Transboundary haze pollution in the ASEAN region: an assessment of the adquacy of the legal and policy framework in Indonesia
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 17:12 by Laely Nurhidayah
Transboundary haze pollution is one of the major ongoing problems in the ASEAN region. This haze pollution is the result of land/forest fires, and mostly originates in Indonesia. In addition to a long dry season, human activities such as the clearing of forests and land for plantations and agriculture, particularly in peatland areas, are a major cause of these fires. The impacts of these fires are significant and include damage to biodiversity, people’s health and the region’s economy, and contribution to global climate change. It is clear that haze pollution has an impact locally, nationally, regionally and internationally. Thus, while transboundary haze pollution is regarded as an international or regional problem, and there are already international and regional legal mechanisms in place to address the issue, it is argued that transboundary pollution is often more effectively addressed through domestic law. The challenge in addressing and enforcing transboundary haze-pollution control lies in the implementation and enforcement of law at the domestic level. Therefore, the legal frameworks in Indonesia for addressing land/forest fires are examined in this thesis. The main aim is to examine the adequacy of existing legal and policy frameworks in Indonesia in addressing transboundary haze pollution. This examination includes institutional arrangements, community-based fire management, and the issue of REDD+ and its implication for forest ires reduction. This research fills a gap in the literature on the current legal and policy framework in Indonesia. It argues that a well-structured integrated legal framework is crucial in addressing land/forest fires. It finds that the existing legal framework in Indonesia is inadequate to address land/forest fires. A new legislation must be enacted to specifically address the issue. However, land/forest fires are a complex problem cutting across many interests, sectors, communities, nations and regions. Therefore, no single solution will work to address this issue. Addressing transboundary haze pollution requires cooperation at the international, regional, national and local levels. Thus, it is proposed that, in addressing transboundary haze pollution, a synergetic and integrated approach is required, with coherence between international, regional, national and local frameworks. Further, it is argued that the best way to address land/forest fires at the national level is to improve all relevant measures, including the legal and institutional framework, public participation and law enforcement.