Karya I Made Andi Arsana, ST., ME Batas Maritim Antarnegara - Sebuah Tinjauan Teknis dan Yuridis (Gadjah Mada University Press, 2007) more...

Monday, April 25, 2005

International Workshop Publication

Department of Geodetic Engineering, Gadjah Mada University
in collaboration with
National Coordinating Agency for Surveys and Mapping

Proudly presents:


Yogyakarta, 6-7 May 2005

I. Background
As an archipelagic country, Indonesia has some potential maritime boundary with some adjacent and opposite neighbouring coastal States. This is due to potential overlapping claims of maritime zone between Indonesia and its neighboring States. With regards to potential maritime boundaries, ten States are considered: Republic Democratic of Timor Leste (RDTL), Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Australia, Palau, Philippines, Thailand, India and Vietnam.

Most of the boundaries have not been fully established. The case of Ambalat is one of the consequences of the pending agreement of maritime boundary between Indonesia and Malaysia in Celebes Sea. The ownership of Batek Island is also an important issue that Indonesia and RDTL need to agree upon, as the steps to establish maritime boundaries between the two countries. These situations potentially raise conflict between the States in question and at the end cause inconvenience to the inhabitants in rolling their economic activities. On the other hand, Indonesian societies, in general, are quite easy to be negatively provoked with regards to boundary issue. In most cases, they do not really understand the real problem, especially in terms of legal and scientific substance. In addition, unbalanced reporting by newspaper and electronic media sometimes also worsens the situation.

Indonesia ratified the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea III (1982) in 1985. However, it faced several technical and non-technical obstacles in implementing the Convention to generate acceptable maritime boundaries. The problems include funding matter, partial claim by neighbouring states, and the availability of legal administrative resources/documents for negotiations.

This workshop is proposed based on two key reasons: the complexity of the maritime boundary definition that needs proper training, and the lack of information distribution among societies, especially with regards to legal, technical and historical aspects. This is expected to facilitate the share of knowledge among experts, technical contributors and even ordinary people about maritime boundary delimitation to obtain an equitable solution.

II. Aims and objectives

  1. To socialize legal and technical aspects of maritime boundary delimitations.

  2. To socialize approaches employed in solving cases related to maritime boundary dispute.

III. Schedule

IV. Fees and Registration:

  1. Indonesian participants

    1. Full booth ( workshop kit dan penginapan) Rp 750.000,-

    2. Standar (workshop kit tanpa penginapan) Rp. 500.000,-

  2. Overseas Participants

    1. $US 250.00 (with workshop kit only)

For registration, please contact:
Committee secretariat for International Workshop of Department of Geodetic Engineering, Gadjah Mada University
Jl. Grafika No.2 Yogyakarta
P: +62 274 520226 atau +62 274 902121
F: +62 274 520226
E: geodesy_ugm@yahoo.com, dwil_yk@yahoo.com

Fees can be transfered to Bank Account:
Bank Mandiri MM-UGM Branch
Account number: 137.0002172.514
Account holder: Ketua Jurusan Teknik Geodesi FT-UGM

Contact persons:
Dwi Lestari +62 8132 8175507
Abdul Basith +62 815 7941196

Tertarik mengikuti workshop International ini?
Silahkan lihat di sini

Sampai jumpa di Jogja!


Thursday, April 21, 2005

A Formal letter from DGE


Monday, April 18, 2005

Seminar and Workshop in Indonesia

[another one about Ambalat]

Department of Geodetic Engineering (DGE), Gadjah Mada University actively responds the case of Ambalat, the overlapping claim between Indonesia and Malaysia. As an academic institution, DGE in collaboration with Bakosurtanal will conduct a seminar and workshops related to international boundaries. The series of activities will last for one week at the beginning of May 2005.

Invited in the seminar (3 May 2005) and workshops (6-7 May 2005) are the top-notch people in the area of boundary issues. Amongst them are Ministry of Home affairs, experts from Indonesia’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Bakosurtanal, Department of Defense, Indonesian Universities, etc.

Clive, my supervisor, will also be invited as an international expert in maritime boundaries to present a paper in the seminar. He will also be giving a workshop in legal and technical aspect of maritime boundaries on 6 May 2005. Besides, he will be treated as a visiting fellow to discuss the possibility of conducting joint-researches between CMP, where Clive is currently working, and DGE and also to discuss the new curriculum that contains the course of boundary issue.

