According to the national education system, Islamic higher education institutions have a significant role in gross enrollment rates. Meanwhile, the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) displays the national higher education's rate that is at around 35 percent in 2030. However, this is not in line with their achievements in the UI GreenMetric 2022 index.
At the end of 2022, the University of Indonesia GreenMetric (UIGM) 2022 released data analysis excerpted from numerous universities globally. Unfortunately, it is not encouraging enough for Islamic Education, especially in the context of environmental commitments and ethics, as well as climate change in Islamic Higher Education (PTKI).
The index is a worldwide ranking of domestic and foreign universities dealing with the achievements of environmental management and response to the climate change. The index layed on the some strict criterias such as settings and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste, water, transportation, education and research
Followed by 1.050 universities from 85 countries, only Raden Intan Lampung State Islamic University (UIN) is at the top 10 (ranked 8th national university) and top 100 (ranked 61st global university) from PTKI institutions as in the UIGM 202 ranking index announced.
This achievement can be seen from two sides: pride and concern. UIN Lampung has shown itself to be able to break through the ranks of higher education institutions which have received high ratings from various aspects of the assessment covering the campus environtmental ecosystem.
However, the important achievement of UIN Lampung also raises concerns because it looks "alone" from public and private PTKI environtment within the UIGM 2022 participation. This implies few fundamental things to the Islamic Higher Education fixtures regarding awareness of environmental culture and ethics in Islamic education.
First, with the entity as the largest muslim population in the world, awareness of the environment should ideally be part of the public agenda in a constructive initiaves where Islamic education is one of its prominent indicators. Supposedly, Islamic education is closely related to the message of the need to protect the environment and climate change. Due to the Islamic teachings, the command to keep the environment clean is said to be part of faith.
Second, environmental awareness and climate change ethics have not been created as both structured and fungtionalized academic and educational elements at the Islamic Religious Higher Education level. Even though, in terms of population, it is not as large as regular universities (perguruan tinggi umum/PTU), the support from the reality as the largest Islamic community entity in the world inevitably makes PTKI fixtures an important and strategic role referred to the urgency of mainstreaming environmental awareness and climate change.
Last year Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its red alarm, commencing the climate crisis was accelerating rapidly with only a narrow chance left of avoiding its worst havocs. Moreover, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has said recurrently that the problem of climate change has led humanity to the "window of disaster".
Significantly, the affirmation of the global declaration is in line with the strategic position of higher education in this regard. The Declaration of the Muslim World League on the Environment in 2015 emphasized the role of education as an important element and strategic capability in shaping people's awareness about the environment and climate change.
This is clearly stated in the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change (IDGCC) which was held in Istanbul in 2015. The IDGCC (article 1.6) considers that since the development of the Industrial Revolution mankind has been consuming non-renewable natural resources uncontrollably in the name of economic development and the achievements of human civilization. As a result, this exploitative act took 250 million years for the earth to recover. This is the reality of damage (fasad) which has been a warning from the Koran from an early age.
In terms of caring for the earth, being wise towards natural resources and responding to climate change, IDGCC reminds Muslims around the world to cast the Prophet Muhammad SAW a role model. In all his actions, embedded all the nobility of attribution respect for humans, the environment, flora and fauna. Obviously, this in itself is a reflection of Islam as a religion of rahmatan lil alamin, the religion that calls for compassion for all of nature and its contents, a part the precise definition of current massive campaign namely religious moderation (Moderasi Beragama).
Furthermore, at this time a new awareness, shared enthusiasm, and concrete steps are needed to revitalize the declaration for several reasons. First, the need for joint reflection on efforts to respect the environment and raise awareness about climate change. The IDGCC should ideally be an alarm to raise people's awareness about climate change, not just waiting for other parties to act first. Global warming should be suppressed and prevented if efforts are made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a fast, structured and large-scale manner. As the largest muslim community in the world, Indonesia can of course play a significant role.
Second, for Indonesian muslims and Islamic higher education finsitutions, the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change (IDGCC) should be able to become part of the basic guidelines for policies and implementing good practices responding to climate change and massive natural damage. At this point, the role of mosques, da'wah institutions, and Islamic educational institutions and their stakeholders can become important epicenters with other nation's elements.
However, higher education intitutions cannot walk alone in their assignments. Education is an organic unit at all levels. Numerous concerns at the higher education institutions in overcoming environmental problems and climate change must go hand in hand with primary and secondary education too. As scientists all around the world emphasis, education is a small unit but have significant role to build mass awareness.
Saiful Maarif, HRD Assessor at the Directorate General of Islamic Education, Ministry of Religious Affairs