Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya said on Monday that the government is considering taking the recent incident involving a UK cruise vessel, the MV Caledonian Sky, to an international tribunal as the company announced it would settle the case with its insurance.
Environmentalists and academics estimate that Indonesia might suffer losses of US$18.6 million (S$26.1 million) from damage to coral reefs in Raja Ampat, West Papua, caused by the Caledonian Sky cruise ship earlier this month.
The damaged area totaled 13,532.6 square meters.
Siti said the cruise company had offered payments for the losses through insurance, but the government is concerned that the compensation paid this way would be too little.
"We are worried about such an arrangement because insurance is always smart about finding arguments so that it will pay as little compensation money as possible," Siti told reporters at the State Palace.
As an alternative, Siti said that the government of Indonesia was considering the option of bringing the case to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.
"My office is currently collecting all necessary documents to support the move," Siti said.
Siti said that the Indonesian government would strengthen its argument to support the possible plea using Law No. 5/1999 on conservation of live natural resources and the ecosystem, Law No. 32/2009 on environmental protection and management and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.