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Japan and Indonesia—Connecting the Communities

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“Indonesia Officially Excludes Japan from Bullet Train Project.” This was the title of news in the Jakarta Post on September 30, 2015.[1] And the title the Asahi Shimbun had on the same day, September 30, 2015, was “Japan Loses Indonesian High-speed Rail Link to China.”[2] The Indonesia’s fast train project case has shown that Indonesia is an important market for Japan, and China is Japan’s competitor. But I will not analyze or discuss why Indonesia preferred China to Japan.

According to the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, foreign direct investment in Indonesia increased by 18.1% (year-on-year) in the third quarter of 2015 with US$ 21,337.21 million in 11,594 projects. Singapore, Japan, and Netherlands were the top three countries with the largest investment.[3] Japan has invested US$917.27 million in 399 projects.[4] Furthermore, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)’s annual survey on the current trends and future outlook of overseas business operations by Japanese companies shows that Indonesia is the first place as for Japan’s foreign direct investment in 2013 and the second place in 2014. China is third place in 2013 and fourth place in 2014.

Therefore, I could say, Indonesia is expecting more foreign direct investment from Japan in the future. Compared to China, Indonesia is more preferable for Japanese companies to invest in because of several reasons. Just as Japan and China, Japan and Indonesia were in conflict during World War II when Japan occupied Indonesia for 3.5 years. However, Indonesia has forgiven Japan.

Indonesia is a big market with 255.7 million people in 2015 and 321.377 million people in 2050.[5] The data from Standard Chartered showed Indonesia’s middle class (earning in the range of US$2–US$20 a day) numbered 149 million in early 2015, and will be around 171 million in 2020.[6]

According to a survey of Indonesian consumers by Deloitte Consulting Southeast Asia for households making 5 million rupiah (about US$416) per month, slightly more than 20% of income is devoted to luxury items related to leisure activities. The figure jumps to 26% for households making 7.5 million to 10 million rupiah (about US$ 625 to 833).[7] Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions index for Indonesia in 2013 was 123 points, with Philippines 121 points and India 118 points,[8] while the Central Statistics Agency data shows that 27.7 million people are under the poverty line in September 2013.[9]

The question is “Is foreign direct investment good for Indonesia?” Definitely it is good for the government in terms of macro economy performance and to create jobs. It is also good only for a small number of Indonesians while it does not help many who live in villages. And in most cases, the projects will create a big impact on the social and the environment.

Among six top sectors of foreign direct investment are 285 mining projects and 142 food crops and plantation projects.[10] Those two sectors are exploiting natural resources and will create a great impact on the communities in villages and the environment. In July 2015, Sumatera and Kalimantan Islands were covered by haze from forest and land burning. Since then, 10 people died because of the forest fire and haze.[11] And now, as of October 2015, hundreds of thousands of people are suffering from respiratory illnesses because of the smoke. Who are they? They are villagers, local people, and indigenous people who depend on the forests. Wild animals that could not run from fire will be burned or dying very slowly because of respiratory illnesses.

Police have arrested 127 suspects who started the fire and 10 companies—among them were foreign companies—allegedly started the fire in their peat land concession areas.[12] Most of the areas burned were prepared for oil palm plantations. Companies used fire for land clearing because it is cheap. But it is difficult to extinguish the fire in peat land. Japan, to a certain extent, contributes to the forest fire in Indonesia. In 2010, Japan imported 570,000 metric tons of palm oil, in 2011, 580,000 metric tons, in 2012, 595,000 metric tons, in 2013, 598,000 metric tons, and in 2014, 618,000 metric tons. It is increasing every year.[13]

The forest fire is only one example of how investments have impact on the environment and the lives of Indonesians, especially the poor and the indigenous people who live near the forests. In 2014, about 28 million people are in absolute poverty—based on the poverty line at US$ 25 monthly per capita income defined by the Indonesian government. If we apply the poverty threshold as is used by the World Bank—less than US$ 1.25 a day as poor—the number will rise.[14]

In 2011, partner with Ruai TV—a local television station in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, I helped empowering communities in West Kalimantan. I created a communication model and opened a communication channel named RuaiSMS. The idea was that through opening access to media, it would help the community resolve their problems and hold oil palm plantation companies accountable.[15] And after about a year, an indigenous peoples community was able to resolve its conflict with an oil palm plantation.

What is the lesson learned from my program in West Kalimantan? There are two important underlying factors to explain the lesson learned. First, in many countries, including Indonesia and other countries in Asia, mass media is not a public sphere any more.

According to Jurgen Habermas,[16] a German sociologist and philosopher, public sphere is an imagined space of communicatively mediated social life or a discursively constructed social space between the state and civil society. Public sphere represents the infrastructure for social integration through public discourse. No specific social norms and regulatory rules limit citizens’ access to the public sphere and no specific knowledge and competences are needed for them to participate in it.

The public sphere could be the sphere of public-ness, such as communication spaces created and maintained by the media, which involve relations of power and dominance. It could be the sphere of the public or publics consisting of free and equal citizens participating in public reasoning.[17] Media is supposedly a public sphere, which can be accessed by citizens. In the reality, however, media as business entity is not a real public sphere as defined by Habermas.[18]

In Indonesia, while the mass media have their own agenda and some are very close to parliament members, media is not a public sphere anymore. Most of Japanese believe in the mass media such as newspapers and television. When media cannot be functioned as a public sphere, how we can create a new public sphere?

Second, the community concept is becoming relevant again, especially in the era of social media with different forms and purposes. What is community? The word “community” is used in many ways— in community service, Christian community, gay community, etc. The simple definition of community is a group of people who have lived in the same way for a long time and do not like newcomers changing it. Examples include indigenous peoples communities and religious communities.

Community can also mean a gathering of a small group of people having something in common or lifestyle, family, class, such as a “movie star fan club.” A community is where everybody knows each other; all pull together in times of crisis. Or, a community is a group of people who come together sharing or having something in common. Or, a community is a place where everyone feels safe. “Each community is unique [and special], with values, beliefs, and religious practices that are rooted in tradition and continue to evolve and exist because they meet the community’s needs.”[19] No other community is quite like to each other.

