COP26 is underway in Glasgow, including a major agreement to end deforestation by 2030, among other initiatives (BBC). Over 100 nations signed the pledge, including Brazil, Canada, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. About 85% of the world’s forests are located in the signatory countries.
The Central Jakarta District Court ruled that Indonesian President Joko Widodo, along with the ministers of Health, Environment, and Home Affairs and three governors, neglected citizens’ rights to clean air in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia (New York Times).
Indonesia’s outgoing parliament voted to postpone controversial bills on mining and land reform in the face of massive student protests. At least two students were killed in the protests outside the Indonesian parliament on September 30. Protestors criticized the bills for favoring business interests over the environment and land rights of indigenous communities. Despite the suspension, a new carry-over mechanism passed last week allows for bills left pending the previous term to be voted on by the next parliament.
The Indonesian government’s restrictions on imported foreign waste has upset residents in the village of Bangun, who depend on waste recycling as a key source of income. Since China banned the import of foreign garbage, Indonesia has seen a surge in the arrival of waste. Last year, Indonesia imported 283,000 tons of plastic waste, up 141% from the previous year. Bangun residents depend on the revenue to send people from the village on the Haj pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest sites in Saudi Arabia and fund schooling, livestock, and housing.
Indonesia's environment ministry has deployed a team to investigate the cause of a leaking oil well in the Java Sea. The well has pumped an estimated 3,000 barrels of oil per day into the sea and the northern Java coast since the spill began. According to the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), the country's biggest green nongovernmental organization, up to 80% of neighboring fishing communities have incurred some degree of economic loss as a result of the spill.
On July 17, Indonesian authorities seized 72 helmeted hornbill casques that were hidden in a woman's carry-on bag at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. The woman carrying the casques was charged under the 1990 Conservation Law, for which she could face up to five years in prison and up to 100 million rupiah in fines if convicted. The helmeted hornbill is listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List, a decline which has been driven by demand for their casques.
The Indonesian government has designated three new marine protected areas (MPAs) in the waters of eastern North Maluku province in an effort to achieve sustainable fisheries and support food security across the country. The MPAs span a combined 87 square miles within the Coral Triangle, which is home to the greatest diversity of corals and reef fishes in the world. As a result of the designations, only traditional and small-scale fishers using sustainable fishing equipment will be permitted to operate in these waters.
Nearly a decade after Indonesia and Norway signed an agreement to preserve Indonesia's rainforests, Indonesia is ready to receive funding from Norway for reducing its carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation in 2017.
Indonesia has announced its intentions to challenge a European Union directive, known as RED II, that aims to stop the use of crops that cause deforestation in transportation fuel by 2030. The country is concerned that the directive will unfairly target palm oil, of which it is the world's top producer. A government document outlining Indonesia's stance on the directive claims that the method use to measure the risk of unintended carbon emissions was not internationally recognized and not applicable in a tropical region.