Local fishermen and activists in the capital city Jakarta have expressed concerns over the Jakarta Bay's ecological future following the administration’s decision to proceed with a reclamation project to expand the city’s popular tourist spot Ancol in North Jakarta.
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan issued a decree in February to give the green light for a 155-hectare expansion plan for city-run tourist destinations Taman Impian Jaya Ancol (Ancol Dreamland Park) and Fantasi Land (Dufan) theme park.
Fishermen raised questions over the issuance of the decree, which was published by the city on its official website in March, as they claimed it was in contrast with the ruling by the Supreme Court last week. The Court ruled in favor of the city administration in cassation against developer PT Taman Harapan Indah over the revocation of the company’s islet H reclamation permit in Jakarta Bay.
Susan Herawati, the secretary-general of the People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice Indonesia (KIARA), said she feared the decision would make way for the controversial reclaimed islets project to continue in the future.
“We fear that the revocation of permits to reclaim and build on 13 islets [issued by Anies in September 2018] be canceled in the future, looking at the governor’s indecisive manner,” she told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
By issuing Gubernatorial Decree No. 237/2020, the governor allows a 35-hectare expansion for Dufan and 120 hectares for Ancol Dreamland park on the reclaimed areas.
Jakarta city secretary Saefullah argued that the reclamation for the Ancol expansion was different from the 13 islets reclamation projects, the permit for which had been revoked by Anies in 2018, a year after he took office.
“There are already 20 hectares of rising land in East Ancol [Ancol Dreamland Recreational Park]. It resulted from around 3.5 million cubic meters of mud being dredged from five reservoirs and 13 rivers in Jakarta through the Jakarta Emerging Dredging Initiative (JEDI) and Jakarta Urgent Flood Mitigation Project (JUFMP),” Jakarta administration secretary Saefullah said in a press briefing on Friday.
“The governor issued the decree so that [city-owned enterprise PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol] can obtain a management right,” he added.
The administration claimed that an agreement with PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol to use 120 hectares of land in East Ancol as a sludge disposal site was made in 2009. The latest decree now allows the reclamation of the 120-hectare area.
Saefullah added that the Ancol expansion aimed to provide recreational areas for the public.
“The reclamation ground will be for the public. We prioritize people’s interest,” he said, adding that Ancol was chosen because there were no fishermen in the area.
In the letter, Anies required PT PJA to complete studies on integrated flood mitigation, global warming impacts, taking material for land expansion, infrastructure planning and environmental impacts before doing the reclamation.
NGO Maritime and Ecology Association director Martin Hadiwinata said such requirements should have been fulfilled before Anies issued the decree.
“Meanwhile, sludge disposal has been going on for 11 years and surely has an ecological impact. Yet it went without any environmental impact analysis (AMDAL),” he told the Post.
Echoing Martin, Susan demanded the administration display data on the ecological impact of the disposal of dredging material.
Furthermore, she argued that the decree had no strong legal basis. She pointed out that the decree only cited Law No. 29/2007 on the Jakarta administration as Indonesia’s capital, Law No. 23/2014 on regional governments and Law No. 30/2004 on governmental administration, but did not include Law No. 27/2007 on coastal areas and small islands management.
“But their argument is that the agreement between the city and PT PJA was made a long time ago. As if the governor has no power to revoke it. It’s a matter of political will,” she said.