In an effort to harmonize the spatial planning regulations with the national strategic projects, the Indonesian government issued, on 12 April 2017, Government Regulation No. 13 of 2017 (“Regulation 13“) regarding Amendment to Government Regulation No. 26 of 2008 regarding National Spatial Plan.

Notable features of Regulation 13:

  • Consideration of the location and utilisation purposes in the determination of zoning policies for (i) forestry zones, (ii) coast, river, and dam demarcation zones, greenery open space zones, (iii) sea, nature, wildlife reserve zones, (iv) mining zones, and other zones;
  • Designation of maritime-based areas, climate change risk areas, and geothermal designated areas;
  • Specifications of the toll roads, railways, sea lanes and (sea, river, lake and air) ports, agricultural designated areas as well as the national energy network system (oil and gas and electricity infrastructure);
  • Expanded scope of the considerations in the determination of spatial planning policies and strategies and adjustments and revisions to be made on the provisions of previous regulations;
  • Provisions on the restoration, optimum utilisation, and control of cultivation areas (kawasan budi daya) for the purpose of environmental balance and formation of environment control strategies which include strategies for (i) controlling cultivation activities in locations with high conservatory value, (ii) determining restoration of damaged and polluted locations, (iii) balancing the carrying capacity of a buffer area with the environmental capacity, (iv) controlling conversion of forestry areas, (v) reinforcing a community forestry development, and (vi) advancement of cultivation activities by taking into account the bio-ecoregion within 1 or more watershed areas;
  • Determination of geothermal designated areas as cultivation areas by ensuring the carrying out of the geothermal business activities in accordance with sustainable and conservatory principles and prohibiting the conversion of the area into another cultivation area;
  • Mandatory issuance of permits for the use of spaces not covered in the regional spatial plan for strategic activities and/or activities with significant impact on the spatial conditions. In this case, the Minister of Agrarian and Spatial Planning Affairs (Menteri Agraria dan Tata Ruang) is authorised to issue the recommendation for the permit. In the absence of its definition in the regulation, it is generally assumed that what is meant by ‘space utilisation permit’ is permit for the utilization of a certain area, which could be a location permit (izin lokasi), a building construction permit (izin mendirikan bangunan), or another type of space utilisation permit stipulated in and governed by other regulatory regimes.
  • Addition of maritime-based zones to the spatial plan, such as ‘maritime city’ (kota maritime), which is defined as city located on a coast having the function of or potentially functioning as an international port hub or an export gate for sea and maritime products. Other added zones include the maritime conservatory zone (kawasan konservasi maritim) and the climate change vulnerable zone (kawasan risiko perubahan iklim). The foregoing has apparently been prompted by Indonesia’s maritime development in the recent years.
  • Removal of the provisions on national disaster prone zones, such as provisions on areas prone to landslide, high tide, flooding, volcanic eruption, earthquake, soil movement, active fault, tsunami, abrasion, and toxic gas, although these areas must still be considered in the determination of strategies for the development of cultivation zones (kawasan budi daya).

In addition to the above, to promote environment sustainability, Regulation 13 stipulates the following minimum protected area (kawasan lindung) allocation percentages:

(a) For Sumatera: 40% of the total area; (b) For Java and Bali: 30% of the total area; (c) For Kalimantan: 45% of the total area; (d) For Sulawesi: 40% of the total area; (e) For Papua: 70% of the total area; (f) For Maluku: 30% of the total area; (g) For Nusa Tenggara islands: 30% of the total area.

The percentages were determined by considering the respective local ecosystem conditions, characteristics, and functions

The attachments to the previous regulation are replaced with a new set of attachments. The attachments to Regulation 13 provides detailed specifications of the national spatial plan, including, among others, the national spatial plan map, the city/municipality system, the electricity power grid system, and the plans for toll roads, (sea, river, lake and air) ports, reserve areas, national strategic areas and terminals for cross border transportation purposes - all of which were not in the previous regulation.