The Jakarta Post
Petitions on environmental issues dominated Indonesia’s digital movements in 2018 with the number of people signing them having increased by 17 times compared to last year, according to online petition platform change.org.
Indonesia‘s change.org director, Arief Aziz, said this year was different from the previous two years, which were dominated by human rights and tolerance issues.
“It was significant compared to last year. There were 118,000 people voicing environmental concerns in 2017. In 2018, the number rose 17 times to more than 2.1 million people,” he said in a statement.
There were also some petitions that achieved “victory” in real life, such as a petition to punish forest-burning companies, a petition supporting two expert witnesses in a court trial, a petition to ban using birds-of-paradise as accessories or souvenirs and a petition against the transfer of whale sharks from Berau to Ancol.
“The most popular petition is the one demanding an Indonesian Forest Day. Although it hasn’t won yet, it is supported by 413,000 signatures,” he said.
Meanwhile, animal protection petitions are the second most popular this year with 1.9 million votes, following with 794,000 signatures on anticorruption petitions, 701,000 on violence against women, 598,000 on democracy and 580,000 on tolerance.
Change.org also recorded a rapid increase in the number of users in 2018. In 2018, the number increased to 6.5 million, compared to 2.5 million in 2017.
The number of users who succeeded in making or changing policies also increased to almost 2 million in 2018. This figure has quadrupled from 2017, which means that one in three users enjoyed victory in 2018.
Arief said Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya was one of the most responsive policy makers since she responded 12 times through change.org.
“The more people give their voices, the more policy makers listen and make policies in line with the public interest,” Arief said. (ggq)