Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Rembang Melawan, Rembang Menang

Foto: CNN Indonesia
Kawan-kawan yang baik, ada berita menggembirakan datang dari saudari dan saudara kita di Rembang dan Pati. PK (Peninjauan Kembali) yang diajukan oleh masyarakat Rembang dan Pati mengenai izin lingkungan pembangunan pabrik semen PT Semen Indonesia dikabulkan oleh Mahkamah Agung. Pengabulan PK tersebut praktis mencabut izin lingkungan sehingga segala aktivitas pertambangan karst harus dihentikan. Ini merupakan kedua kalinya PT Semen Indonesia dikalahkan di meja hijau, setelah sebelumnya ia digugat oleh warga Samin pada tahun 2009 - yang kemudian memaksanya untuk memindahkan lokasi pembangunan ke kecamatan Gunem, Rembang.
Kemenangan ini tentunya tidak bisa dilepaskan dari perlawanan-perlawanan diluar persidangan, seperti aksi massa dan propaganda secara masif lewat berbagai bentuk dan media. Berbagai kiat dilakukan oleh warga Rembang sendiri, seperti mengorganisir aksi-aksi di Rembang, giat mengisi kuliah di kampus-kampus, mendirikan tenda perjuangan, hingga mengecor kakinya di depan istana untuk memaksa presiden bertemu mereka. Hasilnya: pembuatan Kajian Lingkungan Hidup Strategis atau KLHS (pertama di Indonesia jika terealisasi) atas rencana pembangunan di Rembang. Hal itu menjadi inspirasi bahwa tidak ada perjuangan yang sia-sia.
Pelaksanaan putusan tersebut harus kita kawal dengan sangat ketat. Tentu masih segar dalam benak kita semua bagaimana penggusuran Bukit Duri tetap berjalan kendati proses gugatan di pengadilan belum selesai, atau hal serupa yang terjadi pada kasus eksploitasi bijih besi di Bangka oleh PT PPM. Sebuah putusan MA tak ada gunanya jika legalitas hanya digunakan sebagai alat represi bagi mereka yang kuat. Maka dari itu, pengabulan PK masyarakat Rembang dan Pati oleh MA harus menjadi katalis bagi kita agar lebih bersemangat dalam melestarikan bumi yang kita tempati bersama ini, sebab perjuangan belum selesai disini.



Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Paid Plastic Policy Is Ineffective To Combat Plastic Consumption

Since 21 February 2016, coincidentally with National Trash Day (Hari Sampah Nasional), the government implemented a new policy. Through the Surat Edaran or SE (Form Letter) SE-06 / PSLB3-PS / 2015 about Paid Plastic Policy as an Anticipation Measure on Modern Retails from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), the government officially implemented Paid Plastic Policy throughout Indonesia’s modern markets. The SE was actually signed on 17th December 2015 although only enacted in 2016. With this policy, the government decided to oblige consumers who shop in the modern retail market to pay at least Rp 200, - to get a plastic bag. This policy is applied to reduce the number of plastic consumption in Indonesia. According to a research by sciencemag, Indonesia is one country with the largest number of plastic consumption, which reached as much as 187.2 million tonnes, putting them in the 2nd position globally, after China which reached 262.9 million tons[1]. Of course this is also due to the high population figures, which numbered 255,461,700 based on a data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), dated July 1, 2015[2]. There is a correlation between these two things. Large population accompanied by a big consumptive behavior yet low environmental awareness are a strong factor that influenced plastic usage. Although the government implemented Paid Plastic Policy as a measure to reduce the consumption of plastics, it does not actually help much. Instead, it could also create some drawbacks. There are three main reasons why the Paid Plastic Policy is ineffective.
First, Paid Plastic Policy puts emphasis on the costumer, which is a wrong target. The use of plastic at the level of producer and distributor is actually higher than at the costumer’s. It is noted that plastic consumption of domestic industry reaches 3.6 million tonnes annually, and it goes up to 4.3 million tonnes with imported plastic included. In addition, Paid Plastic Policy violates Indonesian Government Regulation (PP) Number 47 of 2012 Concerning Environmental and Social Responsibility of Companies which asserts that social and environmental responsibilities are to be held by producers, not consumers.
Second, Regulation on the policy itself is still unclear. Until today (19/5), there are no rules to regulate the circulation of money made from the sales of plastic bag. According to Deputy Assistant of Waste Management Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Sudirman, since the SE issuance until May, there is no regulation that regulates the flow of funds from the sale of paid plastic bags[3]. On top of that, some local governments have also made some contradictory rules. For examples the mayor of Balikpapan issued his own SE. In his SE (Number: 005/0123/BLH concerning Reducing Plastic Bag Usage and Paid Plastic Bag in Balikpapan) it is mentioned that the government allows retailers to raise the price of paid plastic bags to Rp 1.500. This is a deviation from the SE from the ministry of environment and forestry which is the reference of the SE from the Mayor of Balikpapan itself. The mayor’s SE could also result in plastic bags being commodified, which is in contradiction with the purpose of the policy: combating plastic consumption.
Lastly, Paid Plastic Policy is an overstep because Indonesia still does not have an effective recycle system. Data from the ministry of environment and forestry shows that there is only 5% of waste got recycled[4], which is a very small amount. There are actually several attempts by the government to build a waste-based power plant. The first plan was made in 2012 by a subsidiary of PT Pertamina, but the plan was not even started until now. Earlier this year there was an ambitious plan by PT PLN to build waste-based power plants in seven cities, but there was no progress at all.
All of those reasons proves that Paid Plastic Policy is ineffective in the fight against plastic usage. Not only that, the policy is also unconstitutional because it goes against the law to burden its own constituents. Rather than putting a price on plastic bags, the government should instead go after big players and greatly optimize their waste management first before targeting consumers. It is their responsibility as our representative on a state level to deal with big corporations that use plastic in a very huge amount annually.

