MAC: Mines and Communities

Indonesia: Make mining history!

Published by MAC on 2014-06-13
Source: Jatam

Indonesia's third presidential election is being held on 9 July 2014, with four candiates for the posts of president and vice-president - Prabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa, running against Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla.

In response, the leading mining campaign group Jatam has issued the following call for the country's people to "make mining history".

Anti Mining Day 2014 - 
Call for Action

Jatam press release

29 May 2014

The Improvement of Mining and Energy Governance; Make Mining and Energy Industries A Last Resort.

The mining industry has become a monstrous source of the destruction of peoples lives. This industry, that has been made the spearhead of development and gaining foreign exchange is, in fact, a real threat for their safety and productivity, also for the functioning of natural resources sustainability.

In 2013, the number of resource-related conflicts has sharply increased over previous years. Throughout 2013, there were 369 cases of such conflicts, spread over 1.281.660,09 hectares, involving 139.874 heads of households.

In contrast, during the previous year (2012) the number of conflicts were 198 cases.

Over the last 6 years 13 people died, 125 people were injured, and 234 people were arrested because of mining conflicts.

Many problems remain unresolved, caused not only by foreign investors, but also local and national businessmen: such as the Lapindo gas mudflow* and mining in Mandailing Natal, the shootings at Tiaka-Central Sulawesi, and the pollution at Buyat Bay.

Until now, Lapindo's victims continue to fight for their human rights. The mudflow has inundated rice fields and irrigation canals, impacting on access to food and the economic wellbeing of the community, especially that of women.

Women are more vulnerable than men when mining enters a region. Environmental pollution makes women vulnerable to health problems, including ISPA (Acute Respiratory Infection), skin disease, and reproductive health. Mining has also triggered the rise of
prostitution in mining areas.

Peoples' veto rights in mining areas is also being ignored. A Decision Letter of Mining Zoning (WP, released by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) in July 2013, violates their rights of participation [in mining decision-making], although this is protected by the constitution; and it also fails to uphold the principle of transparency principle in administering fair, clean, and corruption-free governance.

Cancellation of the seven Decisions of ESDM Ministry, related to Mining Zoning, must be done immediately since it was made unilaterally by the government.

Around 44% of Indonesia territory has been plotted by the mining industry. More than 11,000 mining and oil-gas permits have been issued, both by local and national governments. The environmental and disaster recovery costs caused by mining activities must be borne by the state.

Mining and energy management also play a major rule in the government's budget politics. This has resulted in a cost of 27% of state expenditure which has been charged to Non-taxable State Revenues (PNBP) over the last four years.

In fact, about 97% of PNBP was received from mining and oil-gas exploitation activity, as mentioned in the 2014 State Budget, and this hast reached Rupees 198 trillion. It is not surprising that this budget trend, which is repeated every year, has promoted massive mining and energy exploitation, which the state arguing that this is to balance the budget, although this comes of course at the expense of peoples living space and their safety.

Unfortunately, this rising problem complexity is not a consideration for the government especially the two candidates for president and vice president in the forthcoming 2014 Election. These men, Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla and Prabowo-Hatta, still want the mining industry as a basic part of Indonesian economic development for the future.

This would take away much of Indonesia's sovereignity over its economy, lawx, and politicies.

However, there is one way to restore the nation's sovereignty - to "Stop All Mining Operations and Planning."

We call on all Indonesian people who care about the people's security to give solidarity to the victims of