Project with Indonesia: Cultural contexts of SDGs in a South-North-South perspective

Understanding cultural contexts of SDG implementations was at the core of two AGEF projects, financed by ASEA UNINET. In close cooperation with the Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta and the Sebelas Maret University in Surakarta, local-regional implications of Sustainable Development Goals 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and 15 (Life on Land) have been analysed and put in a South-North-South (South America – Europe – Indonesia) comparison.

Martin CoyChristian ObermayrRobert Hafner, Widiyanto Widiyanto and Sebastian Pihan paired up with colleagues from the Netherlands and Indonesia to kick-start the projects with a seminar on social-ecological transformation. Master and PhD students were given the opportunity to explore different approaches towards social-ecological transformation. A special highlight was the exchange between practitioners and scientists: Unearthing diverging interpretations of common conceptions was a great success!

Additionally, a project worshop was designed to deepen and understand socio-culturally influenced perspectives on human-environment-society-science-relationships. We discussed how far regional contexts and interpretational patterns of SDGs influence the (non) reachability of global goals. Concrete examples were tobacco and soy production in the Global South, water management and disaster risk reduction (DRR), or the handling of policy arrangements in the field of social housing. From an Austrian perspective, the transmission of current conceptional discussions of implementation strategies towards sustainable development was at the foreground. A special focus was put on smal-scale economic circles, questions of endogenous development potentials and regionality, concrete approaches of the creation of regional products, and direct marketing.

The third part focussed on empirical field work in urban and rural settings. Re-settlements of squatter away from areas at risk for floodings as well as a participatory project of flood and catastrophe management have been visited. Additionally, a field visit in Klaten (water governance) offered interesting insights into actor constellations and showed processes of privatisation and conflicts in relation to the resource of water. During the activities it was shown that the comparison among Argentina/Brazil, Austria and Indonesa offers high potential scientifically, but also societally.


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