The last 3 years the Indonesian government issued regulations related to natural resources and the environment that can accelerate the climate crisis in Indonesia. Not only that, in the final days of the 2014-2018 period, the DPR also competed for 2 bills (RUU) that threatened the future of all Indonesian citizens. Yet according to the IPCC and the UN, we only have 11 years left before the biggest climate disaster occurs. What regulations and bills can accelerate the Indonesian climate crisis?
Government Regulation on National Spatial Planning (PP 13/2017 – RTRWN)
This regulation amended several articles on national spatial plans that have been previously arranged. The problem is that this regulation allows the construction of a National Strategic Project (PSN) which previously did not exist in the Provincial/District/City RTRW only with the minister’s recommendation. Whereas the space for the implementation of activities/projects should be determined in advance in the Provincial/District/City RTRW. Determination of Provincial/District/City RTRW also needs a Strategic Environmental Assessment (KLHS) to ensure integrated sustainable development and climate change adaptation and participatory consideration in a policy/plan/program.
Government Regulation on Online Single Submission (PP 24/2018 – OSS)
This regulation aims to facilitate investment in Indonesia by simplifying the licensing process. Unfortunately, this regulation actually weakens safeguards for the environment by marginalising Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA). The company no longer needs to have an EIA to obtain a business permit, even though an EIA is a requirement of an environmental permit that serves as an instrument for preventing environmental pollution and/or damage by an activity/project.
Criminal Code Bill (RKUHP)
In the context of the climate crisis, this bill weakens the enforcement of environmental crimes. The provisions of environmental crimes in this bill will be difficult to prove because they still use tort element and emphasise the consequences. Perpetrators can just make an excuse that they do not do any environmental pollution/damage because they already have a permit, this has happened before in the Newmont case. Furthermore, environmental offenders, most of whom are corporations, will be difficult to catch if the bill is passed. Imagine the more difficult it is to trap corporations whose land is on fire, even though forest and land fires account for the largest emissions from the land sector. Because the definition of corporation is very broad and does not distinguish between the responsibilities of the management. Moreover, this broad understanding has the potential to criminalise indigenous peoples.
This bill will also aggravate the climate crisis because the use of land outside the Business Use Rights (HGU) by the corporation will actually be bleached. Though the IPCC 2019 report shows 70% of emissions come from land clearing. What’s more, this bill closes access to public information on land. Whereas transparency is the key to participation and supervision. Finally, investors will find it easy to get land. This can also perpetuate land-grabbing.
Law on Amending the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK Law)
The recently passed KPK Law clearly amputates the KPK’s authorities, in the realm of pre-investigation, investigation and prosecution. Whereas the KPK’s action has so far played an important role in stopping the rate of environmental damage caused by corrupt transactions in the permit system. With the KPK’s authority being amputated, the eradication of environmental crime and natural resources is hampered.
Mineral and Coal Bill
This bill accommodates the interests of the existing Contract and Agreement of Work for Coal Mining (PKP2B) to be extended 2 times 10 years and to seek return to the region in the form of a Special Mining Business License (IUPK). Apart of that, this bill has the potential to neglect the recovery and criminalisation of people who refuse mining. (Marsya)