[1] http://science.sciencemag.org/content/347/6223/768 (Accessed on May 8, 2016, at 12.46 WIB).
[2] http://www.bps.go.id/linkTabelStatis/view/id/1274 (Accessed on May 8, 2016, at 13.28 WIB).
[3] Based on excerpts taken from the record of a public discussion in Universitas Indonesia held by BEM UI.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016


I'd like to think that my generation still have a shot at repairing this blue little planet that we lived in; both its scarred environment and its flawed society. Yes call me naive, but I love life :))

Monday, 18 April 2016

The Communal Utopia of Marinaleda

Marinaleda is a town located in Spain. Marinaleda supported around 2800 people. Led by the charismatic mayor, Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, the village undergone a collective-coop experience. During the financial crisis in 2008, he organized the people to raid supermarkets and stored it in a newly-established local food bank. He said that “there are many families who cannot afford to eat,” he argued. “In the 21st century this is an absolute disgrace. Food is a right, not something which you speculate.” After that, he initiated the great experiment of collective living. Some media dub it the “communal utopia” of south Spain. There are several reasons why it is called that way. First, there were no unemployment in Marinaleda. Everyone worked in a collective-owned cooperative based on their own choosing such as olive plantations or some restaurants for tourists. Second, there were virtually no crime in Marinaleda. Police were unneeded there because people of Marinaleda relies on self-restrictions and vigorous ethical and principal educations which includes humanism, feminism, and tolerancy. Lastly, they live in a prosperous condition. During the crisis there were 690.000 empty properties, due to bank foreclosures. By now almost all of them has been turned into a productive collective space, mostly for agrarians. On top of that, everyone paid by a minimum wage of 1200 Euros. Marinaleda is a great place to live. It is quite inspiring for me because I realize that there is something wrong with an economic system in which food are plenty but so are the hungry.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Interfaith Marriage Should Be Legalised

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than ten thousand islands, consists of various religious and ethnic backgrounds. Despite being non-religion-based or secular country, Indonesian law still forbids marriages between different religions. The 1947 Marriage Law requires Indonesians to conduct marriage in line with the rituals of a religion to which both the bride and the groom adhere. There are several attempts of judicial review, but none has succeeded. Interfaith marriage should be legalized because it is unnatural for a government to confine its own people’s feelings. Interfaith marriage is also against the law. Based on article 28B, paragraph one of the Constitution, everyone has the right to establish a family. In addition, article 28D guarantees equal treatment and article 28E establishes freedom of religion.. However, many people still are still against interfaith marriage. For example, Din Syamsudin, the leader of Muhammadiyah, says that interfaith marriage would only result in misery. A lot of people seem to agree with his statement. However, a successful marriage requires happiness not a beliefs uniformity. There are many famous couple that have a successful interfaith marriage, such as Jeremy Thomas - Ina Indayanti. To sum up, the government should not confine their citizen’s natural feelings and upheld their rights by legalizing interfaith marriage.