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Plastic Shopping Bag Levy: One of the Ways to Tackle the Waste Problem?

[ Thursday, November 3, 2016 | ]


CRPG has contributed to the policy discussion regarding the plastic shopping bag levy that was introduced in February 2016 in several cities in Indonesia.  The article, written by Dyah Paramita, was published in the Jakarta Post. The following is an excerpt:

Plastic waste is a problem. It is very difficult to decompose naturally and when it burns, it releases toxins such as dioxins and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are very harmful for human health and the environment and is linked to the development of cancer. Animals also suffer from the ingestion of plastic. According to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the use of plastic bags in Indonesia for the past 10 years is increasing. In the past decade, Indonesians used approximately 9.8 billion sheets of plastic bags per year and almost 95% of them ended up as waste.  Based on a recent study published in the Science Magazine written by Jenna R. Jambeck, the country ranks second (after China) that mismanaged plastic waste followed by the Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

In order to handle the growing problem in Indonesia, a policy regarding the shopping plastic bag levy will be imposed on a trial basis.  The policy is geared specifically for consumers shopping in modern markets and retail outlets and will be imposed from February 21, on the National Waste Awareness Day, to June 5, 2016, the World Environment Day. At the completion of the trial phase, the regulatory framework is expected to be completed by June 2016.  The local governments of 23 cities have shown interest in participating in this movement (Jakarta Post  05/02/16). The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) has proposed the charge of Rp. 500 per bag. Of this amount, Rp. 200 will be repaid to the consumers who return the plastic bags to the retailers and the rest (Rp. 300) will be used by the retailers and the local municipality to fund environmental activities. However, the price might vary and could range between Rp. 500-Rp. 5000, depending on the local policy (Kompas 26/01/16).

Will the plastic bag levy tackle the waste problem? A plastic bag levy is not a new concept in the environmental field.  Several countries have already introduced this policy, such as Taiwan, Ireland, Hong Kong, Botswana, China and Denmark.

There are different approaches regarding this matter. A levy on plastic shopping bags can be imposed to encourage the change of the consumers’ behavior. In this case, the main goal is to discourage consumers from using plastic bags, which will decrease the amount of litter and reduce the volume of waste going to the landfill. The amount of the levy is intended to deter consumers from using plastic shopping bags and to encourage them to bring their own bag.  Ireland applies this type of levy. The KLHK seems to be proposing similar type of levy combined with the deposit-refund system. The deposit-refund system means when a product, which potentially pollutes the environment, is sold, a deposit should be charged simultaneously. Thus, the deposit will be re-funded when the consumers return the empty containers to the collection points. It is similar to the policy known as the “bottle bill” in the United States. The consumers pay a deposit when they purchase beverage containers and they are refunded their money when they return the empty containers to the retailers or to the designated collections points. One of the objectives of the deposit-refund system is to prevent improper waste disposal.

Another approach is imposing a Pigouvian tax on the plastic bag. The name is taken from the British university professor, Arthur Cecil Pigou who coined the theory. This way, the tax is intended to internalize the external cost of using the plastic bags. The external cost in this sense is the environmental costs, which include pollution, waste problems, and damage to wildlife. To implement this type of tax, there are efforts to calculate the margin of the external costs and determine the optimum level of the tax accordingly. This is also a way to reduce pollution and protect the environment by discouraging excessive consumption of plastic bags. This policy reflects what is called the polluter-pay principle, meaning those who cause pollution should bear the cost of managing it.

See full article here

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Asia/Europe International Training Program “Strategies for Chemical Management” Stockholm, Sweden 12 September – 4 October 2016

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A CRPG researcher, Dyah Paramita, was selected among 29 other participants from Europe and Asia to be funded for a 3 week training on Strategies for Chemical Management conducted by Swedish Chemical Agency on behalf of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). In this program, the participants have learned and discussed several issues such as the importance of chemical management, the use of chemicals, hazard assessment and communication, exposure and risk assessments, risk management, law enforcement, and national development of  chemical management.  In this regards, CRPG develops an action plan to conduct a policy analysis regarding the draft of chemical law and draft revision of the Government Regulation No. 74/2001 on the Hazardous and Toxic Substance Management. The program includes visits to the Swedish Toxicology Science Research Center (Swetox), the Swedish National Food Agency, and the City of Stockholm Environment and Health Administration

CRPG's Presentation

New Online Course on Gender Mainstreaming in IWRM

[ Wednesday, August 3, 2016 | ]

New Online Course on Gender Mainstreaming in IWRM


At Cap-Net UNDP we are proud to present a new online course on Gender Mainstreaming in IWRM on the Cap-Net Virtual Campus. The course aims to strengthen the capacity of water managers to successfully incorporate gender mainstreaming in their work.
The course will run from 19th September to 23rd November 2016 and is open to a maximum of 40 participants from the entire water sector. To apply to the course, please visit our online application form.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact the campus coordinators with any questions you may have.

