Law of Environmental Protection and Management Should Be Amended


Smog in Indonesia occurred due to forest fires, whereas the forest fires are allowed by Law No.32/2009 on Environmental Protection and Management. Article 69 paragraph 1 (h) states “Each person is forbidden to do land cleaning by burning it,” while paragraph 2 states “The provision stated on paragraph 1 (h) concerns with wisdom local of each area.” The local wisdom is land cleaning of maximum 2 hectares for each family head to grow local variety plants surrounded by firebreaks.

In a public discussion “Kupas Tuntas Bencana Asap di Indonesia” on Tuesday (3/10) at meeting hall of Graduate School of UMY, Dr. Widowaty, S.H., M.Hum. stated that the articles technically emerged two issues. First, if each family head may burn 2 hectares of land, and if all family heads undertake land cleaning, there will be thousand lands,” she conveyed.

“Second, the problem is on the management of local variety plants. If government truly controls the local variety plants, there may be only few people do it,” Dr. Yeni continued.

She inserted that the government is village head since she/he has good relationship with public so that the control will run well.

Hence, the law of environmental protection and management should be amended. If the amendment is not performed, the forest and peatland fires may ensue again. “If the law is not amended, public may assume that government agrees with one of the causes of forest fires in Indonesia,” Dr. Yeni emphasized.

Furthermore, Muhammadiyah is attempting to urge government to amend the law. A representative of Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Center Rahmawati Husein, Ph.D. informed that Muhammadiyah created Jihad Konstitusi (Constitution Jihad) and expected that the government amends the law soon. In fact, the forest fires bring harms to public in any sectors, particularly socio-economic sectors.

“Economic losses are like weakening of trade sector, transportation sector that a lot of flights were cancelled, and the decrease of plant production since the sunlight is covered by smoke,” mentioned Rahmawati.

She maintained that MMDC provided aids to improve economic and social sector like building children center so that they can learn, and medical aids for ISPA sufferers and others. The forest fires bring bad impacts like ecosystem damage, and the smog can ruin human resources and social life system.

She added that the smog of Indonesia in 2015 is getting worse because of El-Nino disaster in the world. The drastic climate change and lateness of rainy season makes the smog management slow. Nevertheless, Indonesia people have to be cautious that El-Nina, heavy rain and storm may occur in December, and the burned forests may cause flood. Thus, public is expected to be aware of the significance of forests and plants for sustainability of ecosystem, and not to destroy the forests anymore.

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