Indonesia's Overpopulation and Its Effects on Pollution

This paper investigated the environmental effects of overpopulation in Indonesia. With a population of over 263 million people, Indonesia is ranked fourth in the globe. Despite the large population that serves as a potential market for locally created goods, there is a high level of vulnerability to a variety of difficulties. Overpopulation has unintended consequences such as increasing social crime, a strain on the government in delivering social services, land concerns, housing shortages, and an increase in the rate of unemployment. Yet, the focus of this study has been on overpopulation and its effects on the ecosystem. The most important areas that have been succinctly explored includes the background information about Indonesia, the overpopulation issue, environmental pollution, current policies used to abate environmental pollution, a suggestion for the adoption and implementation of better environmental protection policies, a cost-benefit analysis of the policies and finally the reason why environmental problems exist. Moreover, this paper has advocated for the use of Pigouvian tax system to instill pains on those fond of polluting the environment. A greater focus has been accorded on how overpopulation has increased water pollution.

Furthermore, this paper has also acknowledged that overpopulation has increased pressure on land which has resulted in deforestation and settlement of people near river banks who consequently dispose of the waste products of the water. For the urban setting, insufficient sewerage systems have led to increased dumping of wastes in septic tanks. Therefore, adopting stricter policies that timely addresses environmental pollution issue will assist the government to reduce its spending on recurrent activities that partially solves the pollution problem. Also, this paper has advocated for incorporating the topic of pollution in the syllabus so that students are taught about the essentiality of maintaining a clean environment before completing their education.

i. Background information

Currently, the economy of Indonesia has significantly improved. Industrialization and entrepreneurial actions have intensified which has greatly contributed to the growth of her Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Indonesia is ranked 16th largest economy in the globe. This country has a population of over 250 million. In 2016, Indonesia had a GDP growth of 5.1% and is expected to increase by 0.2 to 5.3% by the end of 2017. Her economy significantly depends on the internal market and from government spending initiatives in most of the sectors she owns. The government own about 141 enterprises that specialize in producing essential goods and services to citizens. The overpopulation aspect has increased the local market for the products manufactured domestically. Moreover, Indonesia imports machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, and foodstuffs. Besides, she has developed healthy international ties with developed countries such as China, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore and the United States. Through relatedness, Indonesia exports some of the surplus products to the international markets. Major exports include Oil and gas, cement, food, electrical appliances, rubber, construction, plywood, and textiles.

This paper, therefore, focuses on exploring the overpopulation problem in Indonesia and how it relates to crowding of capital city "Jakarta." Today, Jakarta city faces a serious issue in planning and managing of the residences. There are an increasing number of people flowing in this city every year. Most of the people come in this city to search for employment opportunities. However, the increased population in this city has adversely affected the movement of vehicles and people. This city is famous because of an unsolved traffic jam. Further, the increased population has resulted in the settlement of people near the rivers. As a result, wastes are continually disposed of in the rivers endangering aquatic life and rendering water unsafe for human consumption. Shortly, this paper aims to explore the overpopulation challenge that Indonesia faces. The focus will factor population influx in the city and further settlement of people around rivers. Jakarta is the major town this study will use as a case study to describe the economic impact of overpopulation. Moreover, the economic impacts resulted by the disposal of wastes in rivers will be rigorously discussed.

ii. Overpopulation problem in Indonesia

The population of Indonesia has been growing by at least one percent every year. Currently, all the people of Indonesia are about 263 million where 54.7% percent represents urban dwellers. Jakarta city has a population of about 10.9 million. This large population has deprived the city economic resources which have ultimately increased incidences of social problems in the city.

Figure 1.1 population statistics of Indonesia



Yearly % Change


UrbanPop %

Urban Population

World Population

IndonesiaGlobal Rank



1.12 %


54.7 %






1.17 %


54 %






1.29 %


53.4 %






1.32 %


49.7 %






1.35 %


45.6 %




Source: www. The World enters. Info

iii. Overpopulation and environmental pollution

Apparently, overpopulation problem has probably increased human activities on the earth. People are now innovative and creative just to make the end meet. More ways are invented to aid them in generating some income that can be used to cater for daily needs. Human activities such as increased combustion of charcoal and fuel have consequently caused global warming effects. In this case, environmental degradation has resulted in dramatic changes in environmental cycles and abundance disease.

