Among those negative impacts of climate that respondents listed were respiratory problems and disruption to food production from the longer dry season, greater exposure to water-borne illness and increases in mosquitos carrying Dengue and Chikungunya from frequent heavy rain and flooding, and increased illness from sudden changes in weather.
In 2012, Climate Asia, a BBC Media Action project, conducted a survey of 4,985 Indonesian households on perceptions of climate change and environmental changes as well as changes to other aspects of life such as water and energy. The research sought to understand how people respond to these changes.
Many Indonesians recognize recent changes to rainfall and temperature. Kalimantan and Sulawesi are notable. In Kalimantan, 88% of respondents perceived increased temperature and 69% perceived decreased rainfall. In Sulawesi, 81% perceived increased rainfall and 49% perceived increased temperature.
Half of the total population of Indonesia recognized increased temperature, especially if they lived in urban areas. The differences in rainfall perception in the report demonstrate variability of climate across the archipelago. A large majority of respondents perceived greater unpredictability of temperature, rainfall, and extreme weather events Across the country, a large majority of people perceived decreases in trees; 68% in Northern Sumatra (notably, the province of the Leuser Ecosystem), 97% in Kalimantan, 70% of Southern, Sumatra, 67% in Western Java. Overall, 63% of Indonesians perceived deforestation. 48% perceived species loss.
56% of Indonesians have heard of the term climate change. 24% have heard of it but do not know what it means. 17% had not heard of it. 74% of Indonesians believe climate change is happening. Of that 74%, 72% perceived one of the major causes to be deforestation. 54% of the 74% also listed population growth.
90% of urban dwellers are aware of climate change. 95% of Kalimantan residents are aware of climate change due to interventions to curb deforestation in the province. Respondents listed the type of climate change information they wanted; 74% listed information of future impacts, 70% listed information on the causes of climate change, and 60% wanted greater education on how to respond to climate change. For example, citizens of Jakarta anticipate more severe flooding and therefore wanted more information on how to prepare for floods.
22% of people in Indonesia “felt that they were experiencing a high level of impact now from changes in climate and the lack of availability of key resources”. This percent increases to 34% among the very poor. In particular, people in large urban areas worry that the impact will worsen in the future. 85% of surveyed people stated that changes in weather negatively impact their health. Among those negative impacts that respondents listed were respiratory problems and disruption to food production from the longer dry season, greater exposure to water-borne illness and increases in mosquitos carrying Dengue and Chikungunya from frequent heavy rain and flooding, and increased illness from sudden changes in weather.
The strongest motivators for climate action among respondents was a desire to be healthy (79% strongly agreed this was a motivation for taking climate action, 18% agreed) and the desire for a better future for their children (74% strongly agreed, 46% agreed). 48% strongly agreed and 46% agreed that care for the natural environment was a motivation. 44% strongly agreed and 46% agreed that the need to survive motivated them to take prevention action. Indonesians had the highest confidence (88% had confidence and 9% did not) in their local neighborhood when it came to responding to changes in water, food, energy supplies and weather followed by the local government (75%), provincial government (65%) and the national government (63%). Indonesians have the greatest faith in their local communities to address climate change and its effects.