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Fisherfolk against reclamations in Jakarta Bay, Indonesia


The plan to conduct reclamation in the bay of Jakarta has been around since 1995. The reclamation of 2,700 hectares was proposed as a solution to overcome the scarcity of land in Jakarta during Soeharto’s regime [6]. At that time, it could not be put into action since the plan contradicted the ruling land use planning in Jakarta (Rencana Umum Tata Ruang Jakarta 1985-2005), even when the then president had issued Presidential Decree No. 52/1995. It also faced strong opposition from environmental activists [1].

However, this plan was approved in the 1999 Jakarta’s ruling land use planning [6]. The funding for the reclamation of Jakarta’s bay comes from the private sector and not from the Indonesian State Budget or the Regional Government Budget, which caused a halt in this plan due to the Asian financial crisis in 1997 [7]. The Jakarta Bay reclamation project consists on 17 islets in the North Jakarta coastal area, which is the source of livelihoods for fisherfolks in Muara Baru and Muara Angke [1]. The permit for this plan had been going back and forth depending on the political situation in Jakarta and Indonesia. Despite a permission given in 2013, this reclamation project became a hot topic in March 2016 when KPK (The Corruption Eradication Commission) caught Sanusi (former chairman of Commission D, Jakarta Regional Legislative Council, DPRD) and a representative from PT Agung Podomoro Land during a bribery transaction for the deliberation of bylaws, Raperda on the Strategic Area Spatial Planning (RTRKS) of Pantura Jakarta and the Raperda on Zoning Plan for the Region, Coastal and Small Islands (RZWP3K) [15 and Octavianti and Charles 2018]. KPK confiscated a total of 1,240 billion Indonesian Rupiah. 

The creation of the islands was originally a separate development from the the National capital integrated coastal development (NCICD) or Garuda Project, a megaproject to build a sea dike to combat rising sea levels in the Bay of Jakarta. NCICD was launched by the Indonesian Government with the help of the Netherlands initially as the Jakarta Coastal Defense Strategy, and in 2013 with the name NCICD,  after coastal flooding hit the northern part of Jakarta in 2007 (Batubara et al. 2018 and Octavianti and Charles 2018). NCICD is a 62,5 km sea wall [8] with an investment of about 1.35 billion Indonesian Rupiah [9].

In April 2016, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo announced that the 17 islands reclamation project and NCICD would be merged. Following this announcement, a meeting was organised on 23 May 2017 by the Ministry of Coordinating Maritime Affairs at the Ministry’s office to explore the possibility of cross-subsidising the development of NCICD from the revenues of the 17 islands [22].

The socio-environmental impacts of this reclamation had been experienced by the fisherfolk in Muara Angke, which is a fishing port integrated with fishermen's housing and a fishing port management office owned by the DKI Jakarta government, in North Jakarta. As Elisa Sutanudjaja, the Executive Director of Rujak Center for Urban Studies (RCUS), mentioned that sedimentation had been causing the change of route to fish for the fisherfolk [5]. The Indonesian Traditional Fishermen Association (KNTI) pointed out that the project had reduced the income of the local fishermen by some 40 to 50 percent. During the 2000-2011 period, the reclamation project had affected around 3,000 fishermen and had resulted in the eviction of 3,579 families [17] . Additionally, 17,000 fisherfolk and their families may face eviction from coastal settlements.

In this area, there is the Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve, a 25.02 hectare mangrove area part of the last remaining mangrove forest in DKI Jakarta province that would also be affected by the reclamation project (Priombodo 2009).

The creation of the islands and the construction of the sea wall also require the transformation of spaces far outside of Jakarta, much farther than the Bay, or the spatially contiguous area of the Puncak. This is because the enormous quantities of sand and cement required for construction have to be brought from afar. KIARA’s activists estimate the reclamation of 17 islands requires 330 million m3 of filling material (Batubara et al. 2018).

In 2016, Luhut Pandjaitan, the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs, responded to the concerns of fisherfolk, arguing that there would be 12,000 fisherfolk to be prioritized in being given flats in the islets to ensure their livelihood through easy access to the ocean [12]. Further, Tuty from the Jakarta government acknowledged that there would be 1,900 boats prepared for the fisherfolk to fish – so, the fisherfolk could fish 12-13 km to the Java Sea [12]. 

However, according to Solidaritas Perempuan (SP) (Women's Solidarity) organization pointed out that, there is no legal recognition of fisher women. In the law they are mentioned as part of the fisher families. So if they are not recognized as fishers they are excluded from the process of compensation [19].