Overpopulation is a major threat to maintaining a sustainable environment. As earlier stated, increased human activities on earth have increased global warming effect that has ultimately affected weather patterns experienced in the globe. In Indonesia, overpopulation has led to deforestation, emissions of carbon to the atmosphere and dumping of harmful wastes into the rivers. Summarily, air, water, and soil are significantly polluted endangering the life of human, plants, and animals. In Indonesia, overpopulation has led to scarcity of land. Ultimately, most of the poor people have encroached rivers and haphazardly dispose of wastes products. Some of the wastes include papers, human refuse, food remains and tree branches (Michael). Additionally, intensified farming near river banks exposes the land to soil erosion hence affecting the productivity of the lands. Consequently, the level of outputs from farming has plummeted.

Despite different proactive measures taken by Indonesia government to subdue increased environmental pollution caused by human actions, little success has been achieved. Pollution is a challenge that affects everyone and is imperatively required to be handled by everybody in the society. Up to date, Indonesia still holds a bad history regarding water pollution in Asia Continent. Lack of adequate connectivity of the Jakarta’s to sewerage has significantly increased pollution. For instance, about 3% of the inhabitants of this city still lack a safer place of disposing of garbage. Ultimately, waste from the city is directly discharged into septic tanks, canals or directly into rivers. It is a sheer truth that during heavy rains, all these wastes flows into the nearby rivers. Moreover, channeling of untreated sewerage into rivers is a significant threat to aquatic life and even domestic use of the water. Sewerage disposal into rivers is one of the leading causes of epidemics that perhaps results in the death of a human. Also, intensified agricultural activities along the rivers enhance the flow of the chemicals into the water. The continued flowing of these chemicals into rivers has raised the acidity levels of water exposing aquatic plants and animals into risk.

Furthermore, the increased pressure on land has been a great threat to the forest. The rate in which trees have been cut to enhance farming and create space for human settlement has adversely affected the environment. Also, the existence of a few sewerage systems connectivity in towns and cities has culminated to the disposal of wastes into septic tanks that are the major cause of water and air pollution.

iv. Current Policies used Indonesia Government to Minimize Pollution Caused by Overpopulation

Pollution abatement mechanisms and implementation plans enacted by the government dearly deprive a country of resources that could be invested elsewhere. Notably, the government plays a critical role in enhancing economic development in the country through funding several economic stimulating programs. However, it is essential for the government to ensure that the environment is kept clean. Apparently, economic growth and development are absolutely achieved in a nation where life is not endangered and the level of output in all sectors of the economy is not hindered by adverse environmental conditions from yielding maximum outputs.

The government of Indonesia has therefore taken the following affirmative action in abating water pollution. Firstly, the environmental protection agency (EPA) is working closely with Indonesia ministry of environment and forestry to enhance the supply of clean water and reduce destruction of trees by people. The increased deforestation to create room for human settlement has, however, destroyed water catchment areas and has further affected rainfall patterns. The partnership with EPA has assisted the government in implementing various environmental protection programs. For instance, EPA facilitates the provision of education to citizens about the relevance of maintaining a healthy environment. Also, it assists the government to clean up contaminated sites and further improve air quality.

Secondly, the EPA and the government of Indonesia are actively addressing violations of labor laws by citizens, industries, and business enterprises. The ministry is doing this through providing training to enforcement offers, civil servants, and prosecutors. This program aims to provide knowledge to the participants on how to formulate various environmental protection strategies. Also, the training is fundamental in equipping responsible offers with the government expectation in protection of water, soil and air pollution in Indonesia.

Environmental pollution is a sensitive issue that requires affirmative action which can directly handle and mitigate the problem. Arguably, the active involvement of regulatory officers for training is deemed useless for this case. Certainly, pollution problem in Indonesia which is majorly caused by overpopulation cannot adequately be solved through coasian negotiation approach. Despite industries and farming activities significant contribution to economic development and provision of goods and services to people does not justify the reasons for the inadequate confrontation of water pollution in Indonesia. However, one can agree with the strategies that are applied by the government in handling pollution issue, but the question that needs to be answered is “Are these policies fair to the third parties?” It is rational to consider the negative externalities for this case and adopt an inclusive strategy that appropriately and efficiently handles the problem. Perhaps, negotiating offers an opportunity to engage the perpetrators of pollution actively however, does not consider the other population who significantly depend on the polluted water for domestic use.

