Giant Sea Wall to inflict losses on Jakartans: Groups

Giant Sea Wall to inflict losses on Jakartans: Groups 

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Jakarta | Wed, October 15 2014,

Jakarta News

The Giant Sea Wall, a Rp 600 trillion (US$49.07 billion) construction project in the Masterplan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesian Economic Development (MP3EI) that started on Oct. 9, poses serious problems for Jakarta’s residents, NGOs have said.

The People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice Indonesia (KIARA) and the Indonesian Traditional Fishermen’s Association (KNTI) said in a joint statement on Wednesday that the Giant Sea Wall would not only remove thousands of local people and fishermen from their homes but was also unlikely to be effective in resolving the flooding and water crisis that had long disrupted the lives of Jakarta’s residents.

Moreover, the project violated laws in that, for instance, it did not have environmental permits and was not based on the results of a regional strategic environmental assessment (KLHS).

Abdul Halim of KIARA said the MP3EI was a new method of natural resource destruction, which could trigger ecological disasters and remove people from their places of residence.

The Giant Sea Wall had been included in the MP3EI scheme after the Jakarta administration failed to protect settlements and warehouses in coastal reclamation areas he said.

“The government has never paid close attention to the rights of traditional fishermen in Jakarta,” said Halim in a press release made available toThe Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

During the implementation of the Jakarta coastal reclamation project on a 2,500­-hectare area in 2000-­2011, as many as 3,579 fishing families were forcefully removed from their homes.

In the Giant Sea Wall project, at least 16,855 fishermen will be removed from where they live and make a living.

“The project is destructive to the ecosystem in Jakarta Bay,” said Halim.

He said damage to mangrove forests and coral reefs would cause larger ecological disasters, such as the disappearance of fish in northern Jakarta waters and the decline of maritime tourism potential from a damaged marine environment and abrasion at Banten Bay and along the northern Java coast due to ongoing sand mining for the reclamation. (ebf)