MAC: Mines and Communities

Asia, Europe groups condemn EU raw materials policy

Published by MAC on 2010-10-10
Source: Statement, Antara News

Indonesian coal output is set to increase even further

An international working group on Indigenous Peoples, Mining and Climate Change claims that the European Union's raw materials policy will further impoverish many who are already poor.

In particular, the group condemns coal mining in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo).

Last week the Indonesian government predicted that output from the country - already the world's biggest exporter of thermal coal - would increase by a quarter during 2011.

For further background, see: DARK METALS and in Spanish MATERIALES OSCUROS

Asia, Europe groups reject EU raw materials policy - Press release

6 October 2010

BRUSSELS, Belgium - An international working group on indigenous peoples, mining, and climate change criticized the European Union for its policy on accessing raw materials, saying it makes indigenous peoples in developing countries like the Philippines and Indonesia poorer.

In a meeting of civil society organizations during the 8th Asia-Europe People's Forum being hosted here, they said the policy, the Raw Materials Initiative which is embedded in the Global Europe Strategy, is an aggressive policy paper of the EU Commission on Trade. It defends European corporate interests to get access to international resources at cheap prices, to ensure European growth and jobs.

The groups said that since the policy calls for "undistorted access of European companies to raw materials," it fails to address important issues like climate justice, rights of indigenous peoples, and sustainable development.

They cited the case of Borneo in Indonesia, where the coal mines are extracting 200 million tons every year. At least 10 percent of this coal is exported to Europe. Resulting in the dislocation of more than 100,000 Dayak people and local communities in the island, activists said the mining operations are destroying watershed areas, restricting to access to lands, violating human rights, and causing health problems.

"We are looking at the coal mine operations not only as dirty, but deadly as well," said Siti Maemunah, board member of Jaringan Advokasi Tambang (JATAM), a national campaign group in Indonesia. "Europe must take a leadership role in changing the consumption patterns and lifestyle of the Global North, so that demands for minerals and coals from developing countries like Indonesia will be reduced," she said.

Similar concerns were raised by Philippines-based non-government organizations. Judy Pasimio, executive director of Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center/Friends of the Earth Philippines (LRC-FOE) based in Manila, described the EU policy as disturbing. "For us in the Philippines, particularly the indigenous communities who face the devastating impacts of mining and other extractive industries, such a blatant call is not only disturbing, but irresponsible as well," Pasimio said. "EU's raw materials policy should be informed by the undistorted reality of the IP's landlessness, hunger, vulnerability to disasters, and being victims of human rights abuses," she said.

Meanwhile, German group Philippinenbuero asserted that there is inconsistency when EU provides development aid for IPs on one hand, and yet fails to raise standards among extractive industries regarding corporate accountability and deliver its commitments to pursue climate justice.

Michael Reckordt, executive director of Philippinenbuero said that "instead of claiming a better access for the European industry to raw materials and pushing investor-friendly conditions, the EU should struggle for more transparency in investments into the mining and extractives sector." He also floated the proposal to make companies accountable through legally-binding mechanisms, in instances where extraction activities violate human rights and introduce environmental destruction in Asia and around the world.

Mario Maderazo, project officer from the Philippine Misereor Partnership (PMP) Anti-Mining Campaign in the Philippines, said that "the EU Raw Materials policy will only strengthen the grip of corporate interest over access to natural resources in developing countries like the Philippines and put the IPs at the losing end of the deal." He argued that the EU must instead push for a natural resources policy that will strengthen the property rights of indigenous people's over their lands and resources.

Similarly, the group said this policy will potentially worsen climate change. They said that the high demand for fossil fuel such as coal will continue to make high greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation resulting from mining will drastically reduce carbon sinks in Asia. "We are practically burning our future with these policy options," said Kris Vanslambrouck, campaigner from 11.11.11.

The groups also demanded that EU policy must clearly move toward greater corporate accountability, especially in industries such as extractives that pose potentially serious negative impacts to affected communities. They asserted that a genuine corporate accountability includes a framework of placing the burden on corporations of proving that any access to natural resources of host countries will not cost negative environmental and social impacts.

The AEPF is an interregional network of progressive civil society organizations across Asia and Europe. It emerged in the 1996 from a common desire and need among organizations across the two continents to open up new venues for dialogue, cooperation and solidarity. It has assumed the unique function of fostering people's solidarity across the two regions and has become a vehicle for advancing people's voices within Asia-Europe relations. AEPF engages the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) events both directly and indirectly through debates, policy proposals, lobbying and creative actions.

RI's coal production in 2011 estimated at 326.65 million tons

Antara News

5 October 2010

Jakarta - The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) has predicted Indonesia's coal production in 2011 at 326.65 million tons, up 24.45 percent from that a year earlier which stood at 262.48 million tons, data showed.

Based on ESDM Minister Darwin Saleh's decree August 31, 2010, the copy of which was made available to ANTARA here on Tuesay, the country's coal production would be produced by 53 coal mining companies in the country.

Of the 53 firms, 42 coal exploitation contract companies, one state-owned firm and 10 authorized coal mining enterprises.

In the minister's decree the domestic consumption need for coal was predicted at 78.97 million tons in 2011. "The minimal sale percentage for domestic consumption in 2011 equals tor 24.17 percent," it was mentioned
in the decree.

Based on the decree, the need of generators for coal in 2011 is 66.28 million tons, state-owned electricity PLN 55.82 million tons, private power generators 8.97 million tons, PT Freeport Indonesia 0.83 million tons, PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara 0.47 million tons and PT Pusaka Jaya Palu Power 0.19 million tons.

In the meantime, metallurgy factories will need 0.43 million tons which consist of 0.14 tons for PT Inco and 0.2 million tons for PT Aneka Tambang.

Allocation for cement, fertilizer, pulp and textile factories will amount to 12.35 tons which consist of 8.86 million tons for cement factories, 0.92 million tons for fertilizer firm, 0.6 million tons for pulp and 1.97 million tons for textile and textile-product factories. Primary Energy Director of PLN Nur Pamudji said that the need for coal of
PLN based on the ministerial decree was in accordance with the state-owned power firm's request.

He said that of the allocation of 55.82 tons, about 23.32 million tons would be used for 10,000 megawatt power generators and the remaining 32.5 million tons for generators other than the 10,000 MW power program.

"This year, the need of PLN for coal reaches 38 million tons," he said.

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