Gov’t Issues Regulation on Indonesia’s Geographical Names

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 22 Januari 2021
Category: News
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In a bid to maintain the sovereignty and security of the Republic of Indonesia, as well as to preserve the nation’s heritage, cultural history, and traditions, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on 6 January 2021 signed Government Regulation Number 2 of 2021 on Application of Geographical Names.

Under the Regulation, application of geographical names must be conducted in integrated and effective manners. The renaming which is applied to natural features and man-made geographical features is based on the followings rules;

  1. Using Indonesian language;
  2. May use local languages or foreign languages if the geographical feature has historical, cultural, traditional, and/or religious value;
  3. Using Roman alphabet;
  4. Using 1 (one) name for 1 (one) geographical feature;
  5. Must respect ethnicity, religion, race, and group;
  6. Using three words at maximum;
  7. Avoid using name of living persons; while taking name of dead people is allowed 5years after date of death;
  8. Avoid taking name of institutions/agencies;
  9. Avoid creating name that is contrary to the national and/or regional interest; and
  10. Meeting the rules of giving geographical names and rules of spatial naming.

The Government will coordinate the application of geographical names with an Agency consisting of ministries/institutions, regional governments at provinces, regencies/municipalities, and other related sides.

The naming process consists of compiling the proposed names, studying the names, announcing the names, stipulating the formal names, and drawing up the national geographical name list (Gazetteer). On names compiling process, the authority can register the geographical names on features that have been named or propose the names of features that have not been named.

The names can be proposed by the Agency, ministries/institutions, and regional governments at provinces, regencies/municipalities through an information system. Afterwards, ministries/institutions, and regional governments submitted the proposed names to the Agency for verification process.

The verification results will be announced by the Agency and will take effect 30 working days as of the announcement date. Any objection to the names can be filed within the 30 days. Names that have not received objection will be stipulated, while names that received objection will be studied further by the Agency with involvement of ministries/institutions, and regional governments at provinces, regencies/municipalities, as well as other sides.

Upon stipulation, the agencies, ministries/institutions, and regional governments at provinces, regencies/municipalities are obliged to use the formal geographical names which listed in the Gazetteer.

Regarding financing, the implementation of this Government Regulation will be sourced from the State Budget, regional budget, and/or other legal and non-binding budget sources based on the provisions of laws and regulations.

In the event that the Government Regulation comes into force as of the date of its promulgation, other regulations on application of geographical names will remain valid as long as it is not conflicted with this Regulation. (DND/UN) (RAS/MMB)

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