I, myself, will come along with Clive and am expected to be the moderator for one of the sessions in the seminar when Clive and Sobar Sutisna, the Chief of Center for Boundary Mapping of Bakosurtanal, present. It will be such a challenging chance for me. On 7 May 2005, I will also be one of the presenters in the workshop giving the material related to the use of CARIS LOTS™ in maritime boundary delimitations.

The following are program details.
3 May 2005: National Seminar

9.00 – 9.30 Keynote Speech and Opening
Let. Jen. (Purn) M. Ma'ruf, Indonesian Minister of Internal Affairs
09.30-09.45 morning coffee
09.45-11.00: Session I Ambalat Case Study: A legal and political perspective
• Arif Havas Oegroseno, SH, LLM, Department of Foreign Affairs
• Prof. Dr. F Sugeng Istanto, SH Faculty of Law, Gadjah Mada University
11.00-12.15 Session II
Ambalat Case Study: A security/defense and socio-cultural perspective
• Drs. Lambang Triyono, M.A, Center for security and peace studies, UGM
• Ir. Iswinardi, M.Sc Department of Defense, Indonesia
12.15-13.15 break
13.15-14.30 Session III
The Boundary of the Indonesian Archipelago
Kol. Laut Drs. Rusdi Ridwan, Dipl.Cart, Dishidros
Dr. Budi Sulistyo M.Sc, Indonesia’s Dept. of Marine Affairs & Fisheries
14.30-15.45 Session IV
International Boundaries
• Ir. Sobar Sutisna M. Surv, Ph.D, Bakosurtanal
• Dr. Clive Schofield, CMP, University of Wollongong, Australia
15.45-16.15 Conclusion and Closing

4 May 2005: General Lecture and Discussion on Joint-research and curriculum
5 May 2005: Field Trip
6-7 May 2005

6 May 2005: Workshop day 1 (DR Clive Schofield)
07.00 - 08.30 Registration and Morning Coffee
08.30 - 09.00 opening Speech (Sumaryo, Martindas)
09.00 - 09.30 Historical background to the Law of the Sea Convention
09.30 - 10.45 Baselines and Technical Issues in the Law of the Sea
10.45 - 11.45 Maritime Zones of Jurisdiction under Sovereignty and Sovereign Rights
11.45 - 13.30 Friday Prayer + Lunch
13.30 - 14.30 The Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries
14.30 - 15.30 Maritime Boundary Disputes
15.30 - 16.00 Coffee Break
16.00 - 17.00 Maritime Boundary Dispute Resolution

7 May 2005: Workshop day 2

07.00 - 08.00 Registration
08.00 - 09.30 The role of geospatial data in Boundary delimitation (Dr. Sobar Sutisna)
09.30 - 10.00 Coffee Break
10.00 - 11.30 Maritime Boundary disputes and resolution (Ary Havas Oegroseno,DEPLU)
11.30 - 13.00 Land Boundary disputes and equitable boundary delineation (Ir. Klaas Vilaeneuva)
13.00 - 14.00 Lunch break
14.00 - 15.30 Continental Shelf Boundary Delimitation, Art.76 UNCLOS (Dr. Khafid, BAKO)
15.30 - 15.45 Coffee break
15.45 - 17.00 Introduction to CARIS LOTS™: An assisting tool for maritime boundary delimitation, I Made Andi Arsana, DGE


Thursday, April 14, 2005

I am in The Jakarta Post!

There is no perfect words to describe how happy I am today. My article about Ambalat has been published in The Jakarta Post. After a month of waiting, It was finally published on April 12, 2005. So proud about that, since it is the first article published in a national English Daily.

Should you be interested pelase read here

I dedicated the writing to Asti and my child-to-be!


Saturday, April 09, 2005

Ambalat: A Spatial Perspective1

I Made Andi Arsana 2
School of Surveying and Spatial Information Systems
The University of New South Wales


During March 2005, bilateral relationship between Indonesia and Malaysia escalates. The rising matter relates to Malaysia’s claim over Ambalat area located in the east of Borneo Island, while Indonesia, in the other side, is sure the area belongs to Indonesia.

