ICEL

ICEL

Aturan Transgenik Abaikan Prinsip Kehati-hatian

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Peraturan Menteri Pertanian Nomor 61/2011 tentang Pengujian, Penilaian, Pelepasan, dan Penarikan Varietas, mengabaikan prinsip kehati-hatian.

Demi kepentingan jangka pendek dan investor, Menteri Pertanian dinilai tidak memedulikan dampak serius produk rekayasa genetika pada lingkungan dan kesehatan warganya.

Hal ini mengemuka dalam diskusi yang menghadirkan Tejo Wahyu Jatmiko (koordinator Aliansi untuk Desa Sejahtera), Henri Subagiyo (Direktur Eksekutif Indonesian Center for Enviromental Law/ICEL), dan Huzna Zahir (Yayasan Lembaga Konsumen Indonesia), Kamis (20/10/2011) di Jakarta.

“Prinsip Kehati-hatian merupakan prinsip dasar dalam menangani produk hasil rekayasa genetik, dengan diakuinya potensi dampak lingkungan, sosial ekonomi, dan kesehatan. Sangat jelas, hal ini tidak menjadi roh dari permentan itu. Alasan demi menerapkan amanat MP3EI yang berpihak pada investor, membuat Menteri Pertanian berani mengabaikan kepentingan publik. Ini jelas salah,” ucap Tejo.

Ia menunjukkan, pemerintah tidak mau belajar dari kesalahan 10 tahun lalu saat pelepasan kapas transgenik milik Monsanto yang merugikan petani dan gagal memenuhi janji.

“Perlu diingat saat itu keputusan juga dilakukan tergesa-gesa, dan sembunyi-sembunyi untuk memfasilitasi kepentingan perusahaan,” katanya.

[Siaran Pers Bersama] Surat Terbuka Untuk Presiden Republik Indonesia Dalam Rangka Right To Know Day

Kepada Yang Terhormat:

  1. Presiden Republik Indonesia
  2. Kepala Unit Kerja Presiden Bidang Pengawasan dan Pengendalian Pembangunan (UKP4)
  3. Menteri Lingkungan Hidup Republik Indonesia Republik Indonesia
  4. Menteri Luar Negeri Republik Indonesia Republik Indonesia
  5. Menteri Negara Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional Republik Indonesia (BAPPENAS)
  6. Menteri Komunikasi dan Informatika Republik Indonesia
  7. Komisi Informasi Pusat Republik Indonesia
  8. Gubernur Provinsi Jawa Tengah
  9. Gubernur Provinsi Banten
  10. Komisi Informasi Provinsi Jawa Tengah
  11. Komisi Informasi Provinsi Banten
  12. Bupati Jepara
  13. Bupati Serang

Baca Selengkapnya[Siaran Pers Bersama] Surat Terbuka Untuk Presiden Republik Indonesia Dalam Rangka Right To Know Day

Perkara Lingkungan Harus Diadili Hakim Lingkungan

Mahkamah Agung menerbitkan aturan tentang sertifikasi hakim lingkungan. Dalam Surat Keputusan Mahkamah Agung No 134/KMA/SK/IX/2011, yang baru diterbitkan 5 September lalu, mengharuskan perkara lingkungan hidup ditangani hakim yang bersertifikat lingkungan.

“Perkara lingkungan hidup harus diadili oleh hakim lingkungan hidup,” demikian bunyi rumusan Pasal 5 ayat (1). Pasal 2 menegaskan pula “Perkara lingkungan hidup harus diadili oleh hakim lingkungan hidup yang bersertifikat dan telah diangkat oleh Ketua Mahkamah Agung”.

Sertifikasi hakim lingkungan hidup bertujuan untuk meningkatkan efektivitas penanganan perkara-perkara lingkungan hidup di pengadilan. Hal ini merupakan bagian dari upaya perlindungan lingkungan hidup dan pemenuhan rasa keadilan. 

Aturan sertifikasi hakim lingkungan diterbitkan antara lain karena Mahkamah Agung memandang pengadilan memiliki tanggung jawab untuk memastikan penegakan hukum lingkungan hidup dan sumber daya alam di Indonesia berjalan dengan baik. Oleh karena itu, perkara lingkungan hidup perlu ditangani secara khusus dan oleh hakim yang kompeten.

