INDONESIA GIVES GREENLIGHT TO CONTROVERSIAL LAND RECLAMATION PROJECT
On October 20, an Indonesian court overturned a lower court's earlier ruling that developer PT Muara Wisesa Samudra must halt land reclamation activities in Jakarta Bay. In 2014, the development company was granted a permit to construct 17 artificial islands in the North Jakarta coast to reduce pollution and create new lands for housing developments in the densely populated city. But this past May, a local court halted the project after a group of environmental activists and fishing communities brought forward concerns that the project was causing pollution and harming the livelihoods of fishermen and after a corruption scandal over zoning regulations was uncovered. Then, in September, Coordinating Maritime Minister Pandjaitan ruled that the project can move forward despite the court order. The October court decision overturned the local court’s decision, saying that the plaintiffs filed their suit against the reclamation project too late. Yet it still remains unclear whether the development project will continue: the Ministry of Environment and Forestry claims that the requirements for relaunching the project still have not been met. For the full story, see https://news.mongabay.com/2016/11/controversial-jakarta-land-reclamation-project-gets-legal-go-ahead/.