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Natuna Regency

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Natuna Regency
Kabupaten Natuna
Other transcription(s)
 • Jawiكڤولاوان ناتونا
From top, left to right:
Natuna Sea, Mount Ranai, Ranai Airport, Endangered bird, Serasan Island harbour, Sekatung Island
Flag of Natuna Regency
Coat of arms of Natuna Regency
Malay: Laut Sakti Rantau Bertuah
(Sacred Ocean, Fortune Land)
Interactive map
Natuna Regency is located in Riau Islands
Natuna Regency
Natuna Regency
Location of Natuna Regency
Natuna Regency is located in Sumatra
Natuna Regency
Natuna Regency
Natuna Regency (Sumatra)
Natuna Regency is located in Indonesia
Natuna Regency
Natuna Regency
Natuna Regency (Indonesia)
Natuna Regency is located in South China Sea
Natuna Regency
Natuna Regency
Natuna Regency (South China Sea)
Coordinates: 4°0′0″N 108°15′0″E / 4.00000°N 108.25000°E / 4.00000; 108.25000
Province Riau Islands
Discovery by I-Tsing671 A.D.[1]
Condominium of Johor Sultanate and Pattani Kingdom1597[1]
Afdeeling van Pulau Tudjuh1913
Regency established12 October 1999[2]
Incorporation of Tambelan Archipelago into Bintan Regency18 December 2003[3][4]
Creation of Anambas Islands Regency31 July 2008[5]
Regency seatRanai
Administrative division15 districts[6]
77 villages
 • BodyRegency's Government of Natuna Islands
 • LeaderWahyu Dwi Sugianto
 • Regent (Bupati)Wan Siswandi Wan Abdulatif[7]
 • Vice Regent (Wakil Bupati)Rodhial Huda (Hanura)
 • CouncilRegency Council of Natuna
 • Member of Provincial Parliament
List of MPPs
 • Total28,200.37 km2 (10,888.22 sq mi)
 • Land1,978.49 km2 (763.90 sq mi)
 • Water26,222.06 km2 (10,124.39 sq mi)  99.25%
 (mid 2023 estimate[8])
 • Total85,670
 • Density3.0/km2 (7.9/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+07:00 (Western Indonesia Time/W.I.B)
Area code(+62) 773
Registration platesBP 1234 N×[9]
HDI (2020)Increase 0.7275 High[10]

Natuna Regency is an islands regency located in the northernmost part of the Province of Riau Islands, Indonesia. It contains at least 154 islands, of which 127 of them are reported as uninhabited. This archipelago, with a land area of 1,978.49 km2 out of a total area of 264,198.37 km2 area,[6] contains 17 administrative districts (kecamatan).

With 69,003 inhabitants at the 2010 Census[11] and 81,495 at the 2020 Census,[12] most of the population are Malays with 11% of Javanese migrants, Chinese, Minang, Batak, Banjar people, Dayak people, Buginese people, Sundanese people, and tiny percentage of migrants who come from Sulawesi, Bali, and other provinces across Indonesia.[13] The official estimate as at mid 2023 was 84,560, comprising 43,480 males and 41,080 females.[8]

Some 80% of its inhabitants are of Malay origin, numerous being descended from Terengganuan, Johorean, and Pattanian descent as results of contact established since 1597. The consequence of this is the usage of Terengganuan Malay beside the Indonesian language as the official language and the Malay language as a lingua franca across the Province of Riau Islands.[14]

Indonesia's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the coast of Natuna is slightly overlapped by China's widely disputed South China Sea claim.[15]



The Natuna Islands were discovered by I-Tsing in 671 A.D. and mentioned throughout his notes in A Record of Buddhist Practices Sent Home from the Southern Sea. The most notable history of Natuna Islands followed upon the decision of Alauddin Riayat Shah III of Johor and Green Queen of Pattani Kingdom to claim Natuna Islands as part of their condominium.[5][16][17] However, before the Sultan of Johor and the Pattani Monarch declared Natuna Islands as their condominium in 1597, its previous King, Alauddin Riayat II, created Datuk Kayas'/Dukes' titles as follows:

  1. Datok Amar Lela for ruler of Jemaja Island
  2. Datok Kaya Dewa Perkasa for ruler of Siantan Island
  3. Datuk Kaya Indra Pahlawan for ruler of Serindit Island, (later known as Great Natuna Island)
  4. Datuk Kaya Timbalan Siamah for ruler of Tambelan Islands.[1]

Throughout most of its history since the reigns of Sultanate of Riau-Lingga, the Natuna Islands were part of the Archipelago of Seven Islands/Pulau-pulau Tudjuh/Tujuh which were consisted of the Anambas Islands (currently a separated regency in the province), the Badas Islands (part of Island District of Tambelan in Bintan Regency), Great Natuna/Bunguran Islands, Sejang, Serasan Islands, Subi Islands, and Tambelan Archipelago (part of Bintan Regency).[18] Although government of Kawedanan of Tudjuh Archipelago was dissolved in 1964, its island districts/kecamatan who formed Tudjuh Archipelago still existed until its dissolution in 1999, the sunrise of devolution era government in Indonesia. Along the second half of the 20th centuries, there were at least two historical events that made Natuna: the first was oil discoveries in 1969 and second was the Islands use as a destination for South Vietnamese refugees in 1976.[19]



The Natuna Islands are a 272-island archipelago of Indonesia, located in the Natuna Sea[20][21] between Peninsular Malaysia to the west and Borneo to the east. They extend in a NNW direction for 300 km from Tanjung Api, the northwest extremity of Kalimantan/Borneo. The Natuna Sea itself is a section of the South China Sea.

The North Group consists of a large island (Pulau Laut), two small islands and several adjacent islets and reefs which lie about 50 km NNW of Natuna Besar Island. Pulau Laut is about 11 km long with a greatest width of 5 km towards the south; it is generally hilly, rising to 273 metres near its north end.

The Middle Group consists of Natuna Besar or Bunguran Island, which contains the bulk of the area and population of the archipelago, together with small offshore islets and reefs; the Bodas Islands (Kepulauan Bodas) are a group of moderately high wooded islands lying close to the southwest coast of Natuna Besar.

The Southern Group (Kepulauan Natuna Selatan) consists primarily of two groups of islands separated from the coast of Kalimantan by the Api Passage. The Subi Islands (Kepulauan Subi) of which the main islands are Subi Besar, Subi Kecil, Bakau, Panjang and Seraya, lie southeast of Natuna Besar. Serasan Island (Pulau Serasan) is the largest of the islands lying further to the southeast and nearer to Kalimantan.

The highest point of this Islands is Mount Ranai at 1,035 metres (3,396 ft). The island had a population of 52,000 inhabitants according to the 2010 census. The principal settlement is Ranai. The island can be reached by scheduled air services via Ranai Airport.

Natural resources


Natuna has large reserves of natural gas (estimated at 1.3 billion m3) that is exported to neighbouring countries such as Singapore. Matak Island now serves as an offshore exploitation base.



The Natuna Islands are part of the Borneo lowland rain forests ecoregion.[22]

The Natuna Islands have a remarkable avifauna with 71 species of bird registered, including the near-threatened lesser fish eagle, the Natuna serpent-eagle. Other endangered species include the green iora, the brown fulvetta or the green broadbill.[23]

The Natuna Islands is home to three species of non-human primates: the slow loris (Nycticebus coucang), the long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis), and the Natuna leaf monkey (a.k.a. Natuna pale-thighed surili, Presbytis natunae).[24][25] A small number of wild goats live on the island as well as sea birds. Over 360 species of bird have been recorded on the island.[26]

Colourful coral reefs are found in the neighbouring waters. The Natuna banded leaf monkey, Presbytis natunae,[27] is among the 25 most endangered primates on Earth.