Ketua Dewan Eksekutif Daerah Wahana Lingkungan Hidup (Walhi), Suryadi, menyambut baik terbitnya Surat Keputusan Ketua MA tersebut. “Itu sangat diperlukan,” ujarnya kepada hukumonline, “agar penanganan perkara lingkungan lebih terarah”.

Direktur Eksekutif Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), Henri Subagyo, mengatakan Surat Keputusan Ketua MA tersebut membuat sistem dan kapasitas hakim lingkungan menjadi tertata. Selama ini, yang ada baru berupa pendidikan khusus, sehingga lebih pada kemampuan perseorangan. Surat Keputusan 5 September lalu lebih menata sistem rekrutmen hakim khusus lingkungan dan penempatan mereka.

Sebelum SK No 134 keluar sebenarnya Mahkamah Agung sudah mendidik banyak hakim khusus lingkungan. Bahkan para hakim lingkungan diajak mengadakan studi banding ke luar negeri. Namun Suryadi menilai keberadaan para hakim itu belum terlalu signifikan menegakkan hukum lingkungan. 

Memang, kata Suryadi, hakim tak bisa sepenuhnya disalahkan dalam penanganan kasus lingkungan. Sebab, hakim adalah penjaga gawang. Titik awal penanganan kasus pidana lingkungan justru ada di tangan polisi, Penyidik Pegawai Negeri Sipil (PPNS), dan jaksa. Jika sejak penyelidikan, penyidikan, dan penuntutan sudah bermasalah, penanganan kasus lingkungan di muka pengadilan tak akan optimal. Lain halnya jika yang muncul adalah gugatan perdata lingkungan hidup.

Jenis Perkara Lingkungan Hidup

a. Pelangaran terhadap peraturan administrasi di bidang perlindungan dan pengelolaan lingkungan hidup, termasuk peraturan kehutanan, perkebunan, pertambangan, pesisir dan kelautan, tata ruang, sumber daya air, energi, perindustrian, dan konservasi sumber daya alam.

b. Pelanggaran ketentuan perdata dan pidana di bidang perlindungan dan pengelolaan lingkungan hidup, termasuk peraturan kehutanan, perkebunan, pertambangan, pesisir dan kelautan, tata ruang, sumber daya air, energi, perindustrian, dan konservasi sumber daya alam.

Detasering

Henri mengatakan Mahkamah Agung perlu menetapkan jumlah hakim agung yang dibutuhkan. Untuk itu perlu dilakukan analisis. Jika kebutuhan hakim lingkungan sudah terpenuhi, kekhawatiran terhadap kapasitas hakim di pengadilan bisa dikurangi. Kalaupun di suatu pengadilan tidak ada hakim bersertifikat, SK 134 sudah memberi jalan keluar.

Pertama, tidak perlu semua anggota majelis mendapatkan sertifikasi. Cukup ketua majelis hakim yang sudah punya sertifikat. Kedua, kalaupun di pengadilan itu tak ada satu pun hakim bersertifikat, Ketua Pengadilan Tinggi setempat menunjuk hakim dari pengadilan lain yang ada di wilayahnya secara detasering.

Dalam detasering, hakim tertentu ditunjuk untuk menangani perkara di pengadilan yang bukan tempat tugas resminya. Detasering pernah dipakai untuk menangani perkara kekerasan di Ambon, dan bisa dipakai untuk kasus hak asasi manusia.

Berdasarkan SK Ketua MA, jika ternyata di level Pengadilan Tinggi masih tetap belum ada hakim bersertifikat hakim lingkungan, Ketua Mahkamah Agung dapat langsung menunjuk hakim yang menangani perkara lingkungan hidup. Ketua Pengadilan Tinggi mengusulkan hakim yang akan ditunjuk untuk memimpin sidang perkara lingkungan tersebut.

Participants in Indonesian Training to Submit Requests

Some 40 participants in a recent training session in Indonesia have agreed to each submit 10 requests under the Indonesian FOI law.

The participants come from different civil society groups and will have support from the Centre for Law and Democracy, based in Halifax, Canada, and the Indonesian Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI).

