Residential Solid Waste Management in Semarang: The Question of Geographical Environmental Justice

Wednesday 8 February 2023, 10:30 am
H. Sidabalok
prof. dr. H. Ernste
dr. B.M.R. van der Velde, dr. A.L. van Naerssen

Sidabalok's thesis deals with the main environmental challenges in Indonesia, namely the solid waste management. The study focuses on household waste management in Semarang. Semarang still uses the end of pipe system. Waste is brought to temporary disposal sites (TDSs) and from there to a final disposal site (FDS). The poor management evidently does not only result in a negative impact on human life and the environment but also constitutes a geographical problem. The extent of the burden or benefit, of the sites, will vary according to the location. Further to this, households will be unequally exposed to some burdens depending on their proximity to TDS, gender (women usually suffer more), age and social group. Frequently poor people are the most vulnerable party who receive the burden rather than its benefit. 

The geographical problem can also be explained through the different public policy implementations between two or more different locations in the same jurisdiction. This is why environmental injustice is very often unevenly distributed between places. This condition creates the need to consider geographical aspects in waste management also. Elaboration of the geographical dimensions in environmental justice proves the policy of TDS placement is understood differently in Semarang jurisdiction. 

Hotmauli Sidabalok is a researcher and lecturer at the Faculty of Law and Environmental and Urban Studies, Soegijapranata Catholic University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Law from the Faculty of Law, State University of Surakarta, Indonesia, and her Master’s degree in Law from the University of Indonesia. Her interests both in research and education focus on environmental justice and regulation specifically related to urban communities, and gender issues. She is actively accompanying some communities’ movements to defend their rights on environmental issues. Since 2017, she is appointed as one of the members of the SDGs team in Central Java Province that supervise the local government to design the sustainable development goals on the government policy.