2024 Election Environment Constitution  

Konstitusi Lingkungan Pemilu 2024
Image credit: rumahpemilu.org

The environmental constitution was popularized in Indonesia by Jimly Asshiddiqie. Through his book entitled "Green Constitution: Green Nuances of the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia", this constitutional law professor believes that it is important for environmental legal norms to be included in the constitution by raising the level of environmental protection to become an integral part of the constitution. This aims to provide a strong foundation for the principles of sustainable development that focus on the environment and environmental protection within the framework of statutory regulations.

As an initial starting point, the environmental constitution introduces a concept known as ecocracy, which emphasizes the importance of environmental sovereignty. Environmental and ecocratic constitutional principles are contained in the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia. Article 28H paragraph (1) and Article 33 paragraph (4) provide the basis for the position of the environment in the Indonesian constitution.

In line with environmental constitutional principles, the General Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu), through Bawaslu Regulation 5/2022, states that the implementation of general election supervision is carried out by considering environmentally friendly principles. In its implementation, supervision also refers to the protection of environmental functions and environmental management principles in accordance with statutory provisions. In addition, the implementation of this supervision can be supported by the use of information and communication technology systems.

In fact, the distribution and installation of campaign props have been regulated in General Election Commission Regulation (PKPU) 7/2015 concerning campaigns, as reported by Media Indonesia. However, these regulations do not specifically regulate materials used as campaign props. After the publication of PKPU 15/2023 concerning campaigns, the use of environmentally friendly campaign props by prioritizing environmentally friendly materials began to be implemented.

The KPU noted that in the 2024 elections, the number of young voters will be around 107 million people, or 53-55% of the total number of voters. The large number of young voters can be utilized by election participants by holding digital campaigns because young voters are synonymous with technology. The use of digital campaigns can be done through social media; this is in line with the level of social media use in Indonesia, which has experienced significant growth.

According to report data reports, in 2023, the number of social media users will reach 167 million people. Of this number, 153 million users are over 18 years old, which is around 79.5% of the total population. The use of social media in building the image of parties and general elections can be considered in campaign implementation as a substitute for conventional campaigns. Apart from saving costs on making campaign props, the use of social media is an environmentally friendly propaganda tool.

When compared with 2019 records, Media Indonesia reported that conventional campaigns with a door-to-door approach and the use of campaign props have not yet been replaced. Apart from campaign props, the 2017-2022 KPU chairman, Arief Budiman, said that in the 2019 elections there were at least 978,471,901 sheets of paper printed, 58,889,191 covers, and 130,746,467,309 forms. This is in accordance with data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), which noted that in 2019, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry found that the amount of waste piled up was 67.8 million tons per year, consisting of organic waste with a percentage of 57%, plastic waste with a percentage of 15%, garbage paper by 11%, and other waste by 17%.

So what is the fate of these printed ballot papers? In 2019, the Central Java government stated that the Pekalongan City KPU destroyed unused ballot papers by burning them. Burning ballot papers certainly has a negative impact on the surrounding environment. The destruction of election logistics refers to the circular issued by the KPU after the election, namely the decision letter of the Secretary General of the KPU number: 1560/TU.04.2-SD/04/SJ/XI/2019 dated November 15, 2019 concerning Permits for the Destruction of 2019 Election Ballot Papers and circular letters from the Indonesian KPU number: 1570/PP.08.5-SD/07/SJ/XI/2019 dated November 15, 2019 concerning post-election logistics management in 2019. However, the circular does not mention how to destroy post-election logistics.

Efforts to implement an environmental constitution in the upcoming 2024 elections began with the publication of Bawaslu Regulation 5/2022, which applies environmentally friendly principles in election supervision. This is reinforced by KPU Regulation 15/2023, which regulates the use of campaign props that can be recycled. One proof of the implementation of the environmental constitution in the upcoming 2024 elections is the use of environmentally friendly election ink based on gambier. In this case, Andalas University, in collaboration with PT Kudo Indonesia Jaya, will use around 30 tons of gambier leaves as ink material, which will meet the needs of around 1 million bottles of ink for the 2024 election.

Even though KPU regulations are starting to implement environmental constitutional principles, they are still weak in regulating the handling of campaign prop waste. Because of this problem, updated regulations are needed that also regulate how post-election campaign prop waste is handled.

For your information, it is certain that the 2024 election will still use the ballot voting method, so post-election ballot waste must also begin to be considered. This handling is not only carried out by the KPU but also by the relevant ministry, namely the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, in supervising the recycling and destruction of post-election waste, which applies environmentally friendly principles.

The destruction of ballot papers in the upcoming 2024 election must begin to prioritize environmentally friendly methods. Obviously, the method is not to burn it, considering that air pollution is also a hot issue in 2023.

Recycling paper-based election logistics waste can be done through many companies that support paper waste recycling. Indonesia, as a country that includes an environmental constitution in the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, should also be able to apply the environmental constitution in elections as part of the constitution. Collaboration between institutions ranging from the KPU and KLHK to the general public is really needed to realize an environmentally friendly 2024 election. []