The commitment developed from a series of training sessions in late June at which a new manual on the Indonesian Act on Public Information Transparency,which came into force in May 2010. “The project is designed to raise awareness within Indonesia about international standards on secrecy, and is providing input into the ongoing debate about a secrecy law in Indonesia,” according to CLD. The manual can be accessed both in English and in Bahasa Indonesia.

CLD is partnering on this project with a number of Indonesian organizations, including PATTIRO, the Alliance of Independent Journalists, Yayasan 28, Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL) and Yayasan SET.  “We will also work closely with the Central Information Commission and other public bodies to implement this project.”

CLD is offering financial support to participants, as well as technical support with the requesting process along with AJI.

“In connection with this project, CLD is also working to develop a number of knowledge tools, including a comparative study on approaches to secrecy in different countries around the world, a paper on the consequences of excessive secrecy, a comparative study on the work of information commissions and a study on the steps taken so far by select public bodies in Indonesia, as well as the gaps in preparing for implementation of the law,” CLD said.

‘Disgraceful’ enforcement of clean-up laws

Activists say that Indonesia’s environment is at risk due to the government’s failure to enforce reclamation and post-mining rehabilitation regulations on the nation’s mining companies.

“We’ve seen poor awareness on the needs and the importance of reclamation and post-mining rehabilitation despite existing rules on mandatory activities to repair the environmental impacts of mining,” Dyah Paramita, a researcher from Indonesia Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), said.

The government has not fully enforced two rules that oblige companies to reclaim and rehabilitate abandoned mines: the 2009 Law on Mineral and Coal Mining and a 2010 government regulation on reclamation and post-mining rehabilitation.

In Samarinda, East Kalimantan, for example, nine companies with mining exploration licenses, two companies with exploration concessions and eight companies with exploitation concessions were given a green light despite their failure to pay reclamation fees.

“It is disgraceful to see our government give its approval to mining companies to start their activities even in the absence of completely fulfilled requirements,” Dyah said, adding that as of May, the East Kalimantan administration issued mining licenses for 65 areas comprising about 80 percent of Samarinda.

Two local regulations explicitly described the rules for reclamation.

“It is clear that mining companies must first deal with the requirements on reclamation before starting their activities,” Carolus Tuah, an activist from Samarinda-based Pokja 30, said, adding that most mining companies could negotiate compliance with the administration.

“It seems that it is getting easier to obtain a mining license in Samarinda,” Tuah said, citing as example the local administration’s issuance of 38 mining licenses between 2006-2008, up from 16 between 2001 and 2006.

“Many miners claimed that they have ‘reclaimed’ the mines by reconfiguring the abandoned mine pits as fishing ponds, or other such irrelevant activities. Post-mining rehabilitation means revegetation,” Tuah said.

Amid lax enforcement, environmental damage in Samarinda continues to worsen. Floods have become commonplace as mining has led to erosion and large-scale flooding.

Tuah said mining companies in Samarinda had burdened the local administration instead of providing a significant financial contribution to the local budget.

“We have to spend a lot of money to mitigate the impact, including floods, caused by the mining activities, which has created a local budget deficit during the last two periods,” Tuah said. “Massive mining in Samarinda has not significantly contributed to the sustainable prosperity of its people.”

A recent ICEL report said that reclamation fees were the only requirement imposed by the Indonesian government on mining companies to ensure a responsible approach was taken to preserve the environment and to replace soil damaged during their work.

The study added that mining companies should pay “reasonable” attention to reclamation and post-mining rehabilitation so abandoned mines might be made usable again.

Local mining companies, the report said, paid little attention to post-mining rehabilitation, leaving a huge amount of environmental damage in the wake of their work.

“It is funny to see how we can hear and see the damage resulting from mining but we cannot get the names of those who were really responsible,” Dyah said.

Abandoned mine reclamation funds were one initiative that might be developed.

“Mining companies operating in Indonesia should be more responsible for post-mining rehabilitation by allocating a significant amount of funds, taken from their revenue, for abandoned mine reclamation,” Dyah said.

The government would then have more money for things such as healthcare and education, since it would not have to pay to mitigate the damage caused by private mining companies, Dyah said.