There were around 1,000 fisherfolk in Muara Angke complained that the development of Islet C and Islet D caused them to sail further as the water around the islets had killed the fish because it was murky – an implication that was acknowledged by one of the consultants of the draft bylaw who worked for the developer of both islets, although, they mentioned that this effect could be prevented with "good planning and implementation" [10].

On September 15, 2015, the fisherfolk under the Coalition to Save the Jakarta Bay filed a lawsuit to the State Administrative Court of Jakarta to annul the gubernatorial decrees which allows corporate developers to create the F, I, K, and G islets in the early phase of the project, although they knew that that Islet G had been created a long time ago .

On March 16, 2017 the fisherfolk won the case in the first level of the Jakarta State Administrative Court the reclamation permit was cancelled for Islet F, Islet I, and K Islet which had been given by the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government.

On April 15, 2016 Susi Pudjiastuti, Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries stated on a press conference that the Jakarta Bay reclamation process was temporarily suspended until they could ensure that the provisions for implementing reclamation in accordance with laws and regulations were fulfilled. He said that this was an affirmation of the results of his meeting with the House of Representatives Commission IV [19].

On May 31, 2016 a panel of judges at the Jakarta State Administrative Court granted the fishermen's claim for the Jakarta Governor's Decree (SK) regarding G Islet Reclamation Permit in Jakarta Bay to PT Muara Wisesa Samudra(MWS). The court found that the reclamation permit for North Jakarta's G Island was issued without taking into account articles stipulated in the Law No. 27/2007 on Management of Coastal Areas and Small Islands. Also, the environmental impact assessment submitted by the developer also did not involve affected local fishermen, arguing that the project offers little benefit to the public. The court ordered the Jakarta administration to shelf the reclamation project as soon as possible. During the trial for G Islet, some fishermen were facing intimidation, such as robbery and death threats by unknown perpetrators [20].

However on October 17, 2016 the State Administrative High Court (PTTUN) judges approved an appeal from the Jakarta administration and PT Muara Wisesa Samudra regarding the retraction of construction permit of Islet G, considering the previous verdict was invalid as it was proposed by the plaintiffs – the Coalition for Saving Jakarta Bay – more than 90 days after they learned about the permit and the project, issued on 2014 [2].

During this time,  protests have also been widespread: for example,  on April 17, 2016 hundreds of fishermen occupied the reclaimed Islet G in Jakarta Bay and spread out their banners with messages such as “#JakartaTolakReklamasi” (Jakarta opposes reclamation) and “Stop Reklamasi Berselimut Korupsi” (Stop corruption-tainted reclamation).The fishermen symbolically sealed the islet to celebrate the decision of the government and House of Representatives [17]. On November 11, 2016 dozens of demonstrators  members of the Save the Jakarta Bay Coalition demonstrated in front of the Dutch Embassy urging the Dutch government to stop involvement in the Jakarta reclamation project [21] . Two Dutch companies were involved in the planning of the reclamation project in Jakarta Bay, were Royal Haskoning DHV in the design of Island G, Island F, and Island N, and Witeven + Bos in the design of Islands C, D and E.

In 2018, the current governor of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan, revoked the permit for thirteen islets [3], while the four islets that had been developed were going to be managed by PT Jakarta Propertindo [4]. The level of investment for the Jakarta’s bay reclamation project is yet to be finalized, considering the multiple investors in this project.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Fisherfolk against reclamations in Jakarta Bay, Indonesia
State or province:Jakarta
Location of conflict:North Jakarta
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Urban development conflicts
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific commodities:Land
Sand, gravel
Tourism services

Project Details and Actors

Project details

On September 2018, the Jakarta governor revoked the permit to develop 13 islets with a total land area of 3,962 hectares (while the developed four islets are 1,093 hectares) [7]. Meanwhile, there were three other islets, which were already developed with infrastructures, to be managed by PT Jakarta Propertindo as appointed by the Jakarta government [4]. The permit of these three islets was not revoked as the infrastructures would be used as public space and owned by the government of Jakarta [3, 5]. Then, the name of these islets has been changed to Kawasan Pantai Kita (used to be Islet C), Kawasan Pantai Maju (Islet D), Kawasan Pantai Bersama (Islet G).