Are community people? There are clear distinction between community and the people. As defined above, a community is a collectivity or a group of people and people are an unbounded group of individuals sharing few things in common rather than a universal social nature and political character or nationality.

McKenzie explains the human communities as an ecological product, which is the outcome of competitive and accommodative process that gives spatial and temporal distribution to human aggregations and cultural achievements.[20] Communities are in constant competition with one another, and any advantage in location, resources, or market organization is forthwith reflected in differential growth. The core of community is its people—their history, characteristics, values, and beliefs. For McKenzie, “the human community differs from the plant community in the two dominant characteristics of mobility and purposes, that is, in the power to select a habitat and in the ability to control and modify the condition of the habitat.”[21] McKenzie’s works are useful in understanding modern society.[22]

The concept of community is important and used in economic analyses and marketing (Otsuka and Kalirajan 2010; Jonathan 1990; Hunter and Tietyen 1997; Jaffe 2007; Kolb 2008), health issues (Anderson and McFarlane 2011; Laverack 2006; Cook, Halsall and Wankhade 2015), developmental and political issues (Kaufman and Alfonso 2007; Grabosky 2009), and environmental issues (Gordon 2009). Community is actually a fundamental part of our life on the planet. We are longing for community. It is part of our human nature. We are born into community. We define ourselves by our communities: family, work, clubs, schools, churches, and mosques.

Modern life has, however, moved us in the opposite direction, toward individualism and a sense of self as discovered in separateness, away from community and connectedness. We can clearly see the lives in big cities such as Tokyo or Jakarta or Bangkok or Beijing and other modern big cities but not in villages or remote areas. According to the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago, there are around 50 million people classified as indigenous. They live in communities, thousands of communities throughout Indonesia. The communities have done many initiatives without involving the governments.

During the Asia Leadership Fellow Program (ALFP), we met Arai Norihito and Hamaguchi Mariko from a civil society organization named Peace Seeds. With farmers in Chiba Prefecture, they are conserving indigenous seeds. We met another community, Share Okusawa. Horiuchi Masahiro is providing part of his old house to community members for having discussion, cooking together, screening movie, music performance, etc.

In Kamikatsu Town, we had the opportunity to learn about the Zero Waste Project, which the residents are involved in and support by recycling papers, plastics, and composting organic waste. The Project is also supported by the local government. Another initiative is from a citizen group in Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture, who edited and published a booklet entitled “Doctor Masaharu Tsubokura’s Easy-to-Understand Lecture on Radiation, from Minamisoma Fukushima” in August 2014.[23]


The lessons learned from my program in West Kalimantan are:


  1. Community is important and we need to identify or form communities to help villagers resolving their problems.
  2. The communities need to share important information or problem that they are facing with the outside world and they need to get important information for their community members from the outside world.
  3. To empower them, they need to connect to media as a public sphere or create a new public sphere.
  4. As community they will have bigger opportunities in resolving their problem
  5. People in each country could not depend on the government all the time for resolving their problems, even when government policies, especially economic policies, create more problems for the people. Foreign direct investment from developed countries to Indonesia creates more environmental and social problems such as forest fire.


My proposals for next activities are:


  1. Identify communities in every country in Asia and then transfer the real communities to the cyber space. In virtual world of Internet, we can easily form communities, which are difficult to form in real world because of distance.
  2. Create a new public sphere in each country using Internet technology as tools and medium to share information among communities or community members and open the public sphere for the communities.
  3. Create a regional public sphere as the place to share common threat or common concerns or common problems or share resources among communities in Asia.
  4. Since Asian has many languages, there should be volunteers helping translating the information from one language to other languages through crow sourcing.




Anderson, Elizabeth T. and Judith McFarlane. Community As Partner: Theory and Practice in Nursing. 6th Edition. Philadelphia: Walters Kluwer and Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2011.

Boswell, Jonathan. Community and the Economy: The Theory of Public Co-operation. New York: Routledge, 1990.

Cook, Ian Gillespie, Jamie P Halsall, and Paresh Wankadhe. Sociability, Social Capital, and Community Development: A Public Health Perspective. New York: Springer Cham, 2015.

Gordon, Iain J. The Vicuna. The Theory and Practice of Community Based Wildlife Management. New York: Springer Sciecantist, 2009.

Grabosky, Peter. Community Policing and Peacekeeping. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis Group, 2009.

Habermas, Jurgen. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Translated by Thomas Burger. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1991.

Heiney, Sue P., Linda J. Hazlett, Sally P. Weinrich, Linda M. Wells, and Rudolph S. Parrish. “Community Connection in African American Women with Breast Cancer.” Reseach and Theory for Nursing Practice: An International Journal, Vol. 25, No. 4 (2011).

Hunter, Victor L. and Tietyen David. Business to Business Marketing: Creating a Community of Customers. Lincolnwood: NTC Contemporary, 1997.

Jaffe, Joseph. 1970. Join the conversation: How to engage marketing-weary consumers. New Jersey – John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Kaufman, Michael and Haroldo Dilla Alfonso. Community Power and Grassroots Democracy. The Transformation of Social Life. Ottawa: Michael Kaufman, 1997.

Kolb, Bonita. Marketing Research for Non-profit, Community and Creative: How to Improve Your Product, Find Customers and Effectively Promote Your Message. Elsevier Inc.: Kuran lebat, 2008.

Laverack, Glenn. Improving Health Outcomes through Community Empowerment: A Review of the Literature: J Health Population, 2007.

MacDonald, Dennis W. “Beyond the Group: the Implications of Roderick D. McKenzie’s Human Ecology for Reconceptualizing Society and the Social.” Nature and Culture (6) 3 (Winter 2011): 263-284.