Penanganan Pascatambang Tak Terencana

Jakarta, Kompas – Reklamasi dan perlakuan pascatambang batu bara di sejumlah wilayah Kalimantan tidak terencana dengan baik. Masyarakat dihadapkan pada rusaknya lingkungan yang menimbulkan banjir pada setiap musim hujan dan genangan di lokasi bekas tambang yang merugikan kesehatan.

”Kajian kami, Kota Samarinda, Kalimantan Timur, yang luasnya 71.800 hektar, saat ini 78,14 persennya masuk kawasan perizinan usaha pertambangan batubara. Upaya reklamasi dan penanganan pascatambang tidak memadai,” kata Dyah Paramita, peneliti Indonesian Center for Environtmental Law (ICEL), dalam konferensi pers di Jakarta, Selasa (31/5).

ICEL bekerja sama dengan lembaga swadaya masyarakat (LSM) lokal, Pokja 30, sejak akhir 2010 hingga Mei 2011 membuat kajian ”Potret Reklamasi dan Pascatambang di Indonesia”. Secara spesifik dipilih studi kasus di Kota Samarinda.

Peneliti dari LSM Pokja 30, Carolus Tuah, mengatakan, banjir sudah menjadi peristiwa rutin di Samarinda. Ia menunjukkan gambar kompleks perumahan Bangkuring, Kecamatan Samarinda Utara, yang selalu tenggelam pada musim hujan.

”Beberapa rumah penduduk dalam kondisi miring karena tanahnya tergerus air akibat pengerukan batubara,” katanya.

Ia menyatakan, dalam waktu 10 tahun ke depan Samarinda akan menghadapi persoalan ekologi serius. Selain itu, konflik agraria mulai muncul.

Dyah Paramita mengatakan, mudahnya izin usaha pertambangan atau kuasa pertambangan turut mempercepat eksploitasi batubara dan kerusakan lingkungan. Bentuk usaha CV yang dibentuk tanpa persyaratan modal dan dengan minimal anggota dua orang banyak ditemui dan berkontribusi menyimpang dari kewajiban pembayaran dana jaminan reklamasi dan pascatambang. (NAW)

Pengawasan Reklamasi dan Pasca Tambang Lemah

Aspek reklamasi dan pasca tambang sangat penting dalam praktik pertambangan. Kegagalan menjalankan dua hal ini berakibat buruk bagi lingkungan yang ujungnya berdampak pada masyarakat dan penggunaan uang negara untuk mengatasinya. Sayangnya, koordinasi dan perhatian pemerintah masih minim dalam memastikan pelaku usaha memenuhi reklamasi dan pasca tambang ini.

Demikian disampaikan Dyah Paramita, peneliti Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL) dalam konferensi pers Hasil Penelitian Potret Reklamasi dan Pasca Tambang Indonesia, di Jakarta, Selasa (31/5). Soal koordinasi pemerintah, Dyah mencontohkan tidak adanya koordinasi antara Kementerian ESDM dengan Kementerian Kehutanan.

Dyah mengatakan, hal ini berkaitan dengan penentuan keberhasilan proses reklamasi. Dalam PP No 78 Tahun 2010 tentang Reklamasi dan PascaTambang, pelaku usaha harus menyerahkan dana jaminan reklamasi tambang paling lambat 30 hari sejak rencana reklamasi disetujui Menteri, Gubernur, atau Bupati/Walikota. Dana ini dikembalikan jika proses reklamasi dinilai selesai.

Namun, tidak ada ketentuan mengenai mekanisme audit keberhasilan proses reklamasi itu. Pemegang IUP Produksi dan IUPK Operasi Produksi dapat mengajukan pencairan dana jaminan itu ketika menganggap reklamasi sudah dilakukan. Untuk tingkat pusat, pencairan ini berdasarkan persetujuan Kementerian ESDM. Sayangnya, ulang Dyah, tidak ada koordinasi dengan Kementerian Kehutanan.

Hal ini dapat dipahami, kata Dyah, karena Peraturan Menteri Kehutanan NoP.04/MENHUT-II/2011 tentang Pedoman Reklamasi sendiri tidak mengatur jelas mekanisme pelepasan (pengembalian) dana jaminan reklamasi di kawasan hutan. “Karena itu, banyak reklamasi tambang di daerah hutan yang sebenarnya bermasalah,” katanya. 