Sometimes, economists try to price the costs of environmental pollution but getting the exact price for the effect of sewerage disposals into the rivers on the third parties is not simple. One may disagree, but a clear justification for this postulation starts by analyzing what water means to human or anything that has the life. Water is life and whoever formulated this postulation was right. There is an array of activities that cannot take place minus water. Also, without rain and water, all farming activities will be brought to a standstill. The aquatic animals also are equally paramount in our lives. Firstly fish is a primary source of food. Fishing has created employment for many people. Poisoning of fish through the disposal of wastes and chemicals into the rivers can be compared to digging graves for ourselves while we are still alive (Michael).

Notably, Coasian negotiation in this context is not a laudable solution of abating pollution issues in Indonesia, especially those that are linked to overpopulation (Andrew 325). Therefore, the primary downside of Coasian Theory for this case is that it does not justify the economic applicability. Pollution issue needs to be proactively handled by the government through the formulation of stringent policies that impose hard punishment those netted. However, formulation of laws is not sufficient before substantial investment in developing sewerage systems in cities and towns to reduce the use of septic tanks. As a result, leaking of waste products will be combated, and all the wastes can be channeled to a common station for rigorous treatment (Hahnel & Sheeran 215).

v. Suggestion for the adoption of effective environmental abatement policies

The government of Indonesia has to approach pollution issue in a different and unique way. There is need to adopt a system that succinctly solves the pollution problem. The act of giving fresh education to the concerned offers in the ministry of environment protection is good. However, it is an extra cost that doesn't benefit the economy. If the government has to do it at the first time by incorporating the environmental protection and pollution course in the syllabus, it could be relatively cheap so that experts in the field can learn most of the environmental matters in school. Also, citizens will be taught environmental protection strategies and further the impact of pollution on the economy and the globe at large. Waiting until late as the case is, sounds irrational.

With the ever increasing population in Indonesia, still, signifies continued pollution. People will continue to flock to the major cities and particularly the Jakarta in search of jobs. Also, youth are motivated to avert strenuous farming employment in rural areas and shift from residing in rural to urban areas. Life hardship compels them to live desperate life in places that lack sufficient connection with sewerage systems.

The government thus has to improve the current infrastructure that has been developed to handle water, air, and water pollution. The current pollution abatement strategies can be supplemented by the Pigouvian tax system (Jaeger 101). This tax heavily pains those who contradict policies formulated by the government to thwart market activities that generate negative externalities. In this case, externalities are described as environmental costs that cannot be accorded a price. For instance, water pollution directly or indirectly affects almost everything in the ecosystem. Thus fixing the right price resulted in pollution seems unrealistic. Apparently, this is the greatest criticism of Pigouvian tax system.

Rating the level of water pollution is perhaps impractical and the responsible people cannot be adequately identified. Because of the need to gain environmental sustainability, this system will significantly supplement the available environmental protection policies (Rosenkranz & Schmitz 573). For example, the government has to establish measures that can probably identify people, industries, and companies that are fond of disposing untreated wastes into the river and be heavily tax according to observable damages caused to the ecosystem. In this case, places where individuals dispose their wastes in septic tanks, directly throw wastes into the rivers, emits poisonous should just heavily be taxed or charged. Pricing pollution activities are hard, but through laboratory tests, one can discover the impact of activity to the well-being of people, plants, and animals and impose a penalty based on the finding.

vi. Cost- Benefits Analysis of the suggested solution

Today, population booming has adversely affected the most governments. Feeding these people has been a problem that cannot be solved once. For the country to adequately satisfy the changing needs of the citizens, it has to customize on commerce and trade. It is through trade and commerce that Indonesia can open to foreign investments, imports and export what it can produce best. The immense human activities propelled by the need to satisfy basic needs require closer monitoring and evaluation by the government. If not well regulated and monitored, the cases of environment degradation will significantly be experienced.

