Maritime Ministry Justifies Revocation on Sea Sand Export Ban
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Sakti Wahyu Trenggono on Wednesday responded to a public discourse that alleges foreign interest had pressured the reopening of sea sand exports after the government lifted the ban on the management of sea sedimentation Law No.26/2023.
Trenggono did not deny that demands for Indonesia’s sea sand for reclamation projects are huge but asserted that the utilization of sea sand – which includes for export purposes – is only permitted if the commodity is derived from sedimentation.
As time passes, said Trenggono, there will be a dedicated research team to analyze proposals from business actors as a means to standardize the requirement for sea sand extraction.
"We are definitely not selling out the country, what is clear is that the demand for reclamation is so great. “Nothing is wrong to send it to Singapore or Japan, let’s say if experts deem [the sea sand] to come from sedimentation,” he said in a press conference at the Ministry’s headquarters on May 30.
He also said this policy has the potential to increase state revenues as according to his estimation, there are around 23 cubic meters of sea sand as a result of sedimentation in Indonesia every year. Trenggono also claimed that this policy will not damage the marine ecosystem or the lives of coastal communities.
Moreover, he said that so far, Johor Malaysia has benefited greatly from sea sand exports to Singapore. In fact, he suspected that Malaysia has also been dredging sea sand from Indonesia and implied that it is better for Indonesia to target the export market for this commodity.
Sea sand export was initially banned to prevent environmental damage and the sinking of small islands. The law was introduced after smaller islands in Indonesia’s outer regions at the Riau Islands were starting to disappear due to sea sand mining.
The ban was introduced in February of 2003 under the Presidency of Megawati, which was based on the environmental damages caused by sea sand extraction that was rampant at the time.
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