Precautionary Principle in Mitigating Oil Spills: Indonesia Case

One type of pollution problem in Indonesia is the oil spill in the seas. How the Indonesia government make a precautionary to mitigating oil spills in Indonesia.

Problem Statement 

Every country has specific environmental problems, for a country with a high level of biodiversity has a more significant impact when faced with pollution. One type of pollution problem in Indonesia is the oil spill in the seas.

First, the country has a geographical area of ​​the sea higher than the land area. Second, the form of the country is an archipelagic country, so the inter-island and inter-regional traffic in Indonesian waters are very crowded. Third, the geographical position of Indonesia which lies between the three regions of the world economic growth, East Asia, Australia, and the Middle East – Europe. Fourth, Indonesia has substantial oil reserves, including both onshore and offshore (KKP Migas, 2002).

Because of some of these things, Indonesia becomes very vulnerable to the possibility of marine pollution, one of which is the oil spill into the sea. The three primary sources of oil spills in the water are oil drilling platforms; oil vessels/tankers and oil pipelines. In 20 years, Indonesia faced several accidents of both ships and offshore refineries that caused oil to spill into the sea. And for that time, oil spills in Indonesian open ocean without satisfactory completion (Mukhtasor, 2010).

oil spill from the vessel

Referring to statistics, the probability of a higher oil spill is due to an accident from the vessel. But if look at the impact that made by the oil spill, obviously the oil spill from blowouts or accidents of exploitation activities is much broader, and the intensity of pollution is higher, as happened in Macondo oil well in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Currently, Indonesia faces emergency status on April 5, 2018, when State Oil and Gas Enterprise, Pertamina crude oil leaked in Balikpapan. This accident caused 400.000 barrel or 69,3 m3 going to the open ocean. (jawapos.com). 

Indonesia government can consider this incident as heavy pollution because releasing hydrocarbons in the open seas that have adverse effects on the ecosystem. Indonesia experienced many forms of loss, one of which there is a loss of marine biodiversity. Every litre that comes out has destructed ecosystem. Until now, there is still an impression of neglect in conducting disaster mitigation and management in Indonesia when this happens.

Research Question 

  • How does the Indonesian Government conduct a fast response to mitigate oil spills in the open ocean? 
  • To what extent the precautionary principle theory escalate the mitigation on oil spills accident in Indonesia? 

Research Objectives 

The research objectives are to understand how Indonesia government countermeasures the oil spills accident in Indonesian open ocean by analyzing the conditions for the validation of theory Precautionary Principle in Oil Spill case in Indonesia. 

Analysis Framework

  1. Crisis response is the most critical stage in crisis management during which actors make essential decisions on mitigating a crisis. However, the decision making in difficult situations such an oil spill happen. We analyze the case using actor-network theory (ANT) and explore how a government, scientist, and other actors enrolled different technical and human actors and mobilized them in the crisis response. 
  2. Precautionary principle theory to escalate oil spill in Indonesia open ocean. The precautionary principle embodies an expression of the need for decision-makers to anticipate harm before it occurs. It has said in Principal 15 of the Rio Declaration states, “In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by states according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”

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References : 

Thapa, Devinder; Budhathoki, Nama Raj; and Munkvold, Bjørn Erik (2017) “Analyzing Crisis Response through Actor-network Theory: The Case of Kathmandu Living Labs,”Communications of the Association for Information Systems: Vol. 41 , Article 19. 

Available at: http://aisel.aisnet.org/cais/vol41/iss1/19

 David DawbornMatthew GoerkeNinditya R Prijono and Aditya Rachman, Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung Major projects: environmental risks in Indonesia: overview 2017 retrieved from : 

https://uk.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/w-007-7728?transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)&firstPage=true&bhcp=1 

https://www.jawapos.com/read/2018/04/04/201357/waduh-minyak-yang-tumpah-di-teluk-balikpapan-capai-400-barel

 

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