The construction to build Islet G started at the end of 2015 and finished in the middle of 2018 where it was acquired by the government of Jakarta due to the permit revoked. The developer went to construct the islet at that time since the environmental impact assessment (No 30/Amdal/-1.774.151) was published by the government which they saw as a green light. Justini Omas, the secretary of PT Agung Podomoro, explained that the investment value for the backfill process was around 4.9 trillion Indonesian rupiah [13]. The depth of the sea where these islets were located was five meter and the islets were designed to be three to four meters in height above sea level, which made the required soils and sands to be almost 10 meters high [17].

Anies Baswedan, current Jakarta governor, published 932 Building Construction Permit for the buildings in Islet G [22]. Further, he stated that the permits granted will not affect the fishermen as it is not a reclamation permit. These permits are based on the Governor Regulation of Special Province Jakarta Capital City No. 206/2016 published by the previous governor of Jakarta, Ahok. Ahok mentioned that he did not published the permit at that time because he was waiting for local government regulation which would allow Jakarta to get 15 percent from the Sales Value of Taxable Object [22]. The Jakarta government is partnering with the islets developer which allow the developer to manage 35 percent of the reclaimed area [23].

Project area:3,962
Level of Investment for the conflictive projectN/A
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:9,608,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/1995
Company names or state enterprises:PT KEK Marunda Jakarta from Indonesia - Developer of Island P and Q
PT Pelindo II from Indonesia - Developer of Island N
PT Jakarta Propertindo (Jakpro) from Indonesia - Developer of Island F, G, and O
PT Taman Harapan Indah from Indonesia - Developer of Island H
PT Muara Wisesa Samudra (MWS) from Indonesia - Developer of Island G
PT Kapuk Naga Indah (KNI) from Indonesia - Developer of Island A, B, C, D, and E
PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol from Indonesia - Developer of Island I, J, K, and L
PT Jaladri Kartika Paksi from Indonesia - Developer of Island I
PT Manggala Krida Yudha from Indonesia - Developer of Island M and L
PT Agung Podomoro Land (APL) from Indonesia - Parent company of PT Muara Wisesa Samudera
Royal Haskoning DHV from Netherlands - Involved in the design of Islet G, Islet F, and Islet N
Witeven + Bos from Netherlands - Involved in the design of Islands C, D and E.
Boskalis International from Netherlands - It is a reclamation contractor whose services are used by PT Agung Podomoro Land Tbk (APLN) through PT Muara Wisesa Samudera as the holder of the G. Island reclamation permit
Relevant government actors:Jakarta City Councilor
State Administrative High Court (PTUN)
Forestry Minister
Governor of Jakarta
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Coalition for Saving Jakarta Bay (KSTJ)
Solidaritas Perempuan (SP)
The People's Coalition for Fisheries Justice (KIARA)
Indonesian Traditional Fishermen Union (KNTI)
Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi)

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local government/political parties
National government
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Other Environmental impactsspecies migrations
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Potential: Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place


Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Proposal and development of alternatives:During his campaign to be Jakarta governor, Anies Baswedan gained support from KNTI (Kesatuan Nelayan Tradisional Indonesia, or the Indonesian Traditional Fishermen group) as they remembered that he would stop the Jakarta Bay reclamation. Thus, the public expected that he would disassemble the islets alongside of the buildings which had been erected - which is what an non-governmental organization, called LIMA (Lingkaran Madani) focusing on election monitoring, mentioned in response to Baswedan's Building Construction Permit publication.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:It seems that one of the stakeholders, the fisherfolk, is being left out in the decision making process as the Building Construction Permit was released in June 2019 for Islets D. The fisherfolk felt that they were not being taken into consideration and this reclamation is purely for business.

Sources & Materials

Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Law No. 8/1995 on reclamation

Presidential Decree No. 52/1995 on the reclamation of Jakarta's northern coastal areas.

Governor Regulation of Special Province Jakarta Capital City No. 206/2016

Law No. 27/2007 on Management of Coastal Areas and Small Islands

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Priambodo, Bodo Budi (2009). Preserve of Perish. A Scenario Analysis on the Future of Small-Scale Fishery in Jakarta Bay. Master Thesis. Maastricht Graduate School of Governance. University of Maastricht

Batubara B , Kooy M, Zwarteveen M . 2018. Uneven Urbanisation: Connecting Flows of Water to Flows of Labour and Capital Through Jakarta's Flood Infrastructure. Antipode 50 (5): 1186-1205

Octavianti, Thanti and Charles, Katrina. 2018. Disaster Capitalism? Examining the Politicisation of Land Subsidence Crisis in Pushing Jakarta’s Seawall Megaproject. Water Alternatives 11(2): 394-420

[1] Fishermen politicized to oppose reclamation project: Ahok. December 5, 2015. The Jakarta Post (accessed on 06.02.2019.)

