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Kiara, Walhi call for an end to exploitation of East Java waters

Tempo - March 8, 2024

Annisa Febiola, Jakarta – The People's Coalition for Fisheries Justice (Kiara) and the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) say that the marine areas in East Java is threatened after the passing of the Regional Regulation on the Regional Spatial Plan for East Java Province No. 10/2023.

Both stated that the regulations resulting from the integration with the Coastal Zone and Small Islands Zoning Plan (RZWP3K) have opened space for the exploitation of marine areas.

Kiara and Walhi found several problems in the study of spatial and environmental policies in East Java Province, namely mining and waste. In the context of mining, the potential for destruction of coastal areas and small islands is quite high.

"Because the new regulation is a kind of activation of sea sand mining, which of course threatens marine biodiversity," wrote Kiara and Walhi's paper, quoted on Thursday, March 7, 2024.

In addition to sea sand, another threat from mining is the increasingly massive zoning and oil and gas concessions in the North Coast region of Java. It stretches from the eastern tip bordering Bali province to the western tip around the Tuban area bordering Central Java.

Not only in the sea, mines on land are also considered a significant threat to the sustainability of coastal areas and small islands. This is because the policies in the Spatial Plan and the policies of the East Java Provincial Government allow the dumping of waste from mining activities. Technically, some of these wastes are listed in the dangerous and toxic or B3 category.

Dumping is a trade practice used by exporters to sell goods abroad at lower prices than at home. "Regarding the practice of waste dumping, there has been no specific public information provided to the general public."

Seeing this situation, Kiara and Walhi highlighted several things regarding mining in coastal areas and small islands. Especially for oil and gas and non-metallic minerals, including sea sand. Article 65 of the regional regulation states that the East Java Provincial government has allocated about 67,503 hectares to become a coastal area that can be exploited.

There are three zones in this arrangement. First, the mineral and coal mining zone in the waters of the Java Sea and Madura Strait. Second, the oil and gas mining zone in the waters of the Java Sea and Madura Strait. Third, the energy management zone in the waters of the Java Sea and Madura Strait.

"This plan is closely linked to the central government's ambition to exploit oil and gas on a large scale after coal is no longer the main option. They even label oil and gas for LNG as clean energy," he wrote.

If we refer to the Regional Regulation RZWP3K of East Java Province Number 1 of 2018, the space allocation for the oil mining zone is only 9,003 hectares. Meanwhile, the space allocation for oil and gas mining zones in the Regional Regulation RTRW as a result of integration is 49,062.88 hectares.

This means that the area allocation for deep oil and gas mining zones has increased very significantly by about 40,000 hectares. The increase in area allocation for oil and gas mining is in Gresik Regency, Pasuruan Regency and City, and Sidoarjo Regency.

Meanwhile, for sea sand, the issuance of Government Regulation Number 26 of 2023 concerning the Management of Sedimentation Products in the Sea legalizes sea sand mining and business.

"Sea sand mining will be used as an export commodity, to increase foreign exchange and non-tax state revenues from the country's marine and fisheries sector."

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1842552/kiara-walhi-call-for-an-end-to-exploitation-of-east-java-water