Strategic Environmental Assesment (SEA) in Indonesia became a legal requirement with the enactment of the Environmental Protection Law in 2009. Since then all policies, plans, and programs that have strategic impacts on the environment and on society have to undergo SEA. That means that SEA is obligatory for midterm and long-term development plans and spatial plans, at national, provincial and district level.

Even though it has been mandatory for a few years, in practice SEA is often seen as little more than the production of an SEA report. Participation and strategic analysis is still very weak in most of the SEAs in Indonesia. Sawit Watch together with other NGOs had involve in SEA process of Spatial Planning and Mid Term Development Plan in 2015 and 2016. Since then the SEA process in Berau recognised as one of the participative SEA involved all stakeholders including NGOs and local communities.

Currently Sawit Watch involve in SEA process in Bulungan, North Kalimantan. However, what we do in Bulungan SEA process is not duplicate the Berau process. There are several differences between the process in Berau and  Bulungan, including the latest regulation that issued by Ministry of Environment and Forest Regulation in 2016 number 46 about the SEA process after the Berau SEA process conducted. Therefore several differences between the Berau and the Bulungan regarding the SEA process, which in Berau we still using the previous regulation.

We understand the differences between those two area, therefore we try our best not to duplicate exactly what we doing in Berau to Bulungan. However we do take lesson and reflection from the SEA process in Berau. There are several issues we note during the SEA process in Berau. Firstly, the involvement of the high level stakeholders during the SEA process. In Berau the active involvement during the SEA process in government side only represented by the Development Planning District Agency staff level, the lack involvement and presence of the high level stakeholders including the head of development planning agency and the head of district. Secondly, the lack involvement of local academician. During the SEA process in Berau, we are helped by the expert from Jakarta who assist us throughout the process.

Those two point mention before as our reflection to adress the issue in the Bulungan process. Therefore during the first introduction of the SEA we try to engage it in the high level meeting together with Head of District and Head of Development Planning District Agency to show the importance of the SEA process in Bulungan and our comittment to help the local government.

Moreover we also hired the expert from local academician in one of the oldest university in North Kalimantan, he is certified in SEA process and teached during the Kalimantan Regional workshop for local acedemician by the Ministry of Forest and Environment. We try to involve him in very beginning of the process to ensure that he is involved directly on the process to set a standar of the SEA in North Kalimantan, internalize values of the SEA process is not only technocratic but also the participative and holistic analysis. He is now appointed by the provincial level government as the validator of the SEA in North Kalimantan, we believe throught the process and discussion during the SEA had set a standart of SEA by internalize the importance of public participation and local NGOs.


Every time we prepared for FGD or Public Consultation, we always try to discuss at least one day before to review and brain stormed the SEA process, and prepare what kind of method we use and more effective, what is the objective even prepartion in administration and technical things.


The first SEA public consultation was attended by the head of district, vice head of district,  NGOs, students, local communities, and private sector. We try our best to involve the five stakeholders as shown in the picture below. The stakeholder divided into five groups are the high level policy makers, local government organization, affected communities, people who has information or expertise (including NGOs, academician, and other forums), and private sector.


In the first public consultation we also presenting them the more effective and interactive communication. Rather than usual lecture kind of presentation, we try to divide them into five groups with own facilitator that will help them to probbing and iniate discussion within the group. We understand the need of every person is different and unique, several people might be visual people intrigue by picture and color, oral people or kind of written people. Accordingly to the different personalities we try to bring up the visual representation with map also color notes, pin, and color pens. This kind of approach try to intrigue discussion as active as possible in small groups and make them more comfortable as possible. We also make sure that the group divided by their background to make sure that every person in group does not have any knowledge gap or feeling pressured.

Continue to the Part 2

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