Government and politics


Administrative districts


As of 2010, the Regency was divided into twelve districts (kecamatan), but on 10 December 2014 three additional districts were created by dividing existing districts, and two further districts have subsequently been created by similar division. The seventeen districts are tabulated below from north to south with their areas and their populations at the 2010 census[11] and the 2020 census,[12] together with the official estimates as at mid 2023.[8] The table also includes the location of the district administrative centres, the number of administrative villages (70 rural desa and 7 urban kelurahan) within each district and its postcodes.

Name of
English name Area
mid 2023
Pulau Laut (North Island) 37.58 2,169 2,319 2,330 Air Payang 3 29789 9
Bunguran Utara (North Bunguran) 398.09 3,817 4,525 4,690 Kelarik 6 29775 14
Pulau Seluan (Seluan Island) 7.08 (a) (a) (a) Seluan 2 29775 1
Bunguran Timur Laut (Northeast Bunguran) 298.97 4,306 5,372 5,650 Tanjung 7 29776 10
Bunguran Tengah (Central Bunguran) 85.83 2,834 3,677 3,920 Harapan Jaya 3 29778 0
Bunguran Timur (East Bunguran) 148.77 22,800 27,806 29,080 Ranai 7 (b) 29777 8
Bunguran Barat (West Bunguran) 247.95 10,893 7,854 8,070 Sedanau 5 29782 15
Bunguran Batubi 214.45 (c) 3,882 3,830 Batubi Jaya 5 29782 2
Bunguran Selatan (South Bunguran) 234.23 2,537 3,349 3,580 Cemaga 4 29783 13
Pulau Tiga (East Tiga Island) 41.68 4,826 3,727 3,940 Sabang Mawang Barat 6 29788 14
Pulau Tiga Barat (West Tiga Island) 17.38 (d) 2,109 2,150 Pulau Tiga 4 29788 4
Midai (Midai Island) 13.77 5,007 3,604 3,650 Sabang Barat 3 29784 2
Suak Midai (Midai Island) 12.42 (e) 1,739 1,730 Batu Belanak 3 29784 0
Subi (Subi Islands) 139.12 2,577 3,064 3,180 Subi 6 29779 24
Pulau Panjang (Panjang Island) 7.12 (f) (f) (f) Pulau Panjang 2 29779 2
Serasan (West Serasan) 44.72 4,506 5,266 5,440 Serasan 7 29781 31
Serasan Timur (East Serasan) 29.36 2,731 3,202 3,310 Arung Ayam 4 29780 10
Totals 1978.49 69,003 81,495 85,670 Ranai 77 159

Notes: (a) the populations of the new Pulau Seluan District are included in the figures for Bunguran Utara District, from which it was split off in 2022.
(b) comprising 4 kelurahan (Bandarsyah, Batu Hitam, Ranai Darat and Ranai Kota) and 3 desa. (c) the 2010 population of the new Bunguran Batubi District is included in the figure for Bunguran Barat District, from which it was split off in 2014.
(d) the 2010 population of the new Pulau Tiga Barat District is included in the figure for Pulau Tiga District, from which it was split off in 2014.
(e) the 2010 population of the new Suak Midai District is included in the figure for Midai District, from which it was split off in 2014.
(f) the populations of the new Pulau Panjang District are included in the figures for Subi District, from which it was split off in 2022.

Maritime administration and Chinese claim


Indonesia's EEZ extends 200 nautical miles (370 km) from its shores (as per the 1982 UNCLOS), which, around Natuna, means it is slightly intersected by China's nine-dash line, defining its widely disputed claim to most of the South China Sea. In 2014–2015, the presence of the Indonesian National Armed Forces on the islands was reinforced, which the Indonesian government hoped would reduce the chance of any conflict.[15] Then from late 2019, Chinese fishing vessels increased illegal activity within the EEZ, escorted by a Chinese Coast Guard vessel. Indonesia responded with a formal diplomatic protest to Beijing[28] and then deployed to the region a further 600 troops and eight navy warships, along with aerial support. The naval presence included Ahmad Yani-class frigates, Bung Tomo-class corvettes, and Kapitan Pattimura-class ASW corvettes, while aerial support came from Naval aviation CN-235 MPA aircraft, four Indonesian Air Force F-16s and a Boeing 737-2x9, with BAE Hawk aircraft nearby on alert. A visit to the area by President Joko Widodo in early January 2020 reinforced Indonesia's resolve not to tolerate such incursions.[29]