From the economic perspective, partial attention to environmental matters increases the government spending. Funds that could have been utilized to bolster economic development are channeled on non-developmental programs. Indonesia as a highly populated country needs to formulate stringent and appropriate measures to handle recurrent environmental issues. Water pollution causes epidemics that are perhaps very expensive to control. It is laudable to prevent rather than waiting for a situation to worsen then use substantial amount of money to control the situation. For an economy to develop, the government has to significantly invest in value adding programs such as infrastructural developments, industrial establishments, research and developments and provision of loans to business to encourage local investments. Therefore, the incomplete address of environmental issues causes heavy recurrent expenditures that could be instrumental in spurring economic development.

The most significant merits that will be probably derived from adequately handling pollution issue in Indonesia includes but not restricted to the supply of clean water, control of water borne diseases, adequate rainfall and further achieve a sustainable environment. Reduced environmental pollution helps the government in predicting various economic phenomena. As a result, proper preparation can be made regarding impending climate extremes. Moreover, through formulating and implementing effective environmental policies creates awareness of the consequences that are associated with human activities which pollute the environment. Incorporating environment pollution and training topics in the syllabus for students in colleges and any learning institution ups the possibility of comprehending essentialities of keeping the environment safe. Implementing hard penalties by following Pigouvian tax principles can caution masterminds of pollution to adopt best environmental protection initiatives (Jaeger 101).

vii. Reason why some environmental problem exists of market incentives

Government efforts to completely resolve environmental problems are somewhat cumbersome. Stopping emission of smokes to the atmosphere from industries is not practical. Also, preventing disposal of waste in urban centers which are densely populated is not a simple task. The government just has to control the rate of disposal and has a duty to ensure the wastes found dumped in septic tanks are timely collected to be disposed of in required regions. Moreover, industries significantly contribute to air and noise pollution. However, the economic benefit derived from the very company that emits a lot of smoke and discharges wastes into rivers is very instrumental in economic development. Firstly, lives of citizens are improved through the job opportunities.

Secondly, these companies pay taxes to the government that is crucial in providing for social and essential services to the citizens. Therefore, becoming stricter on how these companies handle environmental issues perhaps can deny the government some source of revenue. Doing this implies that the level of outputs will be altered and as a result, both the government and the company lose. Market incentives and efficiencies will always exist to control the degree of exposure to environmental pollution.


In conclusion, it is evident that Indonesia is an overpopulated country which poses a great challenge for the government in providing basic needs. With a population of about 263 million people, people just have to adopt different strategies that can make them provide for basic needs. The continuous increase in population has significantly increased environmental pollution. Increased industrial production and human activities on this earth are the primary cause of environmental degradation. The major cities of Indonesia face water challenges. This problem emanates from the increased disposal of wastes into rivers.

Also, overpopulation has resulted to poor and landless people establishing residences near rivers. Human residence along river banks increases soil erosion, where chemical from farming are washed into rivers hence increasing water acidity. Further, people directly dispose wastes into the rivers are great threats to water safety. Most of the policies formulated and embraced by Indonesia government are insufficient to solve environmental issues caused by overpopulation. There is a need for the government by cooperating with the different agencies to address water pollution issue. For now, the current policies and efforts that are applied to solving environmental issues require some improvement as expounded in this paper.

Works Cited

Andrew, H. "Disproving the Coase Theorem?" 23 Econ. & Phil. 321, 2007, 325–27.

Hahnel, R., & Sheeran, K. A. "Misinterpreting the Coase Theorem". Journal of Economic

Issues. 43 (1), pp. 2009, pp. 215–238.

Jaeger, W.K. ‘The welfare effects of environmental taxation’, Environmental and Resource

Economics, 49 (1), 2011, pp. 101–19

Michael H. C. "Water pollution." Encyclopedia of Earth. Topic ed. Mark McGinley: ed. in chief

C. Cleveland. National Council on Science and the Environment: Washington.DC, 2010.

Rosenkranz, S., & Schmitz P. W. "Can Coasean Bargaining Justify Pigouvian

Taxation?". Economica. 74 (296), 2007, pp. 573–585.

Worldometers. “Elaboration of data by United Nations, Department of Economic and Social

Affairs, Population Division”. World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision.

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price