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Indonesia

Ministry of Environment and Forestry v. PT Rambang Agro Jaya

Jurisdiction: Central Jakarta District Court of Indonesia


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


Side A: Ministry of Environment and Forestry (Government)


Side B: PT Rambang Agro Jaya (Corporation)


Core objectives: Restoration for climate damage caused by palm plantation land clearing.


Summary
On August 1st, 2019, the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry (the MoEF) filed a tort-based lawsuit against a corporation PT Rambang Agro Jaya for damages caused by fires in the peatlands. The MoEF argued that PT Rambang Agro Jaya drained the peatlands for the purpose of palm plantation which resulted in fires inside the defendant’s concession area. Furthermore, the MoEF also argued that the defendants had failed to fulfill its obligation to prevent any fires inside its concessions. The MoEF added that these unlawful acts caused damages on ecosystem and the peatlands. Hence, the MoEF sought compensation for all the damages and restoration costs amounting to IDR 199 billion. For the climate damages, the MoEF argued that the fires had contributed to the release of 2,250 tC and a loss of function of carbon sinks which equal to 787.5 tC. Since the cost of each released carbon is IDR 90.000 (equals to US$ 10), the MoEF requested the court costs of the released carbon and restoration amounting to IDR 273.375.000. 

The MoEF filed this lawsuit under strict liability rule of Articles 88 Environmental Protection and Management Act (the 2009 EPMA). 

On January 11th, 2021, the District Court of Central Jakarta ruled in favor of the plaintiff and decided that the defendant was strictly liable. However, the judges did not grant the damages with the same amount as the plaintiff requested. The District Court of Central Jakarta decided to grant the damages and restoration costs as high as IDR 137 billion.
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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