Despite important natural gas reserves, most of the locals work as fishermen or farmers. There is no significant tourism industry. Farming is not on an industrial scale, just small holdings. The other main source of income is gained by people working for the government.[citation needed]


Religion in Natuna Regency (2017)[30]
religion percent
Roman Catholicism



According to the 2010 census returns (released in 2011), the population of the islands stood at 69,003 people.[11] 85.27% of the inhabitants were Malays, with the remainder consisting of Javanese, Sumatrans and Chinese. By the 2020 census, this had grown to 81,495,[12] and by mid 2022 it had grown to 85,446.[31]



Islam is the dominant religion in the islands,[32] with 96.97% of the total population identify themselves as Muslim. Other religions are Christianity, which forms 1.66% of the total population, Buddhism, which forms 1.23% of the total population, and Confucianism, which forms 0.14% of the total population. The largest mosque is located in the north-east corner of the islands. The Masjid Agung Natuna was built over two years from 2007 to 2009, and is visited by at least 10,000 people every day.



Harbors and airports


The military harbour was headquartered on Teuku Umar for Navy ships tasked on the Natuna Sea.

Ranai-Natuna Airport is located at Ranai, the capital city of Natuna Regency. The airport is also a Type B airbase of the Indonesian Air Force.[33] Other than that, the airport also serves civilian flights. The airport also accommodates large military aircraft.[34] A new passenger terminal opened in October 2016, inaugurated by President Joko Widodo.[35][36]

The airport resides at an elevation of 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) above mean sea level. It has one runway designated 18/36 with an asphalt surface measuring 2,560 m x 32 m (8,399 ft × 105 ft). The runway is planned to be widened to 80 m in 2020. Moreover, the airport has an apron measuring 120 m x 60 m and a taxiway measuring 50 m x 32 m.[37]

The recently built terminal at the airport has an area of 3,868 m2, many times larger than the old terminal which only had an area of 243 m2. The new terminal can accommodate around 13,850 passengers daily.[36] The parking lot has been expanded to 5,020 m2 and can now cater to around 3,940 cars and 750 motorcycles. Other facilities inside the airport are the Aviation Accidents Rescue and Fire Fighting building, a generator and the pump house.