Dyah mencontohkan hasil penelitian ICEL di daerah pertambangan di Samarinda, kalimantan Timur. Dari sekitar 1,4 juta hektar lahan terbuka, sekitar 839 ribu hektar belum direklamasi. “Artinya proses reklamasi belum berhasil,” katanya.

Pernyataan ini didukung Carolus Tuah, peneliti lingkungan dari Pokja 30 Samarinda. Menurutnya, banyak lokasi tambang terbuka berupa lubang raksasa berdiameter ratusan meter dengan kedalaman lebih dari seratus meter.

 

“Saat hujan, lubang tersebut berisi air dan membentuk kolam raksasa. Hal ini menimbulkan penyakit, pencemaran, dan kerusakan lingkungan serta membahayakan masyarakat sekitar,” kata pria asli Samarinda ini.

 

Ditambahkan Dyah, persoalan koordinasi ini juga berkaitan dengan banyaknya izin tambang yang dikeluarkan pemerintah daerah dan pusat. Namun, hal itu tidak diimbangi dengan kemampuan pendataan yang baik sehingga pemda kesulitan mengawasi.

 

Dinas Pertambangan dan Energi kota Samarinda, kata Dyah, hanya memiliki data perizinan yang dikeluaran pemerintah kota. Padahal, kegiatan pertambangan di Samarinda juga dilakukan perusahaan yang izinnya diterbitkan pemerintah provinsi dan pusat.

 

Karena itu, Dyah meminta pemerintah segera memperbaiki persoalan ini. “Jika dibiarkan terus, lima hingga sepuluh tahun ke depan pemerintah justru akan direpotkan dengan persoalan reklamasi dan pasca tambang. Bahkan, dana reklamasi dan pasca tambang bisa dipakai dari APBN, padahal itu kewajiban pelaku usaha,” katanya.

 

Pemerintah sendiri memang menyadari tumpang tindih izin pengelolaan mineral dan batubara (minerba) di Indonesia semakin merisaukan. Setidaknya 6000 izin saling tumpang tindih saat ini. Pemerintah daerah dianggap buruk dalam disiplin perizinan.

 

“Tadi dilaporkan ada sekitar 8000 izin pertambangan minerba di Indonesia. Dari jumlah itu, 6000 izin tumpang tindih (sekitar 75 persen),” terang Menteri Koordinator Perekonomian Hatta Rajasa, Senin (23/5), usai rapat koordinasi di Jakarta.

 

Hatta mengatakan pemerintah menyadari kacaunya administrasi perizinan mineral dan batubara berdampak buruk terhadap lingkungan. Ia mencontohkan, ada kepala daerah yang telah memberikan izin kepada satu perusahaan, namun begitu ada pergantian kepala daerah, izin diberikan kepada perusahaan lain. “Padahal izin perusahaan sebelumnya belum habis,” katanya.

 

Lanjut Hatta, tumpang tindih izin pemanfaatan hutan maupun areal pertambangan biasanya memang berasal dari persoalan yang ada di daerah. Umumnya, permasalahan menyangkut pergantian kepala daerah maupun banyaknya izin pengelolaan untuk kegiatan pertambangan atau non tambang yang keluar pada satu lokasi konsesi tambang.

 

Karena itu, jelas Hatta, pemerintah sepakat membentuk tim koordinasi mengatasi hal ini. Tim ini berada di bawah pimpinan Menteri Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral. “Namun juga menyangkut bidang kerja Kementerian Dalam Negeri, makanya dibuat tim koordinasi,” katanya.

 

Tim ini, kata Hatta, akan mengaudit ribuan izin tambang tersebut. Hal ini penting untuk melihat apakah operasi perusahaan pemegang izin telah berjalan sesuai aturan, misalnya tidak merusak lingkungan dan tidak membuka lahan tambang di kawasan hutan lindung. “Targetnya dua minggu ke depan ada pemaparan hasilnya,” kata dia.

 

Memang, Hatta mengakui, pertambangan minerba merupakan bagian dari lapangan pekerjaan dan sumber pendapatan negara. Namun, dampak terhadap lingkungan juga penting untuk diperhatikan.

