Environmentalists have expressed their disappointment over the city’s poor air quality, saying that the city administration has been dragging its feet in issuing additional policies and enforcing existing laws.
“The air quality has slightly increased, but the law enforcement to maintain it is still very poor,” said the regional director for the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) in Jakarta, Ubaidillah, on Wednesday. “The Jakarta administration needs to do more.”
He added the city administration was lax in enforcing the laws, such as on vehicle emissions control, which according to the regional regulation, is a must every six months.
“Emissions from motor vehicles contribute 70 percent to air quality degradation,” he said. “But Walhi now sees that the enforcement of this no longer exists.”
Ubaidillah said that the regional regulation obligated the city administration to enforce car-free days, which he said were working well, as well as checking vehicle emissions control every six months and providing 30 percent of the city’s area for open green spaces.
“Plantations are the best emission absorber,” he said.
According to a report by the Community for Leaded Gasoline Eradication (KPBB) in July, research has shown that air pollution in Jakarta is relatively high in certain parameters.
Although admitting that the air quality in some areas was below the central government’s parameters, the community says that those numbers still exceed the standards issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to the WHO’s air quality guidelines released in 2006, quality air should not exceed 50 ug/m3 in 24 hours for the particulate matter (PM10) parameter and remain below 100 ug/m3 in eight-hours for the Ozone (O3) parameter.