World economies should learn a lesson from Indonesia on life spatial planning. As stipulated in Law No. 41/1999 on Forestry and Law No. 26/2007 on Spatial Planning, Indonesia has set a minimum of 30 percent land use as forests. Land use in each region is split intoconservation zones and non-forest/cultivation zones. Indonesia adopted a policy that allows the harmonious coexistence of non-forest areas (town centers and residential areas, industry, agriculture and farming areas, etc.) and conservation areas (protected and conserved forests) (Figure).
Forestsare maintained for natural biodiversity (animal, plants and endemic microorganisms), as natural barriers and as nature preserves. Meanwhile, the majority of the remaining 70 percent is designated for all development sectors such as agriculture, plantations, husbandry, urban areas, residential areas and other purposes.
According to 2015 data(Forestry Statistics, 2015), for example, out of 187 million hectares of land in Indonesia, satellite imaging shows 88 million hectares of forests, or 47 percent of total land, which is above the minimum requirement as stipulated by law. More than half of the existing forests are primary forests and the natural habitats of elephants, tigers, orangutans, rhinoceroses, lions, bears, various birdspecies and other faunaacross the archipelago.
Farming and village areas cover 55 million hectares, or 29 percent of total land. Meanwhile, an urban area, which includes residential area, business districts, etc., is 43 million hectare, or 23 percent oftotal land. Included in the farming and village areasare palm oil plantations, which accountfor 10.7 million hectares, or 5 percent of the total land of Indonesia.
Urban areas, agriculture/plantation zones and forestscoexist and grow on Indonesia land. Forests, as the natural habitat for diverse biological life, must be maintained, because their existence hasa unique function that cannot be replaced by the function assumed by agriculture/plantation and urban areas. On the other hand, urban areas, as the center of society’s life activities, also have its own space and functionsthat cannot be replaced by forests or agriculture/plantation zones.
The same argument applies to agriculture/plantation zones as the producer of food, energy and biomaterials, which also has its own space and function that cannot be replaced by urban area or forests. Residential/urban areas, agriculture/plantation zones and forests each havetheir own indispensable function within an ecosystem, and they must therefore exist in harmony withintheir designated spaces.
In other words, “Malls, Oil Palms, and Orangutans” coexist in harmony within their own spaces. Thisslogan describes the spatial planning policy for a sustainable ecosystem in Indonesia