 

“Tentu kita ingin lapangan kerja, menyejahterakan masyarakat, kita ingin pendapatan negara, tetapi kita juga tidak ingin lingkungan rusak,” pungkasnya.

 

Govt ‘bows down’ to planters, forest moratorium ‘means little’

Protection of the country’s threatened forest areas remains weak despite a moratorium on new conversion permits as most of the forests covered by the moratorium are legally protected anyway, activists and expert argued.

They said terms such as primary and secondary forests used in a presidential decree on the moratorium were kept vague to give concessions to businesses to continue exploiting forests.

Activists said the government had bowed down to pressure from the palm plantation lobbyists.

“There was lots of pressure on the Indonesian government from the palm oil industry about this ban since we bring in significant investments. Today’s final details show that agreeable concessions have been made,” a Malaysian planter, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.

Greenpeace activist Yuyun Indradi said the decree would not address deforestation and curb emissions because the primary forests stipulated in the decree were located mostly in areas already protected by law.

“It’s business as usual. Even without the decree, it is impossible to issue conversion permits for protected and conservation forests,” he told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

Greenpeace says the moratorium should cover 104.8 million hectares of forests. “With only 64 million hectares [covered by the moratorium], there would be about 39 percent [some 40 million hectares] of forest destroyed,” it said in a statement.

After a five-month delay, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono signed into decree a moratorium on new permits on Thursday that would cover primary forests and peatland.

The decree allows for several exemptions that have been criticized by activists as proof of the government’s pandering to the plantation industry.

The decree allows the conversion of primary forest for geothermal projects, rice and sugar plantations and ecosystem restoration projects.

Businesses that secured “principal permits” before the decree would be allowed to continue exploiting forests.

The decree also allows the Forestry Ministry to revise a map of protected forest areas every six months.

The program manager for Forest and Climate at the Indonesian Center for Environment Law (ICEL), Giorgio Budi Indrarto, said the decree failed to regulate much-needed law enforcement to address massive forest crimes.

“Yudhoyono lied again not only to the people [through the moratorium] but also to the international community,” he said.

Reuters reported that Norway’s environment ministry declined to comment on the moratorium as officials were still studying the details.

Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB) forestry expert Hariadi Kartodiharjo said the decree did not adhere to the government’s goal of reducing deforestation triggered mainly by massive expansion of oil palm plantations and mining.

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), however, praised the decree as a positive development in protecting forests.

Industry lobby group the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) also praised the moratorium, as it targets an annual 10 percent increases in “green” palm supplies.

“It is a [positive] step in the right direction that upholds the integrity of sustainable practices towards the production of palm oil, and reaffirms the country’s commitment in this area,” RSPO secretary-general Darrel Webber said in a statement. 

RI Told to Implement Forest Moratorium Before Summit

As leaders of ASEAN countries are set to hold a summit in Jakarta this week, activists renewed calls on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to realize the planned forestry moratorium, which has now been delayed for four months, and encourage his ASEAN counterparts to do the same.

In a theatrical press conference, activist Si Bawor Yono (SBY), who acted as President Yudhoyono, announced the start of the forest moratorium with calling all local administrations to stop issuing new permits to convert primary forests and peatland area.

“I announce the launch of a Pancasila-based forest moratorium today,” Association for Community and Ecology-based Law Reform (Huma) advocate Si Bawor Yono told reporters on Tuesday.

Activists, including from the Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi), Greenpeace Southeast Asia and the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL) joined the calls for President Yudhoyono to issue a presidential instruction to implement the forest moratorium.

The theatrical press conference was held to express frustration over the slow movement of the Yudhoyono administration in executing his forestry moratorium pledge.

“Indonesia needs to use the ASEAN summit to highlight its commitment to protecting forests and cutting emissions,” Greenpeace advocate Yuyun Indradi said.

He said that the ASEAN summit could be used as momentum to demonstrate Indonesia’s commitment to protecting the environment and dealing with climate change.

Yuyun, who represented Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa at the press conference, said that the forest moratorium was intended to support the welfare of all people, including business players.

Leaders of the 10 ASEAN members will participate in the two-day summit starting Saturday in Jakarta.

