Two legislations that underpin the establishment of zoos in Indonesia are:
- Instruction of the Minister of Home Affairs No. 35/1997 on the Cultivation and Management of Flora and Fauna Gardens in Local Regions.
- Decision Letter of the Minister of Forestry and Estate Crops No. 479/Kpts – II/1998 concerning Conservation Bodies for Plants and Wildlife.
The Instruction of the Minister of Home Affairs stipulates that all governors and regency heads in Indonesia are responsible for the cultivation and management of the flora and fauna in their respective areas. Whereas the Decision Letter of the Minister of Forestry No. 479 regulates the licensing procedures, criteria, requirements, rights and responsibilities of zoos.
The establishment of a zoo in Indonesia must be done under license from the Minister of Forestry, and receive a recommendation from the local government as well as the Indonesian Zoo and Aquarium Association (PKBSI).
Zoo management authorities are also required to submit a periodic report on the state of the animals (including the increase and decrease in the number of animals) to the Minister of Forestry through the Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation. Usually zoos submit the report every three months. And every year, the Ministry of Forestry regional offices will carry out an evaluation on the performance of the zoos within their respective areas.
The Decision Letter of the Minister of Forestry and Estate Crops No. 479 also states that the main purpose of zoos (as an ex-situ conservation organization) is to serve as a facility for caring and breeding wild animals to prevent species from becoming extinct. This means, the main purpose of a zoo is as a facility for wildlife conservation. The appendix to the Instruction of the Minister of Home Affairs also explicates that the purpose of zoos is to conserve wild animals through captive breeding with four function pillars: conservation, education, research, and recreation.
The rights and responsibilities of zoos in Indonesia are also regulated in the Decision Letter of the Minister of Forestry and Estate Crops above. The Letter states in Article 9 that the responsibilities of zoos are:
- To produce a management planning framework.
- To provide the means and infrastructure for management.
- To care for and breed plant and animal species based on pertinent regulations
- To employ professionals based on their relevant area of expertise
- To produce periodical reports on a zoo’s progress, including an update on the number of inhabitants – increase and decrease in population
- Strictly prohibited to engage in the trade of protected wildlife