Reactive responses come from most of Indonesians because they, generally, believe that it is another manifestation of Malaysia’s greediness. This is understandable since Malaysia won the case on Sipadan and Ligitan (two islands located near Ambalat) over Indonesia in 2002 causing Malaysia successfully took the two islands3. No matter what the reasons the ICJ proposed in deciding the case, most of Indonesian citizens are simply disappointed. Since such case is very sensitive, with regards to Ambalat case, people from both countries have to really understand the problem in terms of science, technique, and law.

This paper discusses the case of Ambalat in a spatial perspective and is aimed to provide better understanding for people especially the laymen. This will discuss briefly the principles of international maritime boundary; the history of Indonesia-Malaysia boundary; the latest status of Indonesia-Malaysia boundary, especially maritime boundary; status and problems of the Indonesia-Malaysia maritime boundary in the Celebes Sea; and an idea for Ambalat conflict resolution from the spatial point of view. Lastly, this ends with conclusion and suggestions.

Mass demonstrations in some regions in Indonesia generally protest Malaysia’s claim over Ambalat. The reactive responses become uncontrolled since some actions headed to be radical and even anarchy by burning Malaysian flag and even Malaysian pretty singer’s photo: Siti Nurhalisa. She is actually nothing to do with Ambalat.
War even took place in virtual world: Internet, indicated by the defacing of some Malaysian and Indonesian official websites. Arguing each other gets worse and unfortunately most of the arguments are based on emotional considerations, not a comprehensive understanding to the real problems. Without purpose to blame either Indonesians neither Malaysians, because both countries have not yet agreed upon the case, I am quite sure that lack of comprehensive understandings to the case potentially causes mistakes in making decision.

International Maritime Boundary: A Briefing
International maritime boundary is governed by the international law, especially the regime of the law of the sea. The United Nation even generated a convention that regulates this particular matter called the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (hereinafter referred to as LOSC) in 1982. Every coastal or archipelagic State that has ratified LOSC is entitled to maritime zones measured from its baseline. Figure 1 illustrates maritime zones a coastal state may claim.

The above figure shows that maritime zones are measured form baseline to a certain distance in the unit of nautical miles (nm). Maritime zones include territorial sea at a distance of 12 nm from baseline, contiguous zone for a maximum distance of 24 mil, Exclusive Economic Zone for 200 nm and Continental Shelf that measured for a distance of no more than 350 nm from baseline4.
Imagine there are two coastal states separated in a distance of less then 300 nm each other, there will be an overlapping claim for EEZ. At this stage, a boundary line is required. See figure 2 for illustration.

By ratifying the LOSC through the Law no. 17/1985, Indonesia obligates to define its international boundaries and depict them in a sufficient-scale nautical chart to strengthen its position. Technically, it should have started by definition of basepoints of its archipelagic baselines5, continued by the definition of internal waters, territorial sea, ZEE and Continental Shelf that are depicted in a nautical chart employing particular geodetic datum6. After that, the map must be deposited to the UN Secretary General to obtain legal recognition. This, actually, has been regulated in the Law No. 6/1996 about Indonesian Waters (Wikantika, 2005). However, Indonesia has yet finished none of the ten potential maritime boundaries with neighboring states (Tarmansyah, 2003). The neighboring states are Australia, Malaysia, Philippine, Singapore, Palau, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, and East Timor.
Since Malaysia has also ratified the LOSC (Syarif, 2005 in Kompas, 12 March 2005), the same procedures should have been proceeded. If the 1979 map Malaysia used to claim Ambalat has not yet deposited to the UN Secretary General, or even if it has not been regulated in its internal law, then Malaysia’s claim over Ambalat is not legitimate.

The History of Indonesia-Malaysia Boundaries
Before stepping into Ambalat case, it is necessary to briefly look back into the history of Indonesia-Malaysia boundary. Discussion on boundary of the two states, undoubtedly, cannot be separated from the colonial history of the Great Britain and the Netherlands over Borneo Island long time before the independence of Malaysia and Indonesia.
The 1891 Convention is a convention between The Great Britain and the Netherlands to divide Borneo Island into two regions: the northern part belonged to The Great Britain and the southern part was the Netherlands’. Since the independence era, Malaysia has been the successor of Britain and Indonesia has been continuing the Netherlands’ regime. In defining their boundary, especially land boundary, both countries have to refer to the 1891 Convention agreed by The Great Britain and the Netherlands.
Land boundary between Indonesia and Malaysia is clear since the convention has clearly defined the line. This following figure is a satellite image depicting land boundary between Indonesia and Malaysia in the eastern part of Borneo.