McKenzie, Roderick D. “The Ecological Approach to the Study of the Human Community.” American Journal of Sociology (30) 3 (1924.): 287-301.

Otsuka, Keijiro and Kaliappa Kalirajan. Community, Market and State in Development. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Splichal, Slavko. “Public Sphere and the Media.” In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, vol. 19 (2015) Elsevier Ltd.

[1] “Indonesia Officially Excludes Japan from Bullet Train Project,” Jakarta Post, September 30, 2015, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/09/30/indonesia-officially-excludes-japan-bullet-train-project.html.

[2] Masanobu Furuya, “Japan Loses Indonesian High-speed Rail Link to China,” Asahi Shimbun, September 30, 2015, http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201509300057.

[3] Trading Economics, “Indonesia Foreign Direct Investment,” http://www.tradingeconomics.com/indonesia/foreign-direct-investment/, and Investment Coordinating Board, http://www4.bkpm.go.id/file_uploaded/public/PERKEMBANGAN%20REALISASI%20INVESTASI%20PMA%20BERDASARKAN%20NEGARA%20Q3%202015.xls.

[4] http://www7.bkpm.go.id/file_uploaded/public/Bahan%20Paparan%20-%20ENG%20-%20TW%20III%202015.pdf.

[5] Population Pyramids of the World from 1950 to 2100, “Indonesia 2015,” http://populationpyramid.net/indonesia/2015/ (accessed October 2015).

[6] “Wealth Management Products the Right Fit for Emerging Middle Class,” Jakarta Post, March 27, 2015, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/03/27/wealth-management-products-right-fit-emerging-middle-class.html.

[7] “Indonesians Splurge When Monthly Income Passes $375,” Nikkei Asian Review, July 15, 2015, http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Consumers/Indonesians-splurge-when-monthly-income-passes-375.

[8] “Indonesian middle class most optimistic in the world: Nielsen,” Jakarta Post, July 24, 2013, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/07/24/indonesian-middle-class-most-optimistic-world-nielsen.html.

[9] “The Overview of Poverty in Indonesia on September 2014,” (January 2, 2015), http://www.bps.go.id/website/brs_eng/brsEng-20150130161955.pdf.

[10] http://www7.bkpm.go.id/file_uploaded/public/Bahan%20Paparan%20-%20ENG%20-%20TW%20III%202015.pdf.

[11] “Darurat Kesehatan : Asap Akibat Kebakaran Hutan dan Lahan Gambut Mulai Timbulkan Korban Jiwa,” eMaritim, October 2015, http://www.emaritim.com/2015/10/darurat-kesehatan-asap-akibat-kebakaran.html.

[12] “Sebanyak 127 Orang dan 10 Perusahaan Jadi Tersangka Kebakaran Hutan,” Nasional, September 16, 2015, http://nasional.kompas.com/read/2015/09/16/00320091/Sebanyak.127.Orang.dan.10.Perusahaan.Jadi.Tersangka.Kebakaran.Hutan.

[13] Index Mundi, “Japan Palm Oil Imports by Year,” http://www.indexmundi.com/agriculture/?country=jp&commodity=palm-oil&graph=imports.

[14] “OECD Economics Surveys Indonesia,” (March 2015), http://www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/Overview-Indonesia-2015.pdf.

[15] International Center for Journalists, “New Mobile SMS Service Helps Indonesian Villagers Hold Company Accountable,” (December 1, 2011), http://www.icfj.org/news/new-mobile-sms-service-helps-indonesian-villagers-hold-company-accountable.

[16] Jurgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, translated by Thomas Burger, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1991).

[17] Slavko Splichal, “Public Sphere and the Media,” in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, vol. 19, (Elsevier Ltd., 2015),

[18] Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society.

[19] Elizabeth T. Anderson and Judith McFarlane, Community As Partner: Theory and Practice in Nursing, 6th Edition, (Philadelphia: Walters Kluwer and Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2011).

[20] Roderick D. McKenzie, “The Ecological Approach to the Study of the Human Community,” American Journal of Sociology (30) 3 (1924): 287-301.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Dennis W. MacDonald, “Beyond the Group: The Implications of Roderick D. McKenzie’s Human Ecology for Reconceptualizing Society and the Social,” Nature and Culture (6) 3 (Winter 2011): 263-284.

[23] Japan for Sustainability, “Citizen Group in Disaster Area Publishes Booklet to Provide Basic Information on Radiation,” (October 24, 2015), http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035380.html.

The article – a final report as ALFP Fellow 2015 – was published at Asia Leadership Fellow Program site. You can read from the original site here.

Written by Harry Surjadi

16 August 2016 at 21:15

Please, wash your hands before eating!

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Here is the typical picture of worst slum areas in Jakarta and other big cities in Indonesia: most of the houses made of recycled wooden pallets, plastic or cardboard boxes, or used asbestos; houses usually have only one room and usually packed with five or more people. The environment surrounding the slums is as poor as the inhabitants: lack of proper sewerage system, no electricity, lack of clean water supply, and sanitary facilities.

In Penjaringan subdistrict, one of slum areas in North Jakarta, people lives in better houses. Most of houses are two stories wooden houses with only two rooms of 3m by 3m. The houses are jammed together, side by side and back to back. The houses hug each other.

There are narrow alleys cross the complex. The houses are the wall of the alleys. Since the alleys are so narrow, the sun disappears from view upon entering them. The alleys have 40 cm wide drainage ditches which clogged with plastic bags, plastic bottles, food scraps, and other household waste. And the garbage not only in sewerage system, they are almost everywhere.

Combination of poor environment and wrong perception on healthy behaviors is cause of high mortality rate of children under five years old. According to Indonesian Demographic Survey 2003, diarrhea is the cause of 19% death amongs children under five years old. About 75 of 100,000 children under five years old of die every year in Indonesia because of diarrheal diseases.

