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Yayasan Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia v. Governor of Bali and others

Jurisdiction: Supreme Court of Indonesia

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

Side A: Yayasan Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (Ngo)

Side B: Governor of Bali and others (Government)

Core objectives: Whether climate change should be considered as part of actual damage.

In 2012, an environmental organization, Wahana Lingkungan Hidup, filed a lawsuit against the Governor of Bali for issuing a permit to establish tourist accommodation facilities in a mangrove ecosystem area, which is included in a forest park area (Taman Hutan Raya) which is supposed to be excluded from possible commercial use. The plaintiff argued that the issuance of the permit was against the 2009 EPMA and Government Regulation No. 36 of 2010 on Nature Tourism Business in Wildlife Sanctuaries, National Parks, Grand Forest Parks and Nature Tourism Parks because it did not involve the community in the permit application process and had the potential to cause damage to the mangrove ecosystem. The plaintiff argued that the logging of mangrove trees in the permit area can hinder the mangroves’ function in mitigating climate change since mangrove forests have a much greater ability to absorb CO2 than other tropical land forests.

In response, the defendant argued that the permit was granted to provide an opportunity for a third party to pursue natural tourism within the forest park area to protect and preserve the forest area from potential damage due to garbage and mud. The granting of permits has received technical recommendations from the Natural Resource Conservation Center (Balai Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam).

On August 1, 2013, the Administrative Court of Denpasar ruled in favor of the plaintiff and ordered the cancellation of the permit by the Governor of Bali. On November 28, 2013, the decision was annulled by the Court of Appeal. On May, 2014 the Supreme Court confirmed the annulment of the decision, because the activities in the mangrove area were only at the planning stage, and there had been no actual damage. The courts did not consider climate change in their decisions.
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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