As coastal cities across Indonesia are experiencing rapid levels of coastal inundation, interdisciplinary research-based solutions are needed more than ever. As part of this effort, the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) collaborated with Deltares Consultancy and initiated a limited workshop titled “Delta Summit 2023” in the Sahid Hotel Serpong, South Tangerang, to discuss research findings and brainstorm future policies for land subsidence in delta cities in Northern Java. Anggraeni and Partners, represented by Muhammad Soufi Cahya Gemilang as its Junior Socio-Legal Research Analyst, is proud to have participated in the workshop as one of the invitees, along with representatives from the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment and the Regional Government of Demak.
To bridge the gap between research and policymaking, the workshop was divided into two sessions, specifically focusing on research and policy trends. The first session was opened by Dr Yus Budiyono from the Center of Limnology and Water Studies, who presented his study on land subsidence in northern Central Java and highlighted the conceptualization of land subsidence in research and policies. Following Dr. Yus Budiyono, Rizka Amalia from Deltares Consultancy presented her study on polycentric governance in land subsidence. Polycentric governance itself refers to a decentralized form of governance where multiple stakeholders (private sectors, local government, civil society, etc.) are involved in the governance process. She highlighted the theoretical basis of the concept and the application of the concept in three villages in Demak currently suffering from the effects of land subsidence. Following the presentations, the workshop provided the opportunity for participants to engage in dialogue with presenters and government officials.
From dialogues with government officials and presenters, there are key takeaways regarding land subsidence. Firstly, despite the current burgeoning interest in land subsidence research, there is a need for real-time monitoring data for policy practitioners. The current One Map initiative from the Government of Indonesia has not captured the dynamics of sedimentation needed for monitoring purposes. However, limited resources remained the main obstacle in this project.
Secondly, the concept of polycentric governance in dealing with land subsidence needs contextualization. As Rizka’s research showed, the concept cannot be applied to all three villages. Only villages where most of the people lived for generations were able to make some sort of active governance effort. Even with the efforts given, stakeholders in polycentric governance still face the risk of limited resources. Therefore, Rizka also noted the significance of the private sector in financing the efforts.
Lastly, the current policy and legal framework have not been able to cope with the problem of land subsidence. It is shown through the exclusion of land subsidence in UU No. 24/2007 on Disaster Management. This has significant implications for land subsidence management, as the standard form of disaster management was not being used to address the issue. Recently, progress has been shown as the government has included land subsidence management as one of the main priorities of the National Medium-Term Development Plan of 2020–2024. Apart from plans, the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment had also formed a specific working group to manage land subsidence. However, more collaborative efforts are needed to be implemented to improve policies and legal frameworks for land subsidence in Indonesia.
Working on future legal solutions, Anggraeni and Partners realized the need for collaboration and interdisciplinary work between sectors. This opportunity is part of AP’s commitment to partake in this endeavour by giving sociolegal insights on land subsidence issues. This commitment is a proof of AP’s readiness to provide future legal solutions for crisscrossing issues that Indonesia experienced.
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Anggraeni and Partners, an Indonesian law practice with a worldwide vision, provides comprehensive legal solutions using forward-thinking strategies. We help clients manage legal risk and resolve disputes on admiralty and maritime law, complicated energy and commercial issues, arbitration and litigation, tortious claims handling, and cyber tech law.
Muhammad Soufi Cahya Gemilang
Research Analyst in Ocean-Maritime and Climate