Riri Rahayu, Jakarta – A spokesperson for the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister, Wahyu Muryadi, responded to criticism related to sea sand exports. The latest objection was voiced by the former governor of Jakarta Anies Baswedan. He questioned the government's consistency in addressing the climate crisis.
"This policy is not about sea sand as a mining regime which is very exploitative and damages the environment in the past," Wahyu said in a written statement, on Sunday, June 25, 2023.
Wahyu referred to the Government Regulation Number 26 of 2023 on sea sedimentation. The sedimentation point will be determined by a team consisting of environmental, oceanography, and sedimentation experts from the Maritime Affairs Ministry, Forestry and Environment Ministry, Energy Ministry, Transportation Ministry, related institutions, local governments, and experts from leading universities.
"The recommendation of the team will be the main consideration for the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister to issue a permit for the utilization of sedimentation or vice versa," said Wahyu.
Wahyu also said the policy is not only about exports. The government would prioritize sea sedimentation products to build sea space and reclamation infrastructure in the country. The government, he emphasized, would focus on meeting domestic needs.
However, he did not deny that the export of sea sand remains possible and that would be regulated with the principles of transparency and prudence. "It is only possible when domestic needs have been met," he added.
Wahyu claimed that the marine sedimentation management policy is a nature-based solution yet state revenue should not be ruled out.
"Imagine that the state can clean up ocean waste in the form of sedimentation, without spending on the state budget, but instead [the state] receives revenue by selling it to those who want it for reclamation," Wahyu explained.
He further stated that the policy is important to maintain the health of the sea and prevent marine ecosystems from harm.
Recently, Anies Baswedan in his speech assessed that the government's policy of permitting the dredging and export of sea sand is a form of inconsistency in its acts in responding to the climate crisis.
"But if [the government] allows the export of sea sand, then the question that arises is on how we make policy consistency to respond to the climate crisis? We really need to have a consistent policy," Anies said at Indonesia Net-Zero Summit (INZS) 2023 at Djakarta Theater, Central Jakarta on Saturday, June 24, 2023.