Provisions on Management of Small Islands Serve to Protect and Conserve
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Director-General for Marine Spatial Management Victor Gustaf Manoppo testifying on behalf of the Government at a judicial review hearing of the Law on the Management of Coastal Zones and Small Islands, Tuesday (09/12/2023). Photo by MKRI/Ifa.


JAKARTA (MKRI) — The provisions on the management of small islands and coastal areas in Article 23 paragraph (2) and Article 35 letter k of Law No. 1 of 2014 on the Amendment to Law No. 27 of 2007 on the Management of Coastal Zones and Small Islands (Coastal Management Law) serve  to protect and conserve coastal areas and small islands, said Director-General for Marine Spatial Management Victor Gustaf Manoppo at a material judicial review hearing of the Coastal Management Law held by the Constitutional Court (MK) on Tuesday, September 12, 2023 in the plenary courtroom. The petition No. 35/PUU-XXI/2023 filed by PT Gema Kreasi Perdana, represented by executive director Rasnius Pasaribu.

Before the hearing chaired by Chief Justice Anwar Usman, Manoppo testified on behalf of the Government to say that the Coastal Management Law must be understood comprehensively, including understanding the reason behind its promulgation into law. As such, in understanding Article 23 paragraph (2) and Article 35 letter k one must also understand Article 4 letter a.

“(The provisions) stipulates that the management of coastal areas and small islands be carried out with the aim to protect, conserve, rehabilitate, utilize, and enrich coastal areas and small islands and the ecological systems sustainably,” he revealed.

The Government urged the Petitioner to observe that Article 23 paragraph (2) of the Coastal Management Law regulates outside of the purposes of conservation, education, training, research, and development. The management of small islands and their surroundings must meet environmental management requirements, take into account local capabilities and water system sustainability, and use environmentally-friendly technology.

“The word ‘priority’ in Article 23 paragraph (2), according to the [Great Dictionary of the Indonesian Language or KBBI] means takes precedence and priority over others, while by the Petitioner is defined not as prohibition against other interests outside of what is defined by the a quo article,” he explained.

Therefore, he added, other interests outside of what is defined by the a quo article are not necessarily prohibited. This is evident in Article 35 letter k of the Coastal Management Law, which stipulates that no one is prohibited in the management of coastal areas and small islands.

“Article 35 letter k states that mining of minerals in certain areas, when technically, ecologically, or socio-culturally does not cause social harm and/or environmental pollution and/or harm the surrounding community, … is not prohibited,” Manoppo said.

He added that the requirements for mining in small islands are not only based on the articles in the Coastal Management Law but also other legislation such as the Mining Law and the Spatial Law.

“Upon further examination, mining activities on Wawoni Island and other coastal areas and small islands that could potentially cause damage are not a form of discrimination but rather a form of strict protection of coastal areas and small island ecologically, socially, and environmentally,” he explained.

Testimonies of Wawonii Island Residents

Harimuddin was also present at the hearing to represent 28 residents of Wawonii Island as a Relevant Party. The Relevant Party stated that the Petitioner’s arguments are only related to the implementation of the law, not its constitutionality.

“Clearly in the petition, pages 10 to 31, the Petitioner claimed to have a [mining business license or IUP]. The Petitioner claims that their constitutional rights have been harmed by the enforcement of Article 23 paragraph (2) and Article 35 letter k of the Coastal Management Law. We have to say that although this is related to the implementation of a law, You Honors, we would like to refute the Petitioner’s claim of their business license,” Harimuddin asserted.

He said that the Petitioner had not carried out environmental feasibility study before having their mining license issued, not had the study be approved. They also had not have environmental management permit.

“We would like to emphasize on more thing, that the IPPH which the Petitioner has been using to support their activities in Konawe Islands Regency, in Wawonii Island, has expired. Dictum XIII of the Petitioner’s IPPH issued on June 18, 2014 by the Ministry of Forestry states that the decree is in force starting from its stipulation until no later than November 14, 2028. If within two years since the decree there is no actual activities, the decree is null and void. During the trial in the Kendari Administrative Court, the Petitioner only started activities in 2019. So, the license that the Petitioner claims is complete is actually not complete,” Harimuddin stressed.

Also read:

Provisions on Ban on Mineral Mining in Coasts and Isles Challenged

PT Gema Kreasi Perdana Revises Petition on Mineral Mining in Coasts and Isles

Govt Not Prepared to Testify on Management of Coastal Zones

The Petitioner is a limited liability company (PT) with a mining business permit for small islands. It feels its constitutional rights had been violated by the enactment of Article 23 paragraph (2) and Article 35 letter k of the Coastal Management Law, which the Supreme Court interpreted as an unconditional ban on mining activities in small islands, while the Petitioner has a valid permit by the mining authority to mine nickel in the area. Its permit has undergone changes from the initial permit No. 26 of 2007, issued prior to the enactment of Law No. 27 of 2007.

The Petitioner asserted that if Article 23 paragraph (2) and Article 35 letter k of Law No. 1 of 2014 be interpreted as an unconditional ban on mining activities, all spatial planning for coastal areas and small islands regulated in regional regulations would conflict with the a quo Law and must be revised. As a consequence, all activities by mining companies in those areas must be ceased. This would be detrimental to those companies, including the Petitioner, who had paid their dues to the state.

Author       : Utami Argawati
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR            : Fitri Yuliana
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.


Tuesday, September 12, 2023 | 15:26 WIB 359
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