Symposium “Initiating the Vision of Democracy and the Environment of Indonesia”

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Jakarta – Senin (05/08/2019). Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), Friends of the Earth Indonesia (WALHI), Association for Community-Based and Ecological Law Reform (HuMa), Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI), Publish What You Pay (PYWP), Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), and the Code Initiative jointly held a Symposium on “Initiating the Vision of Democracy and the Environment of Indonesia”, at the Royal Kuningan Hotel, Jakarta.


In his remarks, Executive Director of ICEL Henri Subagiyo said that the speech delivered by the elected President Joko Widodo last month at the Sentul International Convention Center (SICC), was very focused on increasing investment and infrastructure for development. However, it is unfortunate that the vision did not touch the issue of protecting natural resources and the environment.


“This is one of the weaknesses of the Indonesian Vision in dealing with various national problems. Because, so far the condition of natural resources and the environment quite problematic and should get priority to be addressed. The government should be able to lay a stronger foundation for sustainable development onward,” said Henri Subagiyo.

The symposium was preceded by a public discussion, with the Vice Chairperson of the KPK Laode M. Syarif, Chief of Staff Coordinator for the Special Task Force for Eradicating Illegal Fishing Mas Ahmad Santosa, Environmental Policy Expert Prof. Hariadi Kartodihardjo, and Environmental Activist who is also the founder of Nexus3 (formerly BaliFokus) Yuyun Ismawati.


In this discussion, Mas Achmad Santosa emphasised three main issues that were relevant to be considered by the elected President, Joko Widodo in the next 5 years, namely the sea as the future and the nation’s wealth; sustainable development/protection of the carrying capacity of ecosystems; and just rule of law that needs to be strengthened in future governance. Investment and human resource development are difficult to develop healthily if they are not based on the principles of sustainable development and a just rule of law. If you do not get pressure from the public, this issue may be lost in future considerations.


In line with Mas Achmad Santosa, Yuyun Ismawati also affirmed the same thing that to go to the sea as the future and the wealth of the nation, the Indonesian Government should be able to suppress the speed of waste generation. Because the problem of waste has rewarded Indonesia as the second largest contributor of plastic waste in the ocean.


Yuyun also regretted that the current government issued quick policies to attract investors, besides that the government also often takes shortcuts to overcome existing problems, one of which is related to waste management. “The government is really “bothered” by the waste problem that exists in Indonesia, so to overcome this quickly the government is making a new breakthrough by making incinerators in various regions. One of them is in Sunter. Even though there needs to be a deep study related to the incinerator itself, and the construction of the incinerator is also very close to the residence of the population, obviously this endangers the health of the population adjacent to the burning of this garbage, “said Yuyun.


On the other hand, Laode M. Syarif also highlighted the relevance of investment development to law enforcement. “So far, law enforcement has always been clashed with investment. Investments should not be faced with law enforcement. This is because investors prefer legal certainty. A good investor will inevitably obey the existing rules. In my opinion, bad investors should be sent directly back to their countries,” Laode said.


Meanwhile, Prof. Hariadi Kartodihardjo said that the national development strategy must care for and consider environmental aspects. “So far there have been a lot of imbalances that occur in the environment when economic growth is increasing. We can see this from the shifting or changing of land functions from rising infrastructure. One example that I can illustrate is that many rice paddies have turned into homestays from rising tourism potential. This is also our concern,” added Prof. Hariadi.


After the discussion ended, participants who attended joined the discussion to formulate the results of the joint agenda at that time, and then the results of the formulation were immediately declared jointly by a number of institutions and environmental community organizations present including ICEL, WALHI, PYWP, FWI, HuMA, ICW, the Code Initiative, Nexus 3, Indonesian Koaction, KPA, KPBB, RMI, Jikalahari, WWF, CRPG, Madani, Earth Hour Community, Ecoton, Pili Green Network, GIDKP / AZWI, FKKM, WALHI Jakarta, Kehati, WWF, TI Indonesia, Pattiro, KNTI, Salam Institute. (Dona)