Baseline survey on healthy attitude and behavior done by Environmental Services Program funded by USAID in 18 regencies from eight provinces found that diarrhea prevalence of children under three years is 28%. “Actually diarrhea deseases can be prevented through easy healthy or hygiene behaviors such as washing hands before eating,” said Ms. Nona Pooroe Utomo from ESP-USAID in a discussion with media on how to fight diarrhea through access to clean water and proper sanitation, in Jakarta, 18 January 2007.

The Baseline Qualitative Survey objectives are to understand connection between water and behavior of hygiene life; to identify factors that discourage or encourage people to adopt hygiene life behaviors; to understand attitudes, believes, motivations, and perceptions of hygiene life of the people surveyed.

Val Curtis (a senior lecturer in hygiene promotion) and Sandy Cairncross (a professor of environmental health) from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in British Medical Journal 5 July 2003 edition and other publications wrote the impact of improved water, sanitation, and hygiene on reducing diarrhoeal diseases.

By improving the quality of water supplies cuts the risk of diarrhea by only about 16% (although it has other benefits) and making water more available reduce the risk by 20%. Installing adequate facilities to dispose of bodily exretions and promoting hygiene, however, are twice as effective. “A recent systematic review of the impact of washing hands with soap show that this specific practice may be almost three times as effective as improving water quality, cutting the risk of diarrhea by 47%,” wrote the two experts.

It is easy to understand for people of developed countries or rich people of developing countries who live in expensive housing complexes that if hand washing is practiced before eating, it will prevent diarrhoeal diseases. But not for people who live in slum areas Penjaringan or other slum areas in developing countries.

According to the ESP-USAID survey most of people (men and women who have children under three years old) believe that diarrhoeal diseases do not relate to cleanly behavior and good sanitation. They said it because of food contamination, climate, or relate to supernatural power. Some believe that it is a sign that their children are growing up. And some of them who believe that diarrhoeal diseases have connection with cleanliness, garbage and flies are the main infected agents.

How do diarrhoeal diseases spread and get into their children? They said they go from garbage to flies, from flies to food eaten by their children. Or it can be from garbage in the dirty playground to the hands of their children or from garbage in dirty environment to hands of their children.

Most of respondents know how to ward off diarrhea diseases with simple step such as fluid and electrolyte replacement (although they do not really know the reasons). They know when to find medical help. But they also believe that herbals and traditional medicine, even tradisional doctors can cure the diseases.

Perception of cleanness

When respondents were showed pictures of clean people in focus group discussions, they chose Dian Sastro, a famous young Indonesian movie actrees, not ordinary people such as them, explained Utomo. Their perception of cleanness is related to clean physical appearances, good morally and mentally.

In their perception, a clean people, such as Dian Sastro, is physically clean, smells good, always changes clothes after taking a bath, that only rich people can have such kind of cleanness. They believe that poor people is not clean people.

They understand there is strong relation between clean houses with their environment. A clean house has to have garbage cans, good ventilations, trees that create beauty and comforts. They associate health with sunlight that penetrates houses. And in their head, clean environment relates to a better garbage management. It is all citizen responsibility to make cleaner environment.

Clean behaviors

The ESP-USAID survey examined three things related to hygiene behaviors, which were washing hands, preparing foods, and exreting of total 7,137 women respondents who have children under three years old. The results showed that most of them do wash their hands but without soap, although it is easy for them to get soap. Only few women said that they wash their hands with soap, especially after taking care of their children faces.

Soap is used when their hands look dirty, feel sticky, or smell bad, e.g. after handling garbage. For them, dirty is associated with visual appearances not with hygiene.

Housewives surveyed have behavior to wash raw food before cooked them. But the way they wash the food, do not use running water, can contaminate the food with bacteries. They do not comfortable using running water because they cannot see the dirt being washed away. If they use running water, they have to use more water that means they have to spend more money on water.

Most of respondents have no access to proper sanitation facilities. They have no toilets or bathrooms in their houses. They prever to use public open air privies near the rivers or small lake, especially for people live in rural and suburban areas or in slum areas. Economic, cognitive and emotional factors are behind of this behavior.

They believe that excreting in open space does not harm the environment. And everybodies has been practicing it since ever, therefore they do not facing a moral sanction. They said using open air privies are more comfortable because of they can see natural sceneries, breath clean air, and everybodies do it.

Other reason is economic, to save money for other things rather than for water or build toilet inside their houses.

Wash hands campaing

In September 2006, Mercy Corps Indonesia and people of Petojo, another slum area in Jakarta, have built four hand-washing stations in their neighborhood, in areas where children play. Like many other urban poor areas in Jakarta, the residents in Petojo do not have proper sanitation facilities.

Ideally in the stations there should always be a bar of soap, a clean towel ready, besides clean water. There are also pictures drawn at the stations to show “the correct way to wash your hands – by rubbing your hands together with soap.”

A “Wash your hands with soap” campaign, a program of Coalition for Healthy Jakarta supported by Shell Indonesia, proved that people can change their behavior. Before the campaign been conducted in Petamburan district, a poor urban area in Central Jakarta where has children mortality rate 30 of 1,000 children in 2003, only 65% have behavior of washing hands with soap. After the campaign, it increased to 96%.

It is possible to encourage people who live in rural, suburban, or slum areas in the big cities to adopt “wash hand before eating” behavior. The problem is where they can get clean water, or quite cheap clean water. If the water used for washing hands is contaminated especially with human excreta (since most of the privies channel excretes directly to rivers), how can we guarantee that germs are not transmitted.

Municipal Water Corporation can only supply 35% of cities residents. Most of residents get their water from traditional wells or rivers. Indonesian government definitely has to improve sanitation facilities, clean water supply, while NGOs help the residents of urban-poor areas to change their improper behavior to reduce death of diarrhea diseases.