The figure illustrates that the land boundary line crosses Sebatik Island. The line crosses the latitude of 4° 10’, approximately 450 km north of equator. Unfortunately, the line stops at the eastern edge of Sebatik Island, so that the ownership of small islands and area located in the East of Sebatik is unclear. This is one of the problems causing Indonesia “loss” two islands: Sipadan and Ligitan.

The Latest Status of Indonesia-Malaysia Maritime Boundaries
The maritime boundary with Malaysia was the first one Indonesia negotiated with its neighboring State. A boundary treaty was even established and came into force on 7 November 1964 (Forbes, 2001: 74). However, the boundaries have not been fully accomplished until today. It is noted that there are three locations of maritime boundaries between Indonesia and Malaysia: Malacca Strait, South China Sea, and Celebes Sea (Prescott, 2004), where Ambalat lays. Boundaries in the first two locations have been established partially, resulting in three segments of boundary lines. The first segment is in Malacca Strait going down close to Malaysia-Singapore boundary with total distance of 400.8 nm. The second segment starts in the eastern side of Singapore Strait going up to South China Sea. The last segment is the continuation of land boundary at Tanjung Datu, the Northwest part of Borneo (Forbes, 2001: 76). Following figure illustrates the boundaries in the first two locations taken from Forbes (2001).

Figure 3.a Indonesia-Malaysia Maritime Boundaries

Maritime Boundary in Celebes Sea: Status and Problems
According to Villanueva (2005), the overlapping claims of territorial sea boundary, EEZ boundary and Continental Shelf boundary around Ambalat area or Celebes Sea have not yet been fully agreed. These have to be established through a bilateral negotiation between Indonesia and Malaysia. Jinangkung (2005)7 stated that Indonesia is actually ready to conduct any negotiation and even already started the negotiation on 22 March 2005 with Malaysia. Even though it seemed to be related to Ambalat case, he asserted that the negotiation was a scheduled negotiation and would generally discuss Indonesia-Malaysia unresolved boundaries in the three locations: Malacca Strait, South China Sea and Celebes Sea.
Many people do not precisely aware the position of Ambalat. Some even do not realize that Ambalat is not an island but water area/block located in the east of Borneo. Besides Ambalat, the block is also known as Block ND6 and ND7.
According to discussion on this matter in an internet-based community, RSGIS Forum, Ambalat is a block located in the area with coordinates of 118°15'21" - 118°51'15" E and 2°34'7" - 3°47'50" N. Having assumed that the coordinate is accurate, Ambalat lays from South to North at a distance of 65 km and 135 km from West to East. This also means that the block situates bellow the border line crossing Sebatik Island. Relative to Sipadan and Ligitan, Ambalat situates closer to Borneo. Two figures bellow respectively show the location of Ambalat and its position relative to Sipadan and Ligitan.

It is worth noting that the ICJ’s decision to grant Sipadan and Ligitan to Malaysia may change the configuration of Malaysia’s baselines. This can influence maritime zone it may claim. In the other words, it is highly possible for Malaysia to claim larger maritime zones southward to Indonesia. This, according to some sources, is one of the strengths for Malaysia to claim Ambalat.

Conflict Resolution: A Rough Idea
As previously mentioned, a bilateral mutual agreement between Indonesia and Malaysia is required to resolve conflict on boundary case. It is obvious that Ambalat case is a maritime conflict because Indonesia and Malaysia claim the same maritime zones (overlapping claim) where the block situates. Villanueva (2005) asserted that this is not the case of full sovereignty but limited sovereignty to explore and exploit maritime zone and natural resources deposited there. This is different compared to the case of the ownership of an island.
Before deciding to start a negotiation, Indonesia obligates to conduct comprehensive studies, which technically has to be initiated by the National Coordinating Agency for Surveys and Mapping (Bakosurtanal) and The Indonesian NAVY’s Hidro-Oceanographic Office (Dishidros TNI-AL) with coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Following are technical steps that might be considered in resolving Ambalat case.
  1. Baselines Definition
    It has to be anticipated that Malaysia may change its baseline configuration because Sipadan and Ligitan are now officially theirs. Defining Indonesia and Malaysia’s baseline in Celebes Sea is the first step to do as reference for measuring maritime zones. Indonesia, will, of course, preserve its archipelagic baselines.
  2. Definition of EEZ and Continental Shelf Boundary
    The second step is to define the boundary for EEZ and Continental Shelf. It will be found that Ambalat situates in EEZ and Continental Shelf of both States. The case deals with Continental Shelf since it relates to the exploration and exploitation of seabed.