Looking forward to seeing you on the Virtual Campus soon!
The Cap-Net UNDP Team

Regulation of Community Water and Sanitation (Temporary or Permanent?)

[ Saturday, July 30, 2016 | ]


Picture: water network diagram in Tlanak


One of the most interesting findings in our research is the relationship between community based water services and existing water utilities. We find patterns of cooperation and conflict. One of the underlying reason is the different perception as to whether community based systems should be considered a "temporary" solution or a "permanent" solution. This still cannot be resolved among policymakers:
Our FGD revealed that there are unresolved fundamental differences among regulatory stakeholders, in terms of whether CB should be perceived as a temporary “approach” with the overall intention to integrate it to the PDAM or “institutional” system in the future or whether it stands equally to the existing “institutional” system.[152] This difference has created tensions and confusion in practice, but more importantly, brings negative impact to policy and regulatory reform.
According to a government official some PDAM consider that CB Watsan is a temporary solution in their business plan – thus Community watsan network is regarded as parts which can be co-opted and taken over, since PDAM considers that the only one who is entitled to provide services are PDAM and the rest can only provide services through concession with PDAM.[153]
In addition, community watsan projects may, to some extent, contravene the exclusive natural-legal-local monopoly granted to PDAM. Furthermore, there is indication that some successful community watsan intitiative have grown large in a way that could match or even surpass existing PDAM.[154] How these community watsan initiatives could coexist with existing PDAMs or – to maintain the economies of scale – be merged with or acquire existing PDAMs is a problem yet to be solved. 
The importance of modeling behaviors and future development in order to develop understanding of the relationship between PDAM and CB was a common response across the FGD. Two fragment-scenarios may be a suitable approach to be able to foresee regulatory developments. The first is to view community watsan as a “temporary” entity which exist only for a certain period and can be “annexed” by PDAM for certain reason such as economic scale or environmental conditions such as surface water quality in which CB model would no longer be compatible and larger scale investment would be required for treatment. The temporary approach is consistent with existing regulation -- since existing laws considers that the only one who is entitled to provide services are State or Regional Owned Enterprises -- whilst the other may only provide services in concession with PDAM. If this scenario is to be taken, then regulatory reform should focus on short term solutions with the overall objective of integrating the whole system to PDAM.
The second scenario is to perceive CB as a completely different model that can develop, expand and supersede PDAM or other “institutional” system. CB is thus treated equally with “institution”. As, at present, there is no CB model above district [Kecamatan] level, this model would be quite speculative. In this model, the regulatory framework should acknowledge the diversity of models in services provision and allow either CB or institutional model to acquire each other. FGD participants challenge the conceptual distinction of CB/”institution” based on assets size, coverage or natural monopoly. Thus, in this scenario, the regulatory framework should be able to foresee the CB model transformed into large scale water utility. 

Read the full research report.
Visit project page: Regulation of Community Water and Sanitation.

Regulation of Community Water and Sanitation (Problematique)

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Photo: Water User Groups at Tlanak Village, Lamongan, East Java





The following is a summary of the problematique chapter of our recent research project on the regulation of community based water and sanitation:

The  government  aims  to  achieve  universal  access  to  water  supply  and  sanitation by 2019. According to some calculations, this ambitious target cannot be fulfilled by relying on  regional  water  utilities  (Perusahaan  Daerah  Air  Minum  or  “PDAM”) alone.  It  is estimated that PDAM can only contribute around 40% of the total target, whereas the other 60% would be expected to come from community‐based systems.  The policy framework for CB Watsan was introduced by the government in 2003. The 2003 National Policy on The Development of Community‐Based Water and Sanitation introduced a duality in Indonesian national water policy: one being “institution‐based” and  the  other  being  “community‐based”.  O 
The  conceptual  problem  surrounding  “community‐based” watsan is on the  definition and delineation between CB watsan and institutional watsan. In the policy framework, the  term  “institution‐based” is  used  to  denote water  services  operated  by  corporate water utilities including PDAM, whereas “community‐based” is used to describe services provided by local communities for their own needs. How communities and institutions are defined,  at  least  in  the  academic  sense,  might  not  be  compatible  with what  is intended by the policy framework.  
There are also inconsistencies and discrepancies in the regulatory framework from the national down to regional and village levels, with regards to the role of CB watsan. The legal framework at the national level appears to favour “institution” based watsan, such as PDAM. Community based Watsan’s role are considered to be residual – in providing access only where “institutional” system cannot serve.  
Within  the community based watsan itself,  there is a major issue with regards  to  the clarity of assets ownership. Our Focus Group Discussion reveals that in some large scale projects,  the  assets  still  belong  to  the  ministry  of  public  works  as  it  has  not  been transferred and thus, is accounted as liability and subsidy. FGD participants agreed that “Assets transfer is Indeed a big homework. The legal frameworks need to be completed.”
Some  community  watsan  activist  considered  that  assets  should  be owned  by  the “communities” whereas according  to another, it should be owned by  the village. The national policy on community‐based watsan on the other hand, advocates “community” ownership  and  suggests  that  a legal  framework  be  conceived  by  the  government  to smoothen  the transfer  of  assets  from  the  government  to  the  “community”.  On  the Pamsimas  program  technical  manual  it  is  suggested  that  it  is  the operation  that  is transferred, but not the asset owenership. 
We also found that there are cases where PDAM systems overlap and compete with CB Watsan.  This  is  caused,  partly  by  the  introduction  of  the  dualist  system  of  watsan services in the 2003 framework. How these community watsan initiatives could coexist with existing PDAMs or – to maintain the economies of scale – be merged with or acquire existing PDAMs is a problem which yet to be solved, let alone, researched.  
The FGD reveals that there are unresolved fundamental differences among regulatory stakeholders, in terms of whether CB should be perceived as a temporary “approach” with  the overall intention to integrate it  to the PDAM or “institutional” system in  the future, or whether is stands equally to the existing “institutional” system.   
There are also problems with respect to service standards and how the government can foster monitoring, supervision and enforcement of such standards through regulatory frameworks.  Community  initiative  and demand‐driven  approach  is  central  to  the community watsan movement. However, this approach is at odds with existing national legal  frameworks requiring  water  and  sanitation  services  to  comply  with  minimum service standards enacted by local government.   
Whether or not similar standards should apply to both government owned water utilities and  community  watsan  is  a  matter  of  debate.  Some interpret  “universal  water provision” in the sense that similar quality, quantity, continuity, affordability should be applicable  to  everyone  and every  service  providers.  However,  such  ideal  standard  is difficult to achieve in Indonesian rural water provision, especially in the remote regions such  as  Nusa  Tenggara  and  Papua. 

Visit Regulation of Community Water and Sanitation project page to download reports.

Australia Indonesia Infrastructure Research Award: Research Outputs

[ Thursday, July 21, 2016 | ]






Output of our research project "The Role of Regulatory Frameworks in Ensuring the Sustainability of Community Based Water and Sanitation" is available for download in https://crpg.info/41-aiira . In the homepage, you can download full report, mind maps, presentations and related articles. The homepage will be updated accordingly as we publish our research papers. Feel free to distribute this information to your network.

Our highest appreciation to Bappenas and Jejaring AMPL for their kind facilitation and support!

Output dari riset "Peranan Kerangka Regulasi Dalam Menjamin Kelangsungan Penyediaan Air dan Sanitasi Berbasis Masyarakat" dapat diunduh https://crpg.info/41-aiira . Di laman tersebut dapat diunduh laporan lengkap, peta pikiran, presentasi dan artikel terkait. Laman tersebut akan diupdate seiring dengan publikasi paper kami di jurnal. Mohon agar dapat menyebarkan informasi ini ke jaringan teman-teman.

Terima kasih kepada Bappenas dan Jejaring AMPL atas fasilitasi dan segala dukungannya!


Join CRPG Expert Network!

[ Monday, May 23, 2016 | ]





CRPG is developing a database of expert in Law and Regulation. If you have a PhD Degree (or is currently a PhD Student) in Law or Regulation -- with some emphasis on Indonesia as a case study or research area -- and is interested on collaborating with us for future research projects and consultancy, this survey might be for you. We collaborate with researchers on a project, part-time, freelance or full-time basis.

Go to CRPG Expert Database.