National Environmental Law
Weiweik Awiati, Indonesian Centre for Environmental Law (ICEL)
This discussion will focus upon the Indonesian experience in the field of environmental law. This discussion can be seen as a warning to other countries such as East Timor in the field of environmental law and the environment in general, to not repeat the mistakes of Indonesia in the environmental sphere.
I will also propose several measures which I believe can be used to prevent the same problems that occurred in Indonesia from occurring in East Timor.
Currently Indonesian laws and transitional regulations are in place in East Timor.
Indonesian National Environmental Law involves:
· General Environmental Law (GEL);
· Sectoral Environmental Law (SEL);
· Environmental Conventions that have been ratified.
General Environmental Law at the current time in Indonesia includes:
Sectoral Environmental Law includes:
There are a number of problems associated with Indonesian environmental law. These include problems with the legislation itself, as well as inadequate implementation and enforcement.
In terms of the legislation, there are inconsistencies between GEL and SEL. A further problem is that both GEL and SEL are very centralised, and their legal mandate has not yet been devolved to local areas.
The record of implementation and enforcement of environmental laws in Indonesia is poor. This is due to the inadequate human resources capacity of environmental investigators and supervisors, and a limited budget for program implementation.
Further factors that result in poor implementation and enforcement of environmental laws include:
- capacity and effectiveness of civil society in carrying out the function of public control is weak, this involves NGO’s, institutions of higher learning, the mass media, and society;
- bureaucracies lacking in integrity, responsiveness and professionalism;
- questionable capacity of the government (both central and district) to implement transparency, public participation and accountability in management of public natural resources;
- the independence of the judiciary must be struggled for;
- the districts do not yet possess enforcement and adherence strategies (there should be a multi-approach process).
Other significant problems associated with environmental laws in Indonesia are:
- lack of political will in the development paradigm in supporting measures for the protection of ecosystems;
- lack of a solid legal framework that supports the concept of environmental sustainable development;
- no conflict resolution mechanism.
The following points address criteria for legislative good governance;
1. Empowerment, community participation and public access to information
3. Democratic decentralisation
4. Recognition of the limited carrying capacity of ecosystems, and the importance of protecting them
5. Recognition of the rights of indigenous/local people
6. Consistency and harmony
The prerequisites for good governance are outlined below:
The realisation of environmental governance can be measured in several ways:
6. The extent to which the environmental budget is allocated