Indonesia: Jakarta scraps island reclamation project

  • The Jakarta administration says it has finally pulled the plug on a USD40bn land reclamation project pushed by the Indonesian government off the national capital.
  • Citing failures to pay tax and obtain environmental impact assessments, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said his office had canceled the “principal permits” of seven developers involved in the construction of 13 of the 17 planned islets in Jakarta Bay.
  • The permits gave the developers two years to get their plans approved, including the Environmental Impact Assessment, known locally as Amdal.
  • These reclaimed islands are part of the Giant Sea Wall project, launched in 2014 by the national government to mitigate the high rate of land subsidence in Jakarta as seawater encroaches further inland. The plan was also supported by the Jakarta administration at the time, led by then-Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.
  • But that support ended when Basuki lost his re-election bid in 2017 to Anies, who had made ending the reclamation project a centerpiece of his campaign.
  • The project has been criticized by environmental activists and advocates for local fishing communities, who say it causes harm to the ecosystem and threatens livelihoods.
  • Reclamation of four of the islands – known as Islets C, D, G and N – has already been completed. Anies said his administration was drawing up zoning plans for these islands. “We will prepare them for the public interest,” he said.

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