[Joint Press Release] Air Pollution Lawsuit Continues to Trial

JAKARTA (12/19) – Clean Air Coalition (abbreviated and called as Ibukota) stated its readiness to proceed with their citizen lawsuit to trial after no consensus found between the Ibukota Coalition and the Defendants in the mediation stage even though the mediation process had gone through five meetings since the end of October. Until the reading of the lawsuit, the Governor of Banten or his representative as Co-Defendant I had never attended the hearing even though he had been properly summoned by the Court. However, the panel of judges and mediator judges never explicitly stated that the Governor of Banten was not in good faith in undergoing the court process and the mediation process.

 

During the mediation process, mediation was not carried out in accordance to the Supreme Court Regulation No. 1 of 2016 concerning Mediation Procedures in the Court (PERMA 1/2016), because based on Article 6 of PERMA 1/2016 the parties must attend mediation meetings directly either with or without the accompaniment by a legal representative, except the absence of the parties due to valid reasons such as illness, living abroad, guardianship, carrying out state duties, or other jobs that cannot be abandoned. Whereas the principal of the Defendants never attended the mediation process directly and the absence was also not accompanied by clear reasons. This caused the mediation process to never run effectively in accordance to the expectations of the Ibukota Coalition.

 

In the mediation effort, only one defendant, the Provincial Government of DKI Jakarta, initiated the mediation outside the court. Based on the results of the meeting, the Ibukota Coalition was committed to oversee a number of policies to be issued by the Provincial Government of DKI Jakarta in 2020 related to making roadmaps and strategic regulations in controlling air pollution.

 

“We are ready to proceed with the citizen lawsuit to the trial,” said Nelson Nikodemus, representing the Ibukota Coalition’s legal counsel team.

 

Nelson added, the legal team regretted the attitude of the four defendants and two other co-defendants who did not give a positive response to the lawsuit of this citizen.

 

Although the Ibukota Coalition and the Defendants did not reach a consensus in the mediation process in court, based on civil procedural law, basically mediation can still be carried out by the parties during the trial.

 

At the same place, one of 32 residents who filed this lawsuit, Veronica (43) expressed readiness to continue this air pollution lawsuit. “I, as one of the CLS plaintiffs, am ready to continue and be involved in trials or legal processes that will continue to roll. The journey is indeed quite long, but it is not finished yet,” Veronica said.

 

In addition, she assessed, plaintiffs and legal counsel were always willing to allocate some time because this case was important, serious, and affected the health of all citizens in the short and long term.

 

Regarding the lack of response from the defendant other than the Provincial Government of DKI Jakarta, Veronica regretted the attitude of the other defendants who were less responsive and seemed to underestimate the issue of air pollution that was increasingly becoming and crossing city boundaries.

 

“The issue of air pollution in Jakarta, is not only the responsibility of the Provincial Government of DKI Jakarta, but also the central government and the surrounding regions. We expect more serious attention in the next stage of the trial,” she said.

 

Veronica, the mother of two children who lives in the South Jakarta area, confirmed that she would continue to be involved in the air pollution lawsuit because doctors had stated that her youngest child might have a skin infection due to exposure to dust contained in air pollution. Doctors diagnosed Veronica’s youngest child to be allergic to dust mites. Allergies that are triggered by the dust make her youngest experienced severe skin allergies many times. In addition, doctors also stated Veronica children had rhinitis allergic (inflammation) or irritation in the lining of the nose.

 

The Ibukota Coalition as a combination of individuals and organisations fighting for the right to clean air, for nearly five months underwent trial in suing seven state officials namely the President of the Republic of Indonesia, the Minister of Environment and Forestry (LHK), the Minister of Health, the Minister of the Internal Affairs, the Governor of DKI Jakarta, and also sued the Governor of West Java, and the Governor of Banten. The five defendants and two co-defendants are required to carry out a series of policies to fulfill the right to clean air for the Plaintiffs and 10 million other citizens of Jakarta.

 

The Capital Coalition assessed that Jakarta’s poor air quality was clearly proven based on air quality monitoring data that showed pollutant parameters had exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (BMUAN) listed in Government Regulation No. 41 of 1999, and the DKI Jakarta Provincial Ambient Air Quality Standards (BMUA DKI Jakarta) as stipulated in the Decree of the Governor of DKI Jakarta Province No. 551 of 2001 concerning Determination of Ambient Air Quality Standards and Noise Level Standards in DKI Jakarta Province.

 

Various environmental observers who accompanied 32 plaintiffs recorded a surge in PM 2.5 concentration figures during the period January to June 2019. The figure of 37.82 μg/m3 in the period was twice higher than the national standard or three times higher than the standard of the Agency World Health (WHO).

 

The Ibukota Coalition appeals and invites everyone in Jakarta and its surroundings to support and participate in overseeing the proceedings of this lawsuit, in order to obtain the right to clean air and better public health.

 

Jakarta, the 19th of December 2019

 

Best regards,

IBUKOTA COALITION

Contact Persons (Legal Team Counsel):

Ayu – 082111340222

Yogi – 081214194445

Algif – 081280666410

Matthew – 085920641931

Nelson – 081396820400