Savero Aristia Wienanto, Jakarta – The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) slammed the Jakarta Environment Agency for planning to control air quality measurement and monitoring instruments installed by unlicensed private companies across the capital. Walhi said this was an attempt to monopolize information on air pollution.
"The Jakarta government is trying to control information by shutting down private information outlets," Walhi Jakarta campaigner, M. Aminullah, told Tempo on Thursday, September 21, 2023.
Aminullah asserted that the private sector plays a pivotal role in monitoring air pollution. Instead of cracking down on the installation of air quality monitors, which are more widespread and accessible to the public than those owned by the local government, the government should cooperate with them to combat air pollution.
"If the government finds that they don't comply with the installation procedures, coordination can be made to fix it, so they can help and contribute," he added.
Going after the private sector would give the impression that the government wants to control information. "As if the government wants to monopolize information by closing private sources of information," Aminullah said.
Previously, the Jakarta Environment Agency said it would take action against unlicensed air quality meters, saying they were spreading hoaxes. The agency also asserted that only it could provide accurate data on air pollution because it was licensed by the Environment and Forestry Ministry (KLHK).