[2] Jakarta administration, developer win Islet G appeal. October 21, 2016. The Jakarta Post (accessed on 06.02.2019.)

[3] 7 Fakta Seputar Penghentian Proyek Reklamasi di Teluk Jakarta. September 27, 2018. (accessed on 06.02.2019.)

[4] Segel Dicopot, Kendaraan Roda 4 Lalu Lalang di Pulau Reklamasi. December 3, 2018. (accessed on 06.02.2019.)

[5] Reklamasi 13 pulau di Teluk Jakarta dibatalkan Gubernur Anies Baswedan: Yang harus Anda ketahui. September 27, 2018. BBC (accessed on 06.02.2019.)

[6] Jalan Panjang Reklamasi di Teluk Jakarta, dari era Soeharto sampai Ahok. April 4, 2016. (accessed on 06.02.2019.)

[7] Perjalanan Panjang Reklamasi Jakarta. Kompas (accessed on 06.02.2019.)

[8] Kajian Tanggul Laut Libatkan Ahli dari Belanda, Korea dan Jepang. December 11, 2018. (accessed on 06.02.2019.)

[9] Tanggul Raksasa Disiapkan. December 12, 2011. (accessed on 06.02.2019.)

[10] Jakartans question land reclamation. October 23, 2015. The Jakarta Post (accessed on 06.02.2019.)

[11] Reklamasi Teluk Jakarta Lanjut. Kementerian LHK: Sempurnakan Dulu Dokumen Lingkungan. September 14, 2016. Mongabay (accessed on 06.02.2019.)

[12] Reklamasi Teluk Jakarta Lanjut. Kementerian LHK: Sempurnakan Dulu Dokumen Lingkungan. September 14, 2016. Mongabay (accessed on 06.02.2019.)

[13] Agung Podomoro Pastikan Reklamasi Pluit Dimulai Akhir 2015. September 18, 2015. CNN Indonesia (accessed on 06.02.2019.)

[14] Ini Asal-usul Pasir dan Tanah untuk Reklamasi di Teluk Jakarta. April 7, 2016. (accessed on 06.02.2019.)

[15] Mengintip Proses Reklamasi di Pulau G. April 7, 2016. (accessed on 06.02.2019.)

[16] Threatened fishermen rally against reclamation project. May 3, 2016. The Jakarta Post (accessed on 14.05.2019)

[17] Jakarta Reclamation Project has Potential to Widen Social Gap. May 13, 2016. (accessed on 14.05.2019)

[18] Fishermen stage protest against eviction to Thousand Islands. January 29, 2016 . The Jakarta Post (accesses on 27.05.19)

[19] Proses reklamasi Teluk Jakarta 'dihentikan sementara'. April 15, 2016. BBC Indonesia (accessed on 14.05.2019)

[19] Solidaritas Perempuan (SP)

[20] Penggugat Pulau G Kerap Mengalami Intimidasi. August 4, 2016. Okenews (accessed on 14.05.2019)

[21] Nelayan dan pegiat desak Belanda hentikan keterlibatan di proyek reklamasi Jakarta. November 23, 2016 (accessed on 14.05.2019)

[22] Perwakilan Massa: Dulu Anies Kampanye Tolak Reklamasi, Ternyata Janji Palsu.... June 24, 2019. (accessed on 07.22.2019.)

[23] Anies: Ketika Pulau Reklamasi Berkembang, Pendapatan Negara Meningkat. July 2, 2019. (accessed on 07.22.2019)

Reklamasi 17 Pulau Terintegrasi dengan NCICD, Bagaimana Nasib Swasta? April 27,2016. (accessed on 27.05.2019)

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network


Other comments:(accessed on 06.02.2019.

Meta information

Contributor:Made Sania Saraswati and ICTA-UAB
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:3002



Source: FISIP Universitas Indonesia

the 17 artificial islands, part of the planned Jakarta Bay reclamation development project.

Source: BBC Indonesia from Getty Images

Protest on April 2016 by the fisherfolk to stop the reclamation of Island G

Source: BBC Indonesia from Getty Images

The fisherfolks demanded discontinuation on the reclamation of Island G for its affect on their livelihood.

Source: Kompas

Map of the islands in the reclaimed area of Jakarta Bay