  3. Maritime Boundary Delimitation
    The overlapping claim in the EEZ and Continental Shelf requires maritime boundary delimitation. It has been widely accepted to employ equidistance/median line to generate a boundary line, at least as a starting point. After that, it needs to consider contributing factors/aspects to achieve an equitable solution. Factors that need to be considered are proportion of coastal length involved, and socio-economic development of both sides.

  4. The possibility to establish Joint Development Area
    If the delimitation divides Ambalat into two different parts, each country can only explore and exploit its own part. Another possibility is to establish a Joint Development Area, similar to what agreed by Indonesia and Australia in the Timor Gap. The urgent matter that needs to agree upon is the management and sharing rules for each side.

Technical steps described above can be done by employing in situ survey or cartographically using nautical chart and satellite image in a sufficient scale.

Closing Remarks
Having considered the above analysis, it can be concluded that:
  1. Ambalat case is a limited sovereignty conflict because both Indonesia and Malaysia try to claim the same maritime zone (overlapping claim).

  2. A good understanding in term of science, technique and law is essential, not only for government officials but also ordinary people from both sides, to avoid emotional decision.

  3. This requires synergy among related departments, agencies, boards, etc. to comprehensively study the case before deciding to negotiate the case bilaterally or submitting the case to the International Court of Justice.

The case involving Sipadan, Ligitan, Ambalat and other similar cases related to International Boundary should have reminded Indonesia, as a nation, to seriously pay attention to maritime boundary delimitation. Another urgent step is to list small islets all over Indonesian Archipelago, and to name (toponim) every single islet. This, actually, has been conducted by the Department of Marine Affairs and Fisheries since quite a long time. To speed up the process, as opined by Wikantika (2005) Remote Sensing technology can be employed using satellite images. By finishing these all urgent “homework”, hopefully Indonesia gains more strength to preserve its sovereignty and can negotiate confidently whenever a case regarding maritime boundary arises.


1Delivered in an open discussion by Indonesian Students at UNSW, Sydney, 29 March 2005
2A Lecturer at Department of Geodetic Engineering, UGM, currently studying technical aspect of International Maritime Boundaries
3see also http://www.icj-cij.org/icjwww/ipresscom/ipress2002/ipresscom2002-39_inma_20021217.htm about the ICJ’s judgment on this case
4Detail regulation for each maritime zone can be found in UNCLOSS III document. Online access: www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_ agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf
5Three types of baselines: normal baseline, straight baseline, and archipelagic baseline. The last type is applicable to Indonesia because it is an archipelagic state.
6Datum is a reference position for an object on earth. A map must have an official datum and is scientifically acceptable in an area. Two maps used together for common purpose must have the same datum.
7L. Amrih Jinangkung is a staff of the Indonesia’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Directorate of Treaties on Political Security and Territorial Affairs. Communication with author was done by email.

Forbes, V. Louis, (2001), Conflict and Cooperation in Managing Maritime Space in Semi-Enclosed Seas, University of Hawaii Press
Prescott, Victor (2004), Maritime Delimitation in Southeast Asia: The Case of Indonesia
Schofield, C. (2003) Maritime Zones and Jurisdiction, 2003 ABLOS Conference, available: http://www.gmat.unsw.edu.au/ablos/ABLOS03Folder/SESSION3.PDF
Syarif, Laode M., (2005), Pesan buat Syed Hamid Albar, Kompas,12 maret 2005
Tarmansyah, Umar S., (2003), Lepasnya P. Sipadan Dan P. Ligitan Sebuah Pelataran Kewaspadaan, Buletin Balitbang Dephan No 10
Villanueva, Klaas J., (2005) Satu Pandangan/Ulasan: Sengketa Wilayah ZEE Dan Wilayah Landas Kontinen di Ambalat
Wikantika, Ketut, 2005, Mereinventarisasi Pulau-pulau Terluar Indonesia Citra Satelit Kurangi Biaya Survei, Pikiran Rakyat, 17 maret 2005