Walhi slams building permits for Jakarta reclamation islets as gift for big developers

CNN Indonesia – June 23, 2019
Construction on Jakarta Bay reclamation project islet (Antara)
Construction on Jakarta Bay reclamation project islet (Antara)

Jakarta – The Jakarta provincial government’s (Pemprov DKI) decision to issue 932 building permits (IMB) for land reclamation project islets in the Jakarta Bay is aimed at providing political certainty to developers to pursue their business activities.

This view was conveyed by Jakarta Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) Executive Director Tubagus Soleh Ahmadi on Sunday June 23. “The Pemprov DKI is providing political certainty to developers to pursue their business practices in Jakarta”, said Ahmadi.

Ahmadi also rejects a statement by Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan who claimed that the issuance of the IMBs was separate from the reclamation project itself. According Ahmad, the reclamation project and the issuance of the IMBs are a single unit.

“Don’t try to separate them, he’s giving his agreement for the reclamation [continuing] through the building constructions on them”, said Ahmadi.

In relation to Baswedan’s statement that the issuance of the IMBs was based on good governance, Ahmadi said that there are a number of conditions for there to be good governance.

Baswedan’s actions, according to Ahmadi, are actually the very opposite. The reason being is that Jakarta is actually suffering an ecological crisis because of the continuance of the Jakarta Bay reclamation project. “Instead he (Baswedan) is currently giving an example of an administrative regime which is not good”, he said.

Walhi, continued Ahmadi, is of the view that Baswedan could easily have not issued the IMBs. Moreover the group believes that he could have done this because the regulatory basis for the project is based on Gubernatorial Regulation Number 206/2016.

The reason being is that the regulation was issued by former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama after there were construction activities on the reclaimed islets. “He (Baswedan) had a choice of not continuing it. But he still went ahead”, said Ahmadi.

Walhi is proposing that Baswedan conduct a comprehensive study in the context of halting the reclamation project. Walhi once proposed that the islets be demolished, but the study into the proposal was only based on assumptions.

“A study into demolishing [the islets] was only based on assumptions and a comprehensive study is yet to be carried out, so the reclamation [project] will indeed continue to be pursued”, said Ahmadi.

Earlier, Baswedan issued at least 932 IMBs for construction on the reclaimed islets. Baswedan said that the decision was based on Gubernatorial Regulation Number 206/2016 and Article 18 Paragraph 3 of Government Regulation Number 30/2005.

Baswedan said that these regulations allow regional governments to regulate zoning, meanwhile the Jakarta does not yet have a Draft Regional Regulation (Raperada) on Regional Zoning Plans for Coastal Areas and Small Islands (RZWP3K). (dis/sur)


One of Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan’s main campaign promises in the religiously charged and divisive 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election – which saw him defeat incumbent governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama following a series of mass rallies by hardline Islamic groups accusing him of blasphemy – was that he would stop the controversial and ecologically destructive land reclamation project in Jakarta Bay.

Intended mainly for high-class commercial and residential property development on a series of artificial islets, the project was first drawn up 1995 but collapsed following former president Suharto’s resignation and the financial crisis in 1995.

Legal battles and criticism that the project would be detrimental to the environment and Jakarta’s fishermen delayed its continuation until 2007 when governor Sutiyoso restarted the project and issued permits to some of the country’s largest property developers to build on the artificial islets. In October 2016, Purnama signed Gubernatorial Regulation 206 which served as a blueprint for development on four of the 17 planned artificial islets that had already been built.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Walhi Nilai IMB Reklamasi Kepastian Berbisnis Pengembang”.]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20190623151542-20-405666/walhi-nilai-imb-reklamasi-kepastian-berbisnis-pengembang