(The article was published in 2007)

Written by Harry Surjadi

13 August 2016 at 01:05

Hentikan Pengambilan Air Tanah Sebelum Jakarta Tenggelam

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Ada tiga hal penting yang disampaikan Christiana Figueres, Sekretaris Eksekutif Konvensi Perubahan Iklim PBB (UNFCCC) dalam acara pembukaan konferensi Adaptation Futures 2016 awal Mei di Rotterdam, Belanda. Pertama, adaptasi perubahan iklim haruslah berpusat pada manusia. Kedua, adaptasi perubahan iklim bukanlah didorong oleh teknologi. Ketiga, adaptasi perubahan iklim adalah mengenai kualitas hidup.

Adaptation is people center. It has to be people center. It cannot be technology driven,” kata Christiana Figureres. “Adaptation is about quality of life.”

Pemerintah DKI Jakarta sudah lama selalu berurusan dengan air: air banjir, kekurangan air, air tanah, intrusi air laut, banjir rob, dan upaya menyediakan air bersih untuk warga Jakarta.

Presiden RI Joko Widodo dalam rapat terbatas membahas reklamasi Teluk Jakarta tanggal 27 Mei 2016 mengatakan Jakarta butuh pertahanan yang berkelanjutan dalam penyediaan air bersih, air minum, pengolahan air limbah, dan revitalisasi sungai. NCICD (National Capital Integrated Coastal Development) adalah jawaban untuk Jakarta.

Sebelum ada NCICD tahun 2009-2012 di era Presiden SBY ada JCDS – Jakarta Coastal Defence Strategy untuk mengatasi banjir Jakarta. JSDS – membangun tembok penghalang air laut masuk ke daratan – di bawah payung kerja sama Pemerintah Indonesia dan Belanda dalam berbagi pengalaman, keahlian, dan pengetahuan. Proyek ini tanggung jawab Kementerian Pekerjaan Umum.

Tahun 2013 – setelah JCDS selesai – disepakatilah proyek NCICD yang melibatkan swasta dari Belanda maupun Indonesia. Wilayah cakupan NCICD lebih luas hingga Bekasi dan Tangerang.

Tujuan proyek raksasa dari semua aspek adalah melindungi Jakarta dari banjir yang permanen dengan membangun tembok raksasa (giant sea wall) sepanjang 35 km di utara pesisir Jakarta. NCICD ini proyek seharusnya menjadi jawaban bagaimana Jakarta beradaptasi dari perubahan iklim.

Tiga aspek penting adaptasi yang disampaikan oleh Christiana – berpusat pada manusia, bukan didorong teknologi, dan mengenai kualitas hidup – tidak tergambar dari uraian proyek NCICD atau yang sudah berlangsung.

NCICD sangat gamblang mengutamakan teknologi. Tembok raksasa adalah solusi teknologi menghambat naiknya permukaan air laut agar tidak menggenangi daratan Jakarta. Pompa air untuk memindahkan limpasan air dari Sungai Ciliwung dan Sungai Cisadane juga teknologi. Reklamasi laut membuat pulau-pulau jelas sekali teknologi. NCICD didorong oleh teknologi – technology driven.

Apakah proyek NCICD berpusat pada manusia? Tidak. Proyek NCICD lebih menonjolkan ekonomi – bagaimana pulau-pulau buatan bisa membiayai proyek NCICD dan berapa yang akan didapat oleh Pemda DKI dari pulau-pulau buaan itu. Memang ada analisis mengenai komunitas terapung (floating community). Manusia – terutama nelayan dan kelompok miskin ibukota – bukan agregat proyek NCICD. Ketika manusia bukan menjadi pusat, kesejahteraan menjadi tidak penting. NCICD bukanlah model adaptasi perubahan iklim yang digambarkan oleh Christiana.

Air Tanah

Nara sumber lain, Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for Water Affair, Pemerintah Belanda, mengatakan 80 persen upaya adaptasi perubahan iklim adalah mengenai air.

Untuk Jakarta, beradaptasi adalah mengenai banjir, banjir rob, ketersediaan air bersih dan air minum, intrusi air laut, naiknya permukaan air laut, dan 13 aliran anak Sungai Ciliwung.

Koos Wierik, Staf Ahli Menteri Sumber Daya Air Belanda yang pernah menjadi konsultan di Kementerian Pekerjaan Umum di Jakarta, dalam wawancara di sela-sela Konferensi Adaptation Futures 2016, di Rotterdam, mengatakan seharusnya – dalam konteks proyek NCICD – upaya pertama adalah menghentikan pengambilan air tanah. Jika tidak distop, Jakarta tidak akan bisa beradaptasi pada perubahan iklim.

Turunnya permukaan tanah adalah persoalan utama banjir di Jakarta yang juga mendorong JCDS. Tahun 1974 di sepanjang pesisir utara Jakarta permukaan tanah sudah turun antara 2-2,5 meter. Pantauan ITB antara tahun 2000-2011 penurunan permukaan sekitar 1 m di bagian utara Jakarta (bahkan di kawasan Pluit hingga 1,4 m) sedangkan di bagian selatan hanya beberapa puluh centimeter saja.

Atau rata-rata penurunan tanah per tahun Jakarta bagian barat 6-8 cm dan di timur 2-3 cm. Di kawasan Pluit lebih dari 12 cm per tahun. Sejauh 10 km ke selatan Jakarta penurunan tanah bervariasi tergantung wilayahnya.

Salah satu penyebab turunnya permukaan tanah adalah pengambilan air tanah – terutama air tanah dalam – yang melebihi kapasitas pengisiannya. Tekanan air tanah (piezometric) untuk sumur dangkal (kedalaman 40-140 m) di utara bagian timur perubahannya kecil. Di bagian tengah dan selatan penuruan tekanan air tanah menuruan rata-rata 0,5-1,5 m per tahun. Untuk sumur dalam (kedalaman 140-220 m), penurunan piezometric lebih merata antara 0-1 me per tahun. Semakin ke selatan semakin besar perubahannya.

