Thursday, April 11, 2019

Zoning Regional Regulation, Commodification of Living Space for Coastal Communities


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People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice (KIARA) 
www.kiara.or.id 


Jakarta, April 6, 2019 – As a maritime country, Indonesia has an abundance of marine and fisheries resources that can be found in coastal areas, small islands and deep water region. Not only the potential of capture fisheries, Indonesia also has abundant coastal and other marine resources, including the area of 2.6 million hectares of mangrove forest; tropical forest area on small islands of 4.1 million hectares, area of 1,110,900 hectares of seaweed cultivation, and salt ponds covering more than 25 thousand hectares.

All of these resources should have a positive impact on the lives of coastal communities in Indonesia (traditional fisherfolks, fisherwomen, aquaculture, salt farmers, preservers of coastal ecosystems, and coastal indigenous communities) both economically and socially. Not only that, with this wealth of marine and fishery resources, coastal communities should be the main actors in development.

However, to this day, we find the fact that more than 7.87 million people or 25.14 percent of the total national poor population are those who depend his live on the marine sector. In other words, those who have been living in coastal areas and small islands are the poor people. Then, where is the root of the problem?

The answer is that the arrangement of space in coastal areas and small islands that doesn’t provide a fair space for coastal communities. In contrast, structuring coastal spaces and small islands provides free space for investors to privatize and commercialize coastal areas and small islands. In this context, the politics of spatial planning is not directed to the maximum prosperity of the people, but to the maximum prosperity of a few people. Society/peoples is not the subject of development, but only an object of development.

The unfair arrangement of coastal and small island spaces is legalized by the Regional Regulation of the Zoning of Coastal Areas and Small Islands (Zoning Regulations). KIARA’s Data and Information Center (2019) notes, up to April 2019, that 18 provinces in Indonesia have ratified their zoning regulations. The rest, as many as 16 provinces are still under discussion.

Responding to that, Susan Herawati, Secretary General of KIARA, said that the Zoning Regional Regulation provides facilities for Investors to get investment facilities. "The zoning regulations in all provinces in Indonesia legalize the seizure of living space for coastal communities," she said. 

Susan give an example of deprivation of living space which was ratified by the Zoning Regulations in Lampung. “Lampung Zoning Regulation legalizes the reclamation project in South Lampung Regency, where more than 1400 fisherfolk families are affected. At the same time, the North Kalimantan Zoning Regulation legalized the sea sand mining project in the Bulungan Waters, where more than 2,290 fisherfolk families were affected," she said. 

Susan added, the NTB Province Zoning Regulation also legalized the sea sand mine in the waters of the Alas Strait, East Lombok for the reclamation of Benoa Bay, Bali. Meanwhile, the Zoning Regional Regulation of NTT Province legalized the seizure of space through tourism projects in the waters of Labuan Bajo and Komodo Island National Park. "Thus, the zoning regulations are ratified only to only cover the deprivation of living space projects. In other words, this is the commodification of the living space of coastal communities", she said firmly. 

KIARA called for the government to stop various discussions on Zoning Regulation that are still being discussed by 16 provinces while evaluating Zoning Regulations that have been ratified in 18 provinces. The State must guarantee the sustainability of the life of coastal communities while protecting their living space, as mandated by the Decision of the Constitutional Court (MK) No. 3 of 2010. 

As a maritime country, Indonesia has an interest in protecting coastal communities that have managed and preserved fisheries resources so far. "If their living space continues to be seized, then the future of coastal communities is in serious threat," said Susan. (*) 

Further information: 

Susan Herawati, Secretary General of KIARA, 0821-1172-7050 

Attachment 1: Data of Local Regulation on Zonation and Economy Interest Behind it 

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