest in cooperating to implement COP26 and the Paris Agreement amidst significant population growth. Indonesia has several targets, including implementing the circular economy to reduce emissions and sustainable fisheries targets. H.E. Dandy also emphasized the need for national and international collaboration to achieve effective and equitable implementation of the circular economy for each country.

Representing the academic community, Dr. M. Pramono Hadi, M.Sc., highlighted the potential realization of the circular economy through increased forest role in carbon sequestration. Dr. Pramono identified five key sectors that need attention in low-carbon development planning: forestry, agriculture, energy and transportation, industry, and waste and garbage. Besides forests, the circular economy can also be applied in developing dairy farming businesses. Prof. Catur Sugiyanto, MA, stressed that institutional improvement, technology, and support are pivotal in developing micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that contribute to the circular economy.

The event continued with a policy formulation session, where representatives from regional authorities, communities, and companies exchanged ideas and shared their sector-specific policies and practices. Various interesting issues emerged, such as priorities between mindset change and profit-based approaches, characteristics and availability of space in each region, recycling monitoring and evaluation issues, challenges in committing to circular economy initiatives, and concrete strategies that can be implemented through cross-sector synergies.

The Policy Forum concluded with a presentation by Prof. Daniel C. Esty from Yale University. After appreciating the outcomes of the G20 Indonesia and placing hope in Indonesia's leadership in ASEAN in 2023 in his remarks, Prof. Daniel emphasized three crucial elements in implementing the circular economy in Indonesia. First, there is a need to improve and strengthen policy frameworks at the global, national, and sub-national levels. Second, there is a need for a shift in business norms, mindset, and facilitation in financial and trade aspects directed toward climate action. Lastly, a social movement from all segments of society and the government is necessary to drive the transition from a linear to a circular economy.

In the end, the Policy Forum agreed to accommodate the formulation of circular economy regulations that address various aspirations. Some of the conclusions reached include (1) the establishment of regulations that are not merely top-down and minimally supervised but accompanied by multi-sector alternatives; (2) increased research on intangible aspects such as lifestyle patterns; (3) the creation of a flowchart of circular economy solutions that maximize the elements of customs, religion, education, culture, law, and local economy. The agreement is expected to be material for the CWTS UGM policy roadshow in early 2023, initially focused on the KARTAMANTUL region (Yogyakarta City, Sleman Regency, and Bantul Regency).