Walhi, Greenpeace Slam Jokowi for Reopening Sea Sand Export
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo issued Government Regulation (PP) No. 26 of 2023 concerning the management of sedimentation products in the ocean. The regulation contains a series of activities for transportation, placement, use, and sale, including the export of marine sediment in the form of sea sand.
The policy which also rules permits for sea sand exports has drawn strong criticism from a number of environmental organizations.
Riau Regional Executive Director of the Indonesian Forum for Environment (Walhi), Boy Jerry Even Sembiring, assessed that the President’s decision threatens marine, coastal, and small island ecosystems, as well as the people living in the areas.
“The policy issued by Jokowi contradicts his commitment to protecting marine ecosystems, coastal areas, and small islands,” Boy told Tempo on Sunday, May 28, 2023.
In the context of climate change, he argued that the sale of sea sand will add to the threat of sea level rise. Such an extractive activity, he added, will also exacerbate the threat of seawater abrasion and intrusion.
Walhi also highlighted the issue of state sovereignty. Boy said the policy shows that the country is ignorant about its national borders which will decrease if the shorelines of the outermost islands are eroded by sand mining.
Greenpeace Indonesia seconded Walhi’s statement. According to Greenpeace Ocean Campaigner Afdillah, opening up the export of sea sand may lead to food scarcity given that sea is one of the main sources of food for the people.