Jakarta activists to file civil lawsuit over air pollution

Residents of Greater Jakarta grouped under the IBUKOTA (Capital City) movement are set to file a civil lawsuit to the Central Jakarta District Court on Wednesday to demand better air quality in the capital.

They joined the movement through a complaint centre set up by the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta) in April.

In a statement sent to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday, LBH Jakarta lawyer Ayu Eza Tiara said at least 31 civilians had registered as plaintiffs.

"There will be no rally [following the lawsuit submission]. But we will distribute masks [to passers-by]," she said.

The lawsuit is addressed to seven people: President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, the Environment and Forestry Ministry, Health Ministry, Home Ministry and the governors of Jakarta, Banten and West Java.

They demanded better governance and law enforcement to tackle air pollution problems caused by vehicle emissions, factories, coal-fired power plants and construction, among other factors.

Let’s clean the air: Cyclists wearing safety gear and respiratory masks lead the symbolic handover of a civil lawsuit notification from a social movement called Gerakan Ibu Kota (Capital City Movement) to the Jakarta administration at City Hall, Central Jakarta, on Wednesday.

The movement started in December last year when several activists held a protest to warn the Jakarta administration and central government, saying that if they failed to act against air pollution within 60 days, the activists would file a civil lawsuit.

More than 60 days after that, the activists claimed that the government had done nothing to address the problem.

On June 2, LBH Jakarta announced that at least 57 people had joined the movement.