See also



  1. ^ a b c Mursitama, Tirta Nugraha; Yi, Ying; Abbas, Bahtiar Saleh (5 April 2021). Natuna: Selayang Pandang Wisata Bahari, Budaya, dan Kuliner. Yogyakarta, D.I.Y.: Andi. pp. 7–10. ISBN 9786230103322. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  2. ^ Diana (12 October 2020). "Official Ceremony of 21st years of Regency of Natuna Islands' Anniversary on 2020". Regency of Natuna (in Indonesian). Government of Regency of Natuna Islands. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  3. ^ "History of Regency of Bintan". Regency of Bintan (in Indonesian). Government of Bintan Regency. 2021. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  4. ^ "UU No. 31 Tahun 2003 tentang Pembentukan Kabupaten Lingga di Provinsi Kepulauan Riau [JDIH BPK RI]".
  5. ^ a b Setiawan, Budiana (2020). "Nationalism: The Case of People in Natuna" (pdf). Jurnal Masyarakat & Budaya (in Indonesian). 22 (1): 44–45. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  6. ^ a b c "SKPT NATUNA". Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (in Indonesian). Sentra Kelautan dan Perikanan Terpadu. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  7. ^ "Home Page". Natuna Regency. Government of Natuna Islands. 2021. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  8. ^ a b c Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 28 February 2024, Kabupaten Natuna Dalam Angka 2024 (Katalog-BPS 1102001.2103)
  9. ^ "Ini Plat Nomor Kendaaraan Kepulauan Riau Dan Daftar Kode Belakangnya". Auto Bild (in Indonesian). Auto Bild Indonesia. 10 September 2020. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Human Development Index". Statistics Indonesia (in Indonesian). Natuna Islands Regency Census Department. 11 May 2021. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  11. ^ a b c Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011.
  12. ^ a b c Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2021.
  13. ^ Arman, Dedi; Swastiwi, Anastasia Wiwik (November 2018). Natuna: Potret Masyarakat dan Budayanya (PDF) (in Indonesian). Tanjungpinang: Balai Pelestarian Nilai Budaya Kepulauan Riau in Ministry of Education and Culture. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  14. ^ Mohd Rusli, Mohd Hazmi; Talaat, Izatul Asma (15 February 2016). "The Natuna Islands: 'Malaysian in geography', Indonesian in sovereignty". Astro Awani. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  15. ^ a b The sleepy island Indonesia is guarding from China, BBC News, Karishma Vaswani, 19 October 2014
  16. ^ Suryadinata, Leo; Izzuddin, Mustafa (11 July 2017). "a Snapshot of the Natunas". The Natunas. Queenstown, SG: ISEAS. p. 8. doi:10.1355/9789814786331-005. ISBN 9789814786331. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  17. ^ Winstedt, R.O. (December 1932). "A History of Johore (1365—1895 A.D.)". Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 10 (3). Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society: 45. JSTOR 41560456. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Sector 1: Borneo—Northwest Coast and Kepulauan Tudjuh" (PDF). United States Government Publishing Office. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 2005. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  19. ^ Franchino, Aristide (1990). "Notes about the Natuna Islands". Archipel (in French). 39: 48–49.
  20. ^ "Natuna Islands: Indonesia says no 'overlapping' South China Sea claims with China". ABC News. 22 June 2016.
  21. ^ "South China Sea: Indonesia renames part of maritime economic zone in defiance of Beijing". ABC News. 15 July 2017.
  22. ^ "Ecoregions 2017" interactive map. Resolve 2017
  23. ^ "Natuna Islands bird checklist – Bird Checklists of the World". Avibase. 10 August 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  24. ^ Lammertink, Nijman, and Setiorini, 2003. Oryx 37(4):472–479
  25. ^ Brandon-Jones et al. 2004. Asian Primate Classification. International Journal of Primatology 25(1):97–164.
  26. ^ Lepage, Denis (2018). "Natuna Besar". Avibase – Bird Checklists of the World. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  27. ^ Martjan Lammertink, Vincent Nijman and Utami Setiorini, "Population size, Red List status and conservation of the Natuna leaf monkey Presbytis natunae endemic to the island of Bunguran, Indonesia." Oryx / Volume 37 / Issue 04 / October 2003, pp 472 – 479
  28. ^ Indonesia issues protest to Beijing over Chinese vessel trespassing in Natuna, Jakarta Post, 31 December 2019
  29. ^ Indonesia deploys warships, jets amid China spat, RTHK, 9 Jan 2020
  30. ^ "Riau Islands Province in Figures 2017". BPS Kepulauan Riau. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  31. ^ Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2023, Kabupaten Natuna Dalam Angka 2023 (Katalog-BPS 1102001.2103)
  32. ^ The Natuna Islands: Geographically Malaysian, politically Indonesian, mstar.com.my. 7 December 2013 (in Malay)
  33. ^ "Kenaikan Tipe Lanud Natuna, untuk Jawab Tantangan • JakartaGreater". 13 January 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  34. ^ COM, Serantau News dot. "Pesawat Tempur Mulai Disiagakan di Lanud Ranai". Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  35. ^ Presiden Jokowi Resmikan Terminal Bandara Ranai di Pulau Natuna
  36. ^ a b "Jokowi Resmikan Terminal Bandara Ranai Natuna". 7 October 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  37. ^ <asep.muhamad[at]torche.co.id>, Asep Muhamad. "Jelang Diresmikan Presiden, Menhub Cek Kesiapan Terminal Bandara Ranai Natuna". Retrieved 8 February 2017.

Further reading