Reclamation a Form of Discrimination by SBY’s Government against Traditional Fishing Communities

Jakarta, June 14th, 2013. Discrimination against fishing communities is increasing due to the development process which is increasingly depriving local areas. It is conveyed by the UN Human Rights Council through Resolution No. A/HRC/19/75 about “Farmers’ and other Rural Communities or Labourers’ Right to Progress”.

KIARA Data and Information Center (June 2013) found that the coastal areas and small islands reclamation project is being run in 22 districts / cities in Indonesia. At least 18,151 households in 8 traditional fishing areas have been displaced due to the carving up of coastal areas and commercialization through reclamation (see Table 1).

Table 1. Total Displaced Fishermen in Coastal Reclamation Areas

Reclamation District No. of Displaced Fishermen (households)
1 Jakarta Bay 7,000
2 Beach Marina, Semarang 1,370
3 Balikpapan Bay 1,800
4 Manado, North Sulawesi, 1,500
5 Bay of Palu, Central Sulawesi 500
6 Kenjeran Beach, Surabaya 600
7 Losari Beach, Makassar 4,690

Source: KIARA Data and Information Center (June 2013)

Selamet Daroyni, Coordinator of Education and Network Strengthening at KIARA said that, “Coastal reclamation is a form of exclusion of traditional fishing communities. This practice is a violation of human rights by the State. Not to mention the impact on coastal and marine ecosystems, including: (1) changes in sedimentation patterns due to changes in the coastline, hydrology and potential intensity of reclamation activities at the site, and (2) mangrove ecosystems (both on the coastline that was reclaimed and in the surrounding area) will be destroyed to the extent that their ecological function as protection for coastal areas, filtering of sediment and as a location for growth and shelter for fish will be lost. Similarly, the circulation in the ‘reservoir’ is very weak, thus resulting in the problem of eutrophication as the supply of organic matter from rivers is blocked because of the presence of reclamation”.

In addition, the Decree of the President of the Republic of Indonesia No. 122 of 2012 on Reclamation in Coastal Areas and Small Islands is clearly contrary to the Constitutional Court Decision No. 3/PUU-VIII/2010 on Testing Act No. 27 of 2007 on the Management of Coastal Areas and Small Islands, an act which contradicted the 1945 ban on the practice of sectioning off and commercializing coastal areas and small islands.

With the hope that traditional fishermen’s lives can be without impoverishment and discrimination, KIARA urges the president to abide by the Constitutional Court’s decision to evaluate regulation and other related regulations, as well as to harmonize policies and management of coastal areas and small islands in order to fulfill and protect the livelihood of traditional fisher folk. ***

For further information, please contact:

Selamet Daroyni, Coordinator of the Division of Education and Network Strengthening

at +62 821 1068 3102

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