Penelitian Amrta Institute for Water Literacy menunjukkan ada keanehan data terkait dengan pengambilan air tanah, penyediaan air PAM dan pemasukan pajak air tanah ke Pemda DKI. Badan Pengelolaan Lingkungan Hidup Daerah (BPLHD) DKI Jakarta mencatat kebutuhan air bersih untuk industri 195 juta m3/tahun. Kurang lebih 87,07 juta m3/tahun bisa dipenuhi oleh PAM. Kemungkinan besar – karena tidak ada lagi sumber air bersih di Jakarta – sisanya kurang lebih 108 juta m3/tahun dipenuhi dari air tanah.

Data Dinas Tata Air DKI Jakarta tahun 2015 menunjukkan penggunaan air tanah tahun 2014 mencapai 8,8 juta m3 meningkat dibandingkan tahun 2013 sekitar 7,2 juta m3.

Kebutuhan air tanah – dari perhitungan BPLHD DKI Jakarta – sebesar rata-rata 108 juta m3 ada perbedaan jauh menyolok 99,2 juta m3 yang tidak jelas dari mana suplai airnya. Kemungkinan 99,2 juta m3 itu berasal dari air tanah yang diambil ilegal atau tidak dilaporkan.

BPLHD melaporkan lagi data yang berbeda yaitu ada penurunan penggunaan air tanah setiap tahun – 18 juta m3 tahun 2009, 10 juta m3 tahun 2010, dan 7 juta m3 tahun 2011 – sementara tidak ada peningkatan signifikan suplai air PAM.

Harusnya, Proyek NCICD – sebelum bersemangat membuat pulau-pulau berwajah garuda dan mengambil uang dari transaksi penjualan hak penggunaan pulau yang belum jadi itu – lebih dahulu menghentikan pengambilan air tanah di Jakarta. Pemda DKI harus menata ulang pendataan para pelanggan air tanah, menindak semua pencuri air tanah, dan meningkatkan suplai air bersih dari PAM jika tidak ingin Jakarta tenggelam.

Written by Harry Surjadi

12 August 2016 at 20:31

Ahok, Ini PR Anda: Indeks Air Jakarta Ke-47 dari 50 Kota

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JUM’AT, 13 MEI 2016 | 11:48 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Rotterdam – Arcadis, perusahaan konsultan khusus bidang lingkungan, meluncurkan Arcadis Sustainable Cities Water Index 2016 di Rotterdam, Belanda. Indeks ini hanya untuk 50 kota di dunia. Jakarta berada di posisi ke-47 dan Rotterdam di urutan pertama. Sedangkan New Delhi, India, berada di posisi buncit.

Arcadis mengumumkan indeks tersebut di Rotterdam, 10 Mei 2016. Mentor Tempo SMS, Harry Surjadi, hadir dalam acara tersebut. Buruknya kualitas air Jakarta menjadi salah satu pekerjaan berat Gubernur DKI Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.

Frank Goossensen, Direktur Water Europe Arcadis, mengatakan ada tiga elemen atau subindeks yang menjadi dasar perhitungan indeks itu: ketahanan, efisiensi, dan kualitas.

Subindeks ketahanan menggambarkan seberapa siap sebuah kota mengatasi kondisi terlalu sedikit air dan terlalu banyak air, melindungi warganya dari bencana banjir dan kekeringan dengan tetap memastikan ketersediaan air bersih.

Subindeks efisiensi dinilai, antara lain, dari apakah masih ada kebocoran dalam distribusi dan bagaimana kota mengelola air limbah dan sanitasi. Subindeks kualitas menunjukkan seberapa baik bersih dan aman untuk kesehatan air yang disediakan kota.

Jika berdasarkan subindeks ketahanan (resiliency), Jakarta ada di posisi ke-38. Bandingkan dengan Tokyo yang ada di urutan ke-41. Posisi paling buncit untuk ketahanan ditempati Manila.

Jakarta berada di posisi ke-46 dalam subindeks efisiensi. Pada subindeks ini, New Delhi kembali berada di posisi buncit. Adapun Copenhagen adalah kota paling efisien dalam mengelola air.

Toronto, Kanada, menyediakan air paling berkualitas untuk warganya. Jakarta berada di posisi ke-45 dalam subindeks kualitas. Sedangkan Manila paling buruk airnya.

Goossensen menjelaskan, indeks dan subindeks dihitung berdasarkan data terbuka yang tersedia di berbagai institusi di dunia.


Artikel di tempo.co: https://metro.tempo.co/read/news/2016/05/13/083770661/ahok-ini-pr-anda-indeks-air-jakarta-ke-47-dari-50-kota

Written by Harry Surjadi

12 August 2016 at 20:01

Tiga Penghambat Banjir: Melawan Air dengan Air

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TEMPO.CO, Delft, Belanda: Karung berisi pasir menjadi andalan untuk menghambat air banjir masuk ke dalam rumah atau menghambat air banjir masuk ke fasilitas penting. Tidak mudah mencari pasir saat banjir datang di kota besar. Saat hujan dan banjir, yang tersedia hanyalah air.

Tiga perusahaan di Belanda dengan kreatif menciptakan penghambat air banjir pengganti karung pasir. Produk-produk mereka sudah diuji coba di fasilitas Flood Proof Holand, Delf Technical University, Belanda. Ketiga produk itu “TubeBarrier, Velox, dan BoxBarrier“ menerapkan prinsip melawan air dengan air atau fighting water with water

Para peserta International Climate Change Adaptation Conference ke-4 di Rotterdam, Belanda, 13 Mei 2016, melihat demo bagaimana tiga produk pengganti karung pasir berfungsi.

TubeBarrier “yang diciptakan oleh Robert Alt“ adalah salah satu dari tiga contoh pengganti karung pasir. Sebelum dipasarkan, TubeBarrier diujicobakan di Flood Proof Holand. Setelah melewati ratusan kali uji coba selama dua tahun, barulah produk ini berani dipasarkan.

TubeBarrier terbuat dari bahan kain (tarpaulin) PVC yang fleksibel dan tahan air. Penghalang air banjir ini berukuran 60 cm x 60 cm x 100 cm, berbentuk seperti tabung dengan ukuran panjang 5 meter, atau 7 meter atau 10 meter (tergantung kebutuhan).

