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What’s Wrong with Semanggi Interchange?

During the commemoration of Independence Day, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo inaugurated the Semanggi Interchange and joined the crowd in complimenting the city for its breakthrough achievement. But what lies behind that celebration, unfortunately, is abuse of the land use regulation.

The interchange was constructed by PT Mitra Panca Persada as part of Rp579 billion (US$43 million) in compensation for additional floor area ratio (KLB).

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Global Demand for Seafood Tests Indonesia’s Sovereignty

Since April 1, Thailand has closed its Andaman Bay for commercial fishing and will maintain the policy until June 30. In a similar maneuver, China will adopt a moratorium on fishing in its waters from the Yellow Sea to the East China Sea and the South China Sea from May 1 to September 1.

Altogether more than 250,000 fishing vessels will be affected, and many of them will venture further to catch fish to avoid the costs of stopping operations completely.

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Land Swaps for Peatland Restoration?

The Government of Indonesia deserves high praise for its numerous commitments to protect and restore peatland over the past several years. At the start of this year, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) announced the Ministerial Regulation No. 40/2017 regarding government facilitation of Industrial Tree Concessions (HTI) within the framework of the management and protection of peat ecosystems.While the Government Regulation No. 57/2016 on the management and protection of peatland obligate the enterprises to protect peat areas under a conservation status, the aforementioned Ministerial Regulation provides a compensation scheme for HTI companies by allowing them to seek for land swap – to obtain substitute land for their working areas that falls into conserved peat ecosystem category.

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A One True Map, Not a ‘No-one’s Map’

If we try to look back and think about why fires are such a regular occurrence in Indonesia, we should know that the problem lies in how we manage our forest and land. This weak forest and land governance is often influenced by inaccurate, incomplete and outdated reference maps, causing issues such as slow spatial planning process, overlapping of concessions and licenses as well as growing conflicts involving local communities.