Atjeh Greens in Aceh: brave and united

Australian Greens

Founded in 2013, the Atjeh Greens are growing stronger with every passing year. And in 2024, there is a good chance they will contest the Indonesian general election – and shake up politics while they do it.

By Fahmi Cherly

The Atjeh Greens or Partai Atjeh Hijau (PAH) was founded in 2013 for very strategic reasons. Aceh is a province in Indonesia that has abundant natural resource wealth, and community participation in natural resource management, with a sustainable and equitable approach, must be practiced in strategic steps.

At this time, political parties in Indonesia do not have enough platforms that have a green framework. Therefore, young people and environmental activists in Aceh took the initiative to establish the Partai Atjeh Hijau to ensure sustainable and equitable principles in the management of natural resources.

The main goal of the PAH is to educate the community through political education; community involvement in determining political policies; voicing aspirations to policy makers; and strengthening the bargaining position of local communities in political battles with elites. Strengthening society through various strategies is a prerequisite in upholding development justice and harmonising true life. If the community is not strengthened through political education, the community will experience social, economic and cultural pressure.

After 2006, Aceh entered a new phase with fundamental changes in political conditions. This is indicated by the existence of a peace agreement between the Aceh Freedom Movement or Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (GAM) and the Government of Indonesia. This condition marked the end of a long conflict in Aceh. The tsunami in late 2004 was also a reason for stopping the conflict.

The consequence of the peace agreement is a memorandum of understanding. One important point of the memorandum was that Aceh had the opportunity to establish a local party as a form of privilege for Aceh. Local parties only exist in Aceh and not in other provinces in Indonesia. Young people and environmental activists in Aceh perceive this as an opportunity to fight for a better future for Aceh. For this reason, the Atjeh Greens Party was founded.

IDC program support

Support from the Australian Greens’ International Development Committee (IDC) for the Atjeh Greens has enabled the party to become an official party candidate that can fight in the contestation of political parties and deliver strong representatives to parliament.

To fight in the official election contestation, the Atjeh Green Party must fulfill several important requirements, including strengthening the structure to the lowest level, registering with legal entities, strengthening cadres and campaigns to reach all levels of society. These efforts continue through consolidation and political education.

At present, the Atjeh Greens Party has structures in seven districts and cities. In addition, cadres from this party also began to be involved and active in voicing ideas in determining strategic policies in Aceh. Cadres ensure that each policy has an environmental perspective, is fair and respects local groups.

The existence of the Atjeh Greens Party in Aceh received a warm reception from the people, especially young people, indigenous people, and educated people. This speech was caused by new ideas delivered by the Atjeh Greens Party and became an important capital for the future of a sustainable, just and prosperous Aceh.

From day to day, the number of members continues to grow and the position of the Atjeh Greens Party will become stronger. In the 2024 election, there is a great chance the Atjeh Green Party will become one of the contestants in the election.

Fahmi Cherly works in the Communication and Campaign division of Partai Atjeh Hijau

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