Di bagian bawah TubeBarrier ada lubang-lubang agar air banjir bisa masuk mengisi tabung mengikuti ketinggian air banjir. TubeBarrier bisa menghambat air banjir dengan ketinggian hingga 50 cm hingga 70 cm.

Sementara itu, BoxBarrier menerapkan prinsip yang sama dengan TubeBarrier yaitu menahan air banjir dengan air. BoxBarrier berupa kotak berukuran 90 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm terbuat dari bahan plastik. BoxBarrier bisa menahan ketinggian banjir kurang dari 60 cm.

Bukan hanya berfungsi menahan air banjir masuk ke fasilitas penting seperti TubeBarrier, BoxBarrier setelah terpasang bisa menjadi jalur kering untuk orang berjalan di tengah-tengah genangan air. Berbeda dengan TubeBarrier, air harus dimasukkan ke dalam BoxBarrier menggunakan pompa.

Adapun Velox terbuat dari bahan kain plastik mirip dengan TubeBarrier. Velox bisa menahan air banjir hingga ketinggian kurang dari 1 meter. Air otomatis mengisi Velox yang sudah terpasang. Kelebihan Velox adalah mudah penyimpanan, tidak membutuhkan pompa, bisa menggantikan ratusan (770) karung pasir dan tahan lama.

Video dan Naskah: Harry Surjadi
Editor dan Pengisi Suara: Ngarto Februana

Written by Harry Surjadi

12 August 2016 at 17:34

Media and Climate Change: Engage the Audiences

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Public perception and understanding of climate change were varies. The public wrongly perceives climate change as weather. They think ozone hole also causes climate change. And there are many misperceptions among the public.

The media plays a critical role in communicating the climate change to the public. If the media workers or reporters and editors also understand climate change wrongly, it will transfer the incorrectness to the public. Meanwhile, media has important role to inform, and even more to raise public awareness on climate change.

It’s not easy to answer how media can increase public awareness and understanding on climate change and on the same time to encourage citizen to become more involve with environmental issues, especially climate change.

Researches have shown that their surrounding environment can influence beliefs about climate change or global warming. Global warming correlated positively with outdoor temperature. Respondents who thought that the day was warmer than usual expressed a stronger belief and a greated concern about global warming than respondents who thought that the day was colder than usual. Even they also donated more money to a global warming charity if they thought that the day seemed warmer than usual (Li, Johnson, and Zaval, 2011).

In an experimental condition showed that participants were more likely to believe in global warming in presence of the tree without foliage in the room (Gueguen, 2012). This belief increased in presence of three rather than one tree without foliage. Other beliefs not related to global warming were not affected by the present of plant without foliage or with foliage. These researches revealed that surrounding physical cues do affect beliefs about global warming. And media – as the main source of information on climate change – should aware of this.

Media has limitations.

  1. Media coverage on climate change was driven by event as shown in monitoring data done by Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado at Boulder. [1]
  2. Numbers of environmental journalists around the world is decreasing
  3. It’s not easy for journalists to understand complicated and complex issues such as climate change. It implies to low interest among journalists to cover climate change issues
  4. Climate change issues do not touch everyday lives. Therefore it’s difficult for media trying make connection from experiences and observation. It’s also difficult for media audiences to comprehend climate change.
  5. Media has follow journalistic norms such as: objectivity, fairness, accuracy, balance, dramatization, personalization, novelty, and authority order.
  6. Mainstream media, especially in developing countries, only serve 30% of people on the top of population pyramid and neglect about 50% people on the bottom of the pyramid

Then, what media should do.

  1. Media or journalists should use global warming term rather than climate change
  2. Media should answer four important questions from audiences: why is it important; what does it mean to me (audiences); what can/should I do about it; and what is the point.
  3. Journalists should take position
  4. Media should use the new trend in journalism that is data journalism to produce interactive and easy to understand stories
  5. Journalists should frame the climate change or global warming issues in “sustainable consumption and production” that will keep the issue down to earth
  6. Media should engage the audiences more with two ways:
  7. Open access for 50% people on the bottom of population pyramid. The last three years, I developed the climate change communication model for grass-root community in West Kalimantan.[2]
  8. Engage media audiences in activities such as environmental expeditions


Li, Y., Johnson, E., & Zaval, L. 2011. Local warming: Daily temperature change influences belief in global warming. Psychological Science, 22: 454459

Guéguen, Nicolas. 2012. Dead indoor plants strengthen belief in global warming. Journal of Environmental Psychology 32: 173177

[1] See: http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/icecaps/research/media_coverage/world/index.html. Accessed 20 November 2014

[2] See https://harrysurjadi.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/information-broker-communicating-and-monitoring-climate-change/ Accessed 20 November 2014

Written by Harry Surjadi

20 November 2014 at 12:14

Indonesia Bukan Tempat Pembuangan Limbah Beracun

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SEJAK tahun 1980-an, Indonesia sudah menjadi tujuan negara maju sebagai tempat pembuangan limbah beracun, baik legal maupun ilegal. Pulau Ayu (Papua) mengajukan izin untuk menjadi tempat pembuangan limbah. Tanjung Ucang, Batam, berencana menjadi tempat pengolahan limbah sisa hidrokarbon kapal tanker. Sejumlah pengusaha meminta izin mengimpor limbah B3 hasil cucian tanker dari Singapura untuk bahan bakar pembuatan kapur.

Taiwan sudah lama berupaya membuang limbah radioaktifnya ke wilayah Indonesia. Taiwan pernah mengajukan permohonan menyewa satu pulau untuk tempat buangan limbah radioaktif, tetapi waktu itu ditolak oleh Badan Pengendalian Dampak Lingkungan (Bapedal). Maka, Taiwan pun berupaya menyelundupkan limbah radioaktif− dicampur dengan barang bekas− ke pelabuhan tanpa pemantauan ketat di Indonesia timur.

