Indonesia: Almost all reclamation in Indonesia illegal, claims environmental group

Elly Burhaini Faizal Jakarta Post 21 Apr 16;

The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has revealed that almost all reclamation projects in Indonesia, including projects in Jakarta, Bali and Makassar, have violated bylaws on zoning of coastal areas and small islands.

The environmental group says there are currently 14 reclamation projects in the country: Four projects have been completed, four are underway and the remaining six projects are still in the pipeline.

“The Tangerang reclamation plan is the gravest, as it is aiming to reclaim 7,500 hectares of land,” Walhi campaign manager Edo Rakhman said in a discussion in Central Jakarta on Wednesday.

“However, public attention has tended to focus on reclamation projects in Jakarta, Bali and Makassar, because those cities are categorized as national strategic zones.”

According to Walhi, the ongoing Jakarta and Makassar projects will cover 5,100 ha and 4,000 ha, respectively. Two other projects are taking place in Palu, Central Sulawesi, of 24.5 ha, and in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, of 5,130 ha.

Meanwhile, the Bali project, which is still at the planning stage, will cover 700 ha. Reclamation is also planned in Kendari (17.5 ha), Lombok (1,250 ha), Bitung (2,000 ha) and South Aceh (6,305 ha).

“Almost all of the reclamation projects are problematic as they are going on without the presence of or contradict bylaws on zoning of coastal areas and small islands,” Edo said.

He added that the Makassar reclamation project involved at least 14 companies, including Ciputra Group. Through its subsidiary, PT Ciputra Surya, the group is working together with PT Yasmin Bumi Asri to form a joint venture, Ciputra Yasmin, to develop CitraLand City Losari Makassar.

Meanwhile, the Bali reclamation project began on December 2012 when the island's governor granted private investor PT Tirta Wahana Bali Internasional (TWBI) permission to develop and reclaim Benoa Bay as part of an integrated tourist development area.

On the other hand, the Jakarta reclamation project was initially a part of the National Capital Integrated Coastal Development (NCICD) plan, more popularly known as the Great Garuda, which aims to build a seawall to keep water out of the city and to help slow subsidence.

The land reclamation was later taken over by the Jakarta city administration, involving the construction of 17 artificial islets developed by private companies off the north coast of the capital.

Kenzo, another researcher at Walhi, said the Jakarta reclamation project would damage the coast and harm the ecosystems of nearby islands. (vps/ebf)

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