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Minister of Environment v. PT Selatnasik Indokwarsa and PT Simpang Pesak Indokwarsa

Jurisdiction: North Jakarta District Court of Indonesia

Principle law(s): Law 32/2009 Environmental Protection and Management

Side A: Minister of Environment (Government)

Side B: PT Simpang Pesak Indokwarsa (Corporation)

Side B: PT Selatnasik Indokwarsa (Corporation)

Core objectives: Restoration for climate damage from illegal mining activities and deforestation.

On April 3, 2009, the Indonesian Ministry of Environment (MoE) filed a tort-based lawsuit against two corporations, PT Selatnasik Indokwarsa and PT Simpang Pesak, for damage caused by illegal mining activities. These activities include clearing of protected forests for road access to mining locations, conducting open-pit mining, building infrastructure within a natural reserve area, and constructing an illegal port by landfilling the coastal area around 1.7 km seaward. The MoE sought compensation for the climate damage caused, i.e., the GHG emissions from the destruction of forest areas, and asked for restoration costs amounting to IDR 11.8 billion (approximately US$824,000). 

On February 3, 2010, the district court granted the plaintiff's entire claim against the defendant, including the compensation of climate damages. On April 18, 2011, the Court of Appeal upheld the lower court decision. On March 28, 2013, the Supreme Court overturned the lower courts’ decisions after the defendant filed a cassation. The Supreme Court was of the opinion that the plaintiff failed to prove that the defendants had acted in concert as affiliated companies under the same management. In addition, the Court also argued that the lawsuit was premature since there was no complaint from the public. 

As a last effort, the plaintiff filed a request for extraordinary review (peninjauan kembali) and provided new evidence that the defendants conducted illegal actions. On May 23, 2014, the Supreme Court reviewed its earlier decision and awarded the plaintiff all the restoration costs, including the compensation for GHGs released in the full amount requested by the plaintiff.
Case documents

Related laws and policies
  • IDN flag This law implements Indonesia legislation
    Law 32/2009 Environmental Protection and Management

    Passed in 2009 Legislative

    This law formally recognises that decreasing environmental quality is a serious problem for Indonesia, and that climate change presents further systemic threats. It seeks to ensure that development is underpinned with the principle of sustainably and environmentally sound development principles. ...

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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