Pada tahun 2000, Kota Sangata, Kabupaten Kutai, Kaltim, setuju menerima abu vulkanis dari Gunung Ohyama, Pulau Myake, Jepang. Limbah piroklastik itu akan digunakan untuk membuat jalan, jembatan, dan fasilitas lainnya, termasuk sebagai bahan bangunan. Pemda Sangata tergiur karena gratis ongkos kirim dan ada kompensasi uang sesuai jumlah abu.

PT Indosolor Sakti mengajukan izin mengimpor limbah non-B3 untuk diolah di Solor Timur, Pulau Flores bagian timur, dengan alasan antara lain kegiatan itu akan memberikan lapangan pekerjaan untuk 600 orang. Bahkan, PT Indosolor Sakti sudah membangun sarana penampungan sepanjang 120 meter dan sudah mendapatkan izin dari Ditjen Perdagangan Luar Negeri untuk mengimpor logam bekas (scrap metal) dari Taiwan.

PT Dunia Abad Baru Prima mengajukan izin mengimpor ”urban organic waste” alias sampah lagi-lagi dari Taiwan untuk membuat kompos di Pulau Sangiang, NTT. Jumlahnya 100.000-200.000 ton sampah per bulan, seolah-olah itu sampah organik semua. Kenyataannya, Taiwan menjadikan Indonesia tempat pembuangan akhir.

PT MG bermitra dengan Malaysia, Singapura, dan negara maju lainnya terang-terangan mengajukan izin mengolah limbah industri di Berau, Kaltim. Limbah berupa karet dan kulit sisa produksi, plastik, limbah medis (seperti jarum suntik), logam bekas, limbah kemasan, limbah dari industri pangan fermentasi, dan berbagai bahan kimia beracun. Jika proyek ini disetujui, PT MG akan membayar 500.000 dollar AS ke pemda setiap tahun untuk proyek 10 tahun, plus pajak 2 juta dollar AS per tahun.

Semua itu adalah limbah B3 yang coba dimasukkan ke wilayah Indonesia. Industri di dalam negeri sebenarnya sudah menumpuk banyak sekali limbah B3 karena hanya ada satu tempat resmi pengolahan limbah B3, yaitu di Cileungsi, Jawa Barat.


Semua upaya memasukkan limbah B3 ke wilayah Indonesia baik secara legal maupun ilegal bisa digagalkan karena dua hal.

Pertama, ketika itu masih ada Bapedal dan Bapedal Wilayah. Bapedal—seperti Environmental Protection Agency di AS—berwenang mengendalikan pencemaran limbah di seluruh wilayah Indonesia. Bapedal bisa menutup pabrik yang melanggar peraturan. Sayangnya, Bapedal dilebur ke dalam Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup oleh Presiden Megawati Soekarnoputri sehingga pengawasan limbah B3 dan pencemaran oleh industri kurang diperhatikan.

Kedua, karena UU Perlindungan dan Pengelolaan Lingkungan Hidup No 32 Tahun 2009 (revisi UU Lingkungan Tahun 1982) yang melarang siapa pun membuang limbah (bukan hanya limbah B3) ke wilayah Indonesia dan Peraturan Pemerintah No 85 Tahun 1999 mengenai Pengelolaan Limbah B3.

Emil Salim merencanakan akan membangun empat fasilitas pengolah limbah B3, yaitu di: 1) Cileungsi (untuk menampung limbah B3 wilayah Jabodetabek); 2) Jawa Timur; 3) Kalimantan Timur; 4) Lhokseumawe. Namun, yang sudah beroperasi hanya Cileungsi. Konsekuensinya, semua limbah B3 di Indonesia harus dikirim ke Cileungsi.

Rancangan PP Limbah B3

Saat ini sedang dibahas rancangan peraturan pemerintah mengenai pengelolaan limbah B3 dan dumping. Rancangan peraturan pemerintah dengan rekor 283 pasal itu sangat teknis, dengan semangat yang kental memberikan izin sebagian ke pemda tingkat I dan II dan izin dumping ke laut.

Ketika pemda tingkat I dan II—tergantung wilayah kerja yang mengajukan izin—bisa memberikan izin untuk pengumpulan dan penyimpanan limbah B3, apakah ada yang bisa menjamin tidak akan menyimpang? Apakah cukup kapasitas pemda memberikan izin?

Pasal 213 sangat jelas membolehkan setiap orang membuang (dumping) limbah B3 ke lingkungan dengan legal karena ada proses pengajuan izin. Apakah pesisir di seluruh Indonesia siap menerima limbah B3? Di AS, EPA memang tidak melarang dumping tailing ke laut, tetapi persyaratannya sangat tidak memungkinkan dipenuhi.

Pertanyaan mendasar sebenarnya, apakah perlu merevisi PP Limbah B3 yang ada? Apakah dorongan revisi ini datang dari para pengusaha tambang dan industri penghasil limbah B3? Bagaimana harusnya sikap pemerintah?

Sebelum tanah-air-laut dan manusia Indonesia terlanjur tercemari limbah beracun, batalkan revisi PP limbah B3 karena peraturan yang sudah ada sudah cukup.

Kepada siapa pun yang menjadi presiden RI mendatang, bentuk lagi Badan Pengendalian Dampak Lingkungan dengan kewenangan penuh (seperti Environmental Protection Agency di Amerika Serikat) mengeluarkan izin, mencabut izin, dan mengendalikan semua persoalan pencemaran di Indonesia.

Terakhir, lanjutkan rencana pembangunan tempat pengolahan limbah di sentra industri yang pernah direncanakan Bapedal zaman lalu. Semua limbah B3—termasuk tailing dari kegiatan pertambangan−—harus diolah di tempat itu dengan pengawasan ketat dari Bapedal.

(Tulisan ini sudah disiarkan di Kompas siang tanggal 12 Maret 2014)


Written by Harry Surjadi

12 March 2014 at 21:29

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