Contesting Natural Resources in East Kalimantan, Indonesia

Monday 8 July 2024, 10:30 am
PhD candidate
M. Nasir Gintu MSc.
prof. dr. A.H.M. van Meijl
dr. L.G.H. Bakker (Universiteit van Amsterdam

This study investigates the distribution of authorities in natural resource management, particularly the coal mining and oil palm plantation sectors, during the decentralization era in Indonesia, with the East Kalimantan Province as the study site. By employing a socio-legal approach, this study found that legislation regarding coal mining and oil palm plantation is also intertwined with other sectors, such as the environment, spatial planning, land, and forestry. In addition, the governance of the sectors is organized at multiple levels (central, provincial, district, or municipal). Consequently, its development is very dynamic, with fast-growing legislation resulting in uncertainty of the law, which manifests itself primarily in ambiguous provisions and inconsistent and incomplete regulations.
This study also concludes that the regulations and licenses have not led to the sustainable use of natural resources and failed to fulfill the constitutional mandate to reach the greatest prosperity for the people. This study proposes the Ecological Fiscal Transfer (EFT) as a policy instrument for developing more balanced and integrated natural resource legislation and policies in East Kalimantan. By implementing this instrument, the district government can encourage village governments and villagers to protect and manage forested areas in their village areas.

Mohamad Nasir started his career as a lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Universitas Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, in September 2001. He has been teaching several subjects related to environmental and natural resources law. He also researched and was involved in advocacy efforts with several local, national, and international NGOs in East Kalimantan, mainly on environmental, natural resource management, good governance, and law-making issues.