The Constitutional Court will conduct a preliminary hearing today to examine a request for a judicial review of the Coastal Zone and Small Island Management law of 2007, which traditional communities claim could threaten their economic livelihoods and the sustainable management of coastal areas.
The hearing will determine whether the Court should allow the application for a judicial review to be heard in full.
“In the [Wednesday] meeting, we will explain to the court the reasons why we proposed the judicial review,” Riza Damanik, the head of the team representing a group of traditional fishermen and coastal communities, said on Tuesday.
The judicial review was filed with the Court on Jan. 13.
The law divides coastal areas into zones for fishing, aquaculture, conservation and other economic activities such as transportation and tourism.
Riza claimed the controversial law could hamper the economic rights of traditional fishermen by limiting their ability to exploit coastal areas.
Sudirman Saad, secretary of the directorate general for the management of coastal areas at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, has said the government plans to start implementing the new zoning system in 2011. He said the government would consult the communities in coastal areas.
Much of the nation’s 81,000 kilometers of shoreline remains underdeveloped. But while many of those inhabiting coastal areas still live below the poverty line, they frequently resist threats to their traditional way of life.