Spotlight Activity: Indonesia’s New Data Portals — Satu Peta (One Map)
Accurate data is essential in Indonesia’s efforts to adapt to and mitigate climate change. Geospatial data is particularly important. In a country with 17,000 islands, understanding where things are is essential to design development programs, implement government initiatives, and manage land.
Geospatial data in Indonesia has been fraught with inaccuracies, variable collection/survey methods, overlap, and differing scales. Some issues from inaccurate and contradictory reference maps include: poor forest governance – resulting in land fires and illegal conversion, disagreements between local communities and companies or federal agencies, and poor resource management. President Widodo has acknowledged these inconsistencies, citing the overlap of 4 million hectares of forest with plantation areas. To correct inaccuracies between the maps of different government agencies, levels of government, the public, and the private sectors, Widodo launched the One Map Policy, a project intended to develop a single national basemap that can be used as a reference in government planning. This basemap could be used in any government planning, from determining the location of old pipeline infrastructure to settling resource control rights.
To mitigate climate change, good data on land use and cover is vital. The majority of Indonesia’s carbon emissions come from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF, the United Nations term for human activities which “impact terrestrial sinks” of carbon). Good geospatial is needed in efforts to protect conservation forest, determine which peatlands fall under the conversion moratorium, in planning ecological restoration efforts, and in a whole host of other mitigation strategies and government policies. One Map’s (Satu Peta) aim is to harmonize contradictory maps and increase data access. However, the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NDSI) that is intended to improve data quality is not accessible to the public.
BIG (Indonesia Geospatial Agency) launched One Map in mid-August. I attempted to download the One Map data from the portal – found at: https://portalksp.ina-sdi.or.id/ – but could not access the data. It is currently invitation only.
This is not the first time that accessing Indonesian government spatial data has been challenging. Last year, for Climate Scorecard’s presentation at COP-23, I was denied access to Peatland Restoration Agency shapefiles (Badan Restorasi Gambut). I had to digitize a PDF of their map, a time consuming and potentially imprecise process. The complete lack of transparency by the government with their data is disturbing. This cannot continue in One Map.
Status: Moving Forward
The release of One Map is an exciting step forward. Higher quality (finer scale), more accurate, and more reliable data will improve mitigation strategies and help Indonesia implement its Paris Agreement pledge. However, Indonesia cannot continue to be opaque about its data. Mitigation programs, researchers, and the public need access to data to identify potential threats to carbon sinks and design strategies to protect them. Further, the synchronization of community maps with government maps will result in social change through shifting land control. This has implications on the social outcomes of One Map and Indonesia’s NDC.
The intended public release date is at the end of 2019, after synchronization. This is not acceptable. The process of synchronizing data needs to be transparent. Community, indigenous, and customary (adat) maps have been submitted for synchronization under One Map. The participatory mapping network (JKPP) has mapped over 10 million hectares of community land. BRWA (Ancestral Domain Registration Agency) has submitted indigenous maps to government agencies. As of 2016, BRWA submitted 665 maps totaling 7.4 million hectares. Many of these participatory submissions coincide with concessions for agriculture, resource exploration and areas under federal jurisdiction. These community maps include important details lost in federal agency maps. Indigenous, adat, and community land claims must be prioritized over concessions. The Alliance for Indigenous People (AMAN) estimates that customary people inhabit 40 million hectares of land, the majority of which falls in forests. With more than 25% of 12.2 million hectares of protected peatland falling under concessions areas, the prioritization of community land management over company plantations is paramount. Communities and adat peoples often manage the land more soundly than agencies.
The One Map Policy needs to be more transparent in its process for synchronizing government agencies’ maps, community maps, and sub-national government maps. It must also make its data public as soon as possible. Data should not only be visualized. It must be downloadable as shapefiles. It is vital that community maps are prioritized over concessions to ensure good social outcomes and protect carbon sinks. Data should be released as soon as it is ready to aid in mitigation programs and help the public understand the harmonization process. Reach out to the agency responsible for map synchronization and harmonization; Geospatial Information Agency (BIG). Push them to be more transparent and adopt social and environmental mandates in its decision making process.
Send the following message to the policymaker below in an email to BIG or with a phone call:
Your message will be sent to:
Geospatial Information Agency
Tel. 021-8752062 / 8752063 or 021-8753289