Indonesia has begun the development of a comprehensive system of environmental law. Its laws on environmental protection and management have their source in the 1945 Constitution which was promulgated one day after independence from the Dutch colonial rule. Article 33(3) of the Constitution provides: 'Land and water and the natural resources therein shall be controlled by the state and shall be utilized for the greatest welfare of the people'. The Environmental Management Act 1982 (EMA) provides the basic foundation of Indonesian environmental law. The philosophy of the EMA is that: 'it is necessary to sustain the capability of the harmonious and balanced living environment to support continued development by means of an integrated and comprehensive national policy with due consideration of the needs of present and future generations'. The purpose of this article is to outline the provisions of the Act and the actions which have been taken pursuant to it.