Land and resource use conflicts on the Island of Karimunjawa, Indonesia


The Karimunjawa National Park (KNP), located at the northern coast of Central Java, Indonesia, was the first Marine Park recognized in Indonesia back in 1986 and has since been an important area for conservation and marine biodiversity protection. The KNP is under control of district government agencies and managed by the KNP Authority (KNPA). Assistance in any form to the KNPA is provided by local NGOs and the Wildlife Conservations Society. The first zoning of the KNP took place in 1999, but due to social-economic changes the park was rezoned in 2005 and 2012. Rezoning is essential to the Adaptive-Co-management approach by the KNPA which allows a participative method to involve locals into the management. But still, due to various stakeholders from national down to local level and their diverse interests in terms of biodiversity conservation, tourism and local development, four main areas of conflicts remain: Large and small-scale fishing, mariculture development, water pollution from infrastructure and uncontrolled tourism. The last two even deteriorate under the exploding domestic and regional tourism markets since 2009. Unsustainable land and resource use are neglected and ironically follow the national vision to build and promote Karimunjawa as the 'Eco'-Resort Island of Indonesia.

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Basic Data
NameLand and resource use conflicts on the Island of Karimunjawa, Indonesia
ProvinceCentral Java
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biodiversity conservation conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Aquaculture and fisheries
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Establishment of reserves/national parks
Specific CommoditiesLive Animals
Domestic municipal waste
Sand, gravel
Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe park includes a total of 27 islands with a resident population of around 9000, concentrated on the islands of Karimunjawa, Kemujan, Parang and Nyamuk.

Project Area (in hectares)1,116
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population8733
Relevant government actorsKarimunjawa National Park Authority, under the Ministry of Forestry of the Jepara District Government
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersNGO Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS),, NGO Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN),, NGO RARE,
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
When did the mobilization beginLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationCommunity-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Public campaigns
Patrols by the Karimunjawa National Park Authority
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Waste overflow
Health ImpactsVisible: Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseTechnical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
The park has been rezoned and will be rezoned every 5 years to respond to changing socio-economic and ecological realities.
Development of AlternativesThe Karimunjawa National Park Authority is proposing restricted numbers or periods of tourism to reduce needed infrastucture and the dependence of the local people on tourism. This would automatically reduce needed resources and materials extracted from the island.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Since the conflict is only mentioned and seen as critical by researchers and the Karimunjawa National Park Authority and there is no visible project concerning land use conflicts, it is unsure whether this an environmental justice success. Maybe only in terms of recognizing the conflict and trying to change the status quo through dialogue with stakeholders.
Sources and Materials

The KNPA (Karimunjawa National Park Authority) is managed accordance to national and provincial laws and regulations:

Law on Conservation of Natural Resources and Ecosystems of Indonesia (UU5/1990): this is the most

important regulation for national nature parks and reserves (both terrestrial and marine) in Indonesia.

Law on Fisheries of Indonesia (UU31/2004) is the most important national law on fisheries in Indonesia

and applies to all marine, brackish and freshwaters.

Law on Management of Coastal Areas and Small Islands (UU27/2007) is the most important law

pertaining to designation of marine protected areas outside national parks and reserves and applies to waters up to 12 nm out from the coast and the land and waters of coastal municipalities. This law is relevant to district and provincial level government agencies


Ardiwijaya, R. L., A.H. Baird, T. Kartawijaya, S.J. Campbell (2008): Changes in reef fish biomass in Karimunjawa National Park: a test of the effectiveness of government gazette marine parks in Indonesia. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 7-11 July 2008Session Number 23

Balai Taman Nasional Karimunjawa (2012): Zonasi Taman Nasional Karimunjawa Tahun 2012. Semarang

Campbell, S.J. (2006): Rebuilding Management Effectiveness in Karimunjawa Marine National Park, Packard Report 2006. Bogor, Indonesia.

Campbell, S. J., R. L. Ardiwijaya, Y. Heridiana, I. Yulianto, T. Karawijaya, A. Mukminin, S. T. Pardede, R. Prasetia, F. Setiawan (2008): Promoting Effectiveness of MPA in Indonesia. Bogor

Campbell, S. J., T. Kartawijaya, I. Yulianto, R. Prasetia, J. Clifton (2012): Co-Management approaches and incentives improve management effectiveness in the Karimunjawa National Park, Indonesia; In: Marine Policy ;Volume 41, September 2013, Pages 72–79.

Kartiwijaya, T., Ripanto (ed. Balai Taman Nasional, Wildlife Conservation Society, Pemerintah Daerah Kabupaten Jepara, Himpunan Pramuwisata Indonesia) (2011): Rencana Aksi Ekowisata di Taman Nasional Karimunjawa. Bogor

Yulianto I., Y, Herdiana, M.H. Halim, P. Ningtias, A. Hermansyah, S. Campbell (2013): Spatial Analysis to achieve 20 Million Hectares of Marine Protected Areas for Indonesia by 2020. Wildlife Conservation Society and Marine Protected Areas Governance. Bogor. Indonesia

UNEP (2011): Governing Marine Protected Areas - Getting the Balance right. Volume 1. Nairobi

UNEP (2011a): Governing Marine Protected Areas - Getting the Balance right. Volume 2. Nairobi

Media Links

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Youtube: Zoning and fishing testimonies in the KNP:

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ContributorPatricia Dorn
Last update24/06/2014