Environmental management in Indonesia is regulated by Law Number 23 of 1997. The Law defines the management of the living environment as an integrated effort to preserve the function of living environment which includes the policy for the regulation, utilization, development, conservation, restoration, supervision, and control of the living environment.
AMDAL and Licensing
Any undertaking and/or activity causing a significant and important impact towards the environment must have an Analysis concerning the Environmental Impact (Analisis Mengenai Dampak Lingkungan , “AMDAL”) to obtain a license to conduct the undertaking and/or activity. Such license is given by the competent official in accordance with the legislative regulations in force. This license must set forth the conditions and obligations to conduct the efforts to control the environmental impact.
In the issuance of a license to conduct an undertaking or activities the following shall be observed:
· the spatial lay-out plan;
· the opinion of the community;
· the considerations and recommendations of the competent official in connection with the undertaking and/or activity.
The decision on the license to conduct such undertaking or activity is published. Without a decision on the license, anyone is prohibited to conduct a waste disposal to environmental media. The competency to issue or refuse a license application is with the Ministry of Environment. Any person is prohibited to conduct an importation of waste of dangerous and toxic material.
The Ministry of Environment conducts supervision on the arrangement of responsibility of the undertaking and/or activity.
Within the framework of increasing the performance of an undertaking or activity, the Government stimulates the responsible person for the undertaking or activity to conduct an environmental audit. If the responsible person for the undertaking or activity is not carrying out the order for an audit, the Minister is entitled to carry out or has a third party to carry out the environmental audit at the cost of the person responsible for undertaking and/or activity concerned.
Settlement of Environmental Disputes
The settlement of environmental disputes can be conducted through a court of justice or outside the court based on voluntary preference of the disputing parties. The settlement of disputes outside the court is not applicable towards environmental criminal acts as regulated in this Law. If the settlement outside the court has been chosen, the accusation through a court can only be conducted if the said efforts are declared to be unsuccessful by the parties in dispute.
Any action violating the Law constituting pollution and/or destruction causing losses to other people or to the environment, obligates the person responsible for the undertaking and/or activity to pay indemnification and/or to conduct certain actions. Besides the imposition to conduct certain actions, the judge can stipulate the payment of compulsory money for each day of delay in the completion of the said actions.
The responsible person for the undertaking and/or activity which causes a significant impact towards the environment using dangerous and toxic materials shall be strictly liable for the resulting losses and pay indemnification directly and at once at the moment of the occurrence of the pollution and/or damage to the living environment. Such responsible person can be exempted from the obligation to pay indemnification if the person concerned can prove that the pollution and/or damage to the environment are/is caused by one of the following reasons:
· the occurrence of a natural disaster or a war; or
· the occurrence of a force majeure; or
· the activity of a third party causing the occurrence of a pollution and/or damage to the living environment.
In certain activities pertaining to specific kinds of resources, strict liability rests on those causing the damage and/or pollution of the living environment at the time of the occurrence of the damage and/or pollution
Settlement of an Environmental Disputes Outside Court
The settlement of an environmental dispute outside court is implemented to reach agreement concerning the form and amount of indemnification and/or to determine certain measures to guarantee that no negative environmental impact will occur or recur. The settlement of an environmental dispute can be done with the use of the services of a third party mediator, either one who is granted authority to make decisions or one who is not empowered to make decisions, to assist in the settlement of the environmental dispute.