UWaterloo IDG Proposes Ambitious Multi-Faculty Project
Combatting Climate Change in Indonesia:
For decades, the University of Waterloo has successfully collaborated with various Indonesian stakeholders. As a notable example, from 2015 until early 2021 UWaterloo’s Department of Statistics & Actuarial Science implemented the Global Affairs Canada-funded Risk Management, Economic Sustainability and Actuarial Science Development in Indonesia (READI) project. In collaboration with several Government of Indonesia ministries, selected leading universities, and Indonesian insurance industry partners, READI was a huge success. READI helped Indonesia move from zero undergrad actuarial science study programs in 2015 to 16 programs, scattered across three of the country’s main islands by late 2020. The project also successfully introduced work-integrated (co-op) learning programs and helped strengthen the actuary profession in Indonesia.
Building on this success, and the many dynamic partnerships developed, the University of Waterloo’s International Development Group (UWaterloo IDG) has developed an ambitious proposal for a multi-pronged project to help Indonesia adapt to and mitigate ever-accelerating global warming and climate change. The proposal for the $15,000,000 Flood Impacts, Carbon Pricing, and Ecosystem Sustainability (FINCAPES) project was submitted to Global Affairs Canada in late August 2022. An additional contribution of $750,000 from Prasetiya Mulya University in Indonesia has been committed to support the delivery of the project.
As a joint effort between UWaterloo’s Faculty of Mathematics, and Faculty of Environment, the 5.5-year FINCAPES project aims to provide technical assistance, capacity building and applied research support to help selected Government of Indonesia departments, university partners, and industry and civil society representatives undertake gender responsive applied research and development initiatives to tackle key climate change adaptation and mitigation challenges and protect biodiversity. This will be achieved via three major components.
UWaterloo will work with an Indonesian university partner to develop a virtual center of excellence (COE) for research, development, and pilot-testing of improved policies to support the Government of Indonesia’s multisectoral carbon pricing/taxing, and carbon cap & trade program objectives. The Carbon Pricing, Cap & Trade COE will serve as an information hub, think tank and laboratory for policy development in this critical area
A second university-based COE will be established to lead and undertake research, development, and piloting of nature-based approaches to help Indonesia conserve and restore critical peatland, and mangrove resources. Working with leading researchers, civil society partners, and selected industries, FINCAPES and its university partner will help establish in-field “living laboratories” for the development and testing of best practices in peatland and mangrove restoration and promote and disseminate proven best practices so that they can be scaled up and replicated.
The third FINCAPES component will bring together government, university, civil society, and insurance industry partners to apply actuarial expertise to identify the probability and intensity of climate change exacerbated flood events, and to quantify the potential socioeconomic costs and losses associated with such events. The project will also collaborate with local partners to identify strategies to help stakeholders mitigate the negative impacts of flooding, potentially via innovative insurance products, nature-based solutions, or responsive social assistance strategies. All three components will include applied research activities, work-integrated learning opportunities, and coaching and capacity building for Indonesian partners.
UWaterloo received a formal response on the FINCAPES proposal from Global Affairs Canada on November 16, 2022. The FINCAPES project can now be found on the Global Affairs Canada project profiles listing here. A multidisciplinary project design team will be fielded in the new year and an official launch of the project scheduled for late February 2023.