The leaders are expected to discuss climate change, among other issues, as part of the third pillar of ASEAN social and culture affairs.

Indonesia, with over 120 million hectares of rainforest, is deemed the regional leader in discussions concerning climate change. Indonesia, the current ASEAN chair, is the first nation in region to declare a commitment to slashing 26 percent greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 using local budget funds, and further reducing emissions by 41 percent by 2050 with the assistance of foreign money.

President Yudhoyono promised to impose the forest moratorium last year after Indonesia signed a US$1 billion letter of intent (LoI) with Norway on climate change.

Under the LoI, the forest moratorium should have been imposed since January this year. President Yudhoyono is also expected to issue a presidential instruction as a legal instrument for all local administrations to stop forest conversions.

ICEL deputy director Giorgio Budi Indrarto admitted that it was the forestry ministry that had hampered the President from implementing the commitment to halt forest conversions. “I am sorry, as it is my office [Forestry Ministry] making the mistakes hampering the forest moratorium,” he said.

President Yudhoyono has empowered a taskforce on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD +), led by Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, to prepare the moratorium and draft the presidential instruction. 

Activists Claim Antasari Flyover Project Violates By Laws

Activists have threatened to sue the Jakarta administration over alleged environmental and zoning violations during construction of an elevated road in South Jakarta.

Irvan Pulungan, a researcher from the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), said on Monday that the construction of the overpass at Jalan Antasari violated several regulations, including a 1999 spatial planning bylaw.

He said the bylaw, which covered the period 2000 to 2010, made no mention of the elevated road, while the bill for the new spatial plan, which includes the road, had not yet been legislated.

“The new spatial planning bylaw for 2010 to 2030 hasn’t been endorsed yet by the City Council, so the old bylaw must be the reference,” he said at a discussion on the elevated road constructions affecting Antasari and Jalan Casablanca, South Jakarta.

Irvan also said the project did not have an environmental strategic assessment (KLHS), which is mandatory for major infrastructure projects under the 2009 Environmental Protection and Management Law.

He added the project also lacked an environmental impact analysis (Amdal), universally required for public works projects and private businesses.

Ahmad Safrudin, from the Committee Against Leaded Gasoline (KPBB), told the discussion that his group would meet on Thursday with residents, the city administration and officials from the city’s public works, transportation and environmental offices.

“We don’t want to disrupt the project, we just want the city to ensure that this important project is carried out in compliance with the proper procedures and regulations,” Ahmad said.

He added that if after Thursday the administration did not show any intention of complying, the residents would file suit.

“It could be a criminal and a civil suit,” he said.

“We’ve collected the data on the violations that the city has conducted as well as the residents’ complaints.”

Tommy Tamtomo, a resident of Jalan Cipete Raya, near the construction site, said the construction was proving a major disturbance.

“I can’t sleep because the construction is noisy and it also sends dust clouds over our homes and neighborhood,” he said at the discussion.

He said residents had set up a post to accommodate people’s complaints about the construction. Around two weeks ago, however, they were approached by a large crowd who threatened them, he said.

“They warned us [against complaining] and forced us to support the construction of the elevated roads because it was in the public interest,” Tommy said.

He also said there had never been any clear or direct attempt by the city administration to inform residents about the construction.

However, Novizal, head of the bridge unit at the Jakarta Public Works Office, denied the allegations of violations, insisting the city had followed all legal procedures for the construction.

“We’ve acquired the Amdal and the KLHS from the city’s environment agency, so we haven’t violated any regulation,” he told the Jakarta Globe.

He said the city had also informed the residents about the construction.

“We made announcements and also invited people for discussions at the [South Jakarta] mayor’s office,” Novizal said.

The elevated road will connect Blok M to Antasari in South Jakarta, while the one over Casablanca will link Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta to Kampung Melayu in East Jakarta.

The city has budgeted Rp 1.28 trillion and Rp 737 billion ($144.3 million and $88.8 million), respectively, for the first phases of both projects.

The first phase of the Blok M-Antasari bypass will run 5.5 kilometers from Cipete Market to the National Police field.

The first phase of the Tanah Abang-Kampung Melayu route will run 3.5 kilometers from Casablanca to Jalan H. Kyai Mas Mansyur in Tanah Abang.