Voluntary Agreements - PROKASIH (or Clean River Programme), Indonesia
PROKASIH (or clean river programme) is the name given to the pollution reduction agreements in Indonesia. This successful programme began in 1989 and was aimed at cleaning up the most heavily polluted rivers in Indonesia (O'Connor, 1998). The programme covered thirty-four rivers in 1998, an increase from the 20 dirtiest rivers were originally targeted. Letters of agreement are drawn up between provincial governors and company directors. Although companies are obliged to participate, the letters of agreement are not legally binding (O'Connor, 1998). Most agreements aim to cut effluent concentrations and loads by 50% within an agreed time period.
The government (Population and Environment Minister) used a name and shame policy in 1991 to increase firms' compliance levels. This policy seems to have worked as compliance levels doubled in the aftermath (O'Connor, 1998).
By 1994, 1,405 companies were participating in PROKASIH. Along more than half of the rivers (18 out of 34 rivers) the level of pollution had reduced and participating plants significantly reduced their pollution loads (in terms of BOD). For nine rivers though, average daily pollution load has increased since 1990-1991 (O'Connor, 1998).
With rising pressures on establishments, in terms of growth potential, the indications are that BOD loads started to rise again in the mid 1990s, raising questions about the sustainability of such an approach.
In 1995, a new program PROPER (Programme for Pollution Control, Evaluation and Rating), took over the PROKASIH role. This new programme awards companies on their environmental performance by rating them according to a scheme of colours (with five hues from black to gold) and publishes the information. The evaluation is repeated at intervals, forms are re-rated, and each time the ratings are published (O'Connor, 1998). By 1997 it seems that the PROPER programme was effective, especially in improving the performance of the heaviest polluters (those coded black or red). Of the 187 plants rated initially in June 1995, 115 were given a red colour and six black; by September 1996 the number of red firms had fallen to 87 and of black firms to only one (O'Connor, 1998: 103-104).
O' Connor, D., 1998, Applying economic instruments in developing countries: from theory to implementation, Environment and Development Economics 4 (1998): 91-110, Cambridge University Press.