Environment policy poorly enforced, research shows

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Dozens of policies created to protect the environment in Jakarta, Bogor, Puncak and Cianjur, also known as Jabopunjur, have been fruitless due to poor law enforcement, research into the issue has found.

The research, conducted by the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), which made its findings public over the weekend, says the environmental policies had been freely translated by each regional administration to its own benefit.

“There are 34 regulations related to the Jabopunjur spatial plan, but damages to the environment continue to worsen. The region has made a multi-interpretation on the policies,” Masayu Hanim, one of LIPI’s researchers dealing with public policy, told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

She said most of the regulations failed to detail specific measures to be taken to protect the environment.

“Thus, developers could easily find loopholes when they develop areas into commercial premises.”

For example, she said, Kota Bunga, the 100-hectare housing estate located on the 45-degree slope of Puncak hill, was built despite the prohibition of new developments stipulated in the 1999 presidential decree on the management of Jabopunjur.

As of this year the government has issued six more presidential decrees to manage spatial planning in the Jabopunjur region.

There are also numerous laws able to save the region, covering spatial planing, environmental management and water resources, that are not being implemented.

In addition, each administration has also issued ordinances on the management of Jabopunjur.

Masayu, however, doubts that another presidential decree on the coordination of regional administrations concerning the protected area would be effective unless it contained detailed measures.

“There are several weaknesses of the planned decree. It doesn’t specify the protected zones and there is no article explaining about flood-prone areas,” she said.

A draft of the presidential decree made available to the Post shows that Bekasi, Depok and Tangerang would also be included in the protected area, which would assume the name Jabodetabekpunjur.

The Jabodetabekpunjur idea was first floated by Governor Sutiyoso in his megacity concept.

The governor said cooperation among the cities was one way to resolve long-standing environmental problems in the capital.

However, the draft, which awaits the president’s approval, did not mention the megacity concept. It was prepared by a government team led by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Boediono.

It said that city planning in Jabodetabekpunjur would be under the control of the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy.

The draft said that governors of Jakarta, Banten and West Java would be required to regularly report on the development of land in their areas to the minister.

The draft also bans activities that downgrade the functions of conservation areas and industries consuming large amounts of groundwater in residential areas.

Masayu said the government needed to educate the public on the regulation.

“To make it work, the government must also involve heads of villages or neighborhoods who will explain the regulation to residents,” she said.

sumber: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailcity.asp?fileid=20070212.C01&irec=0, February 12, 2007