NGOs: Governments need new tools to control air pollution urgently
For immediate release
NGOs: Governments need new tools to control air pollution urgently
24 June 2021, Jakarta/Prague – After two years, the Central Jakarta court still has not announced the decision of a Citizen Lawsuit (CLS) demanding clean air for Jakarta. Thirty-two people submitted a CLS in July 2019, demonstrating public pressure and the need for systematic changes in pollution control. NGOs consider the delay in the announcement of the decision as a sign to urge the governments to fulfil nine demands(1) submitted to the court.
The plaintiffs, assisted by a group of pro bono lawyers from the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation, addressed the lawsuit to President Joko Widodo, three Ministers, and three governors, demanding an improvement of the air quality in Jakarta. “It is in favour of all Indonesian citizens that the court compels the President to properly address air pollution and public health issues and other development priorities that continue to cause Jakarta’s air to deteriorate. The court decision also must bind the Jakarta, Banten, and West Java authorities to have better industrial emission control and enforcement,” said Yuyun Ismawati, a senior advisor from the Nexus3 Foundation(2).
In the last decades, air, water, and soil pollution, with the associated health consequences and premature deaths, has been rising in many Indonesian pollution hotspots. The major sources of air pollution in Jakarta are associated with six coal-fired power plants located in three provinces, emissions from millions of vehicles, and industrial activities. For years, emission tests have been unenforced as a result of agencies’ conflicting priorities and the case mediation shows high-emitting projects beyond Jakarta’s reach. “Current emission pollution monitoring in Indonesia is not adequate to provide consistent and real-time information to protect its citizens,” added Ismawati.
“This lawsuit is important for Jakarta citizens for many reasons. It requires and demands the government not only to take action to deliver. It shows that the air quality management requires national- and subnational-level cooperation, as the case has revealed that not all government agencies obliged to control air pollution are enthusiastic about tackling their responsibility. It also sets a precedent for future urban air quality management, mainly by requiring the government to include science in promulgating policies,” Ismawati stressed.
To improve the situation in the future, Nexus3 is currently cooperating with the Czech NGO Arnika(3) in an international project, Transparent Pollution Control in Indonesia, financially supported by the European Union. “We are collaborating with Indonesia on implementing a Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR), which is already used in Europe and has been shown to be an effective tool to fight industrial pollution,” added Jindrich Petrlik, the Executive Director of Arnika – Toxic and Waste Programme. “A PRTR is a tool to address pollution and allows industries to monitor their emissions as well as set targets to reduce their pollutants and therefore protect the environment and health of local communities.”
For further information, please contact:
Marketa Möller, project coordinator from Arnika, +420731771010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mochamad Septiono, project manager for Nexus3, +62 813-1365-3636, email@example.com
(1) The nine demands from the plaintiffs:
to declare that the defendants have committed torts
to declare that the DEFENDANTS are proved to have violated human rights, in this case being negligent in fulfilling the right to a good and healthy environment
to order the President of the Republic of Indonesia to:
publish a revision of Government Regulation No. 41 of 1999 about Air Pollution Control which regulates matters concerning transboundary air pollution control;
tighten the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) so as to be sufficient to protect human health, the environment, and ecosystems, including the health of sensitive populations, on the basis of the development of science and technology
to order the Minister of the Environment and Forestry (MOEF) to supervise the Governor of Jakarta, Governor of Banten, and Governor of West Java in creating a transboundary emission inventory across Jakarta, Banten, and West Java
to order the Minister of Internal Affairs to:
supervise and evaluate the performance of the regional government of the Governor of Jakarta, Governor of Banten, and Governor of West Java in the implementation of concurrent government affairs in the environmental field, especially in air pollution control;
guide the Governor of Jakarta, together with the Governor of Banten and the Governor of West Java, to improve the performance of air pollution control and environmental law enforcement
to charge the Minister of Health to calculate the decrease in health impacts caused by air pollution in the Province of Jakarta, Province of Banten, and Province of West Java as a basis of consideration for the Governor of DKI Jakarta, Governor of Banten, and Governor of West Java in the preparation of the Strategy and Action Plan for Air Pollution Control in each province
to order the Governor of DKI Jakarta to:
monitor the obedience of anyone to the provisions of the legislation on air pollution control and/or the provisions of environmental documents, specifically:
to conduct periodic emissions tests on old types of vehicles;
to report the evaluation of compliance with the emission standards of old motor vehicles’ exhausts;
to create a recapitulation on non-movable emission sources whose business activities emit emissions, have an environmental permit and an emission disposal permit from the Governor of Jakarta;
to monitor compliance with established standards and/or fuel specifications;
to monitor obedience to the ban on burning open waste which results in air pollution;
punish anyone who violates the air pollution regulations and/or the provisions of environmental documents, including:
drivers of motor vehicles that do not comply with the emission standard for old-type movable emission sources; and
businesses and/or activities that do not meet the emission standards for non- movable emission sources for their businesses and/or activities;
disseminate information on the supervision and imposition of sanctions related to air pollution control to the public;
tighten the Regional Air Quality Standards for Jakarta Province (Jakarta AAQS) so that they are sufficient to protect human health, the environment, and ecosystems, including the health of sensitive populations on the basis of the development of science and technology
to order the Governor of DKI Jakarta, Governor of Banten, and Governor of West Java to:
conduct an inventory on ambient air, potential emission sources, meteorological and geographical conditions, and land use in each province with consideration of the distribution of emissions from emission sources in each province to others in a coordinated and publicly involved manner;
specify the ambient air quality status in each province per year and announce it to the public;
create and implement a “Strategy and Action Plan for Air Pollution Control” in each province with consideration for the distribution of emissions from emission sources in each province in a coordinated, focused, right-on-target, and publicly involved manner
to order the Governor of Banten and Governor of West Java to obey and comply with this Court Decision by coordinating with the Governor of DKI Jakarta to combat air pollution in the Jakarta area.
(2) The Nexus3 (Nexus for Health, Environment, and Development) Foundation works with all stakeholders to promote safeguards for the public, especially the vulnerable population, against the impacts of development on their health and the environment and towards a just, toxics-free, and sustainable future.
(3) Arnika, a Czech non-governmental organization, focuses on nature conservation, toxics and waste management, and public participation in decision making on environmental issues. The organization cooperates with a number of partners around the globe to provide a better and healthier future for as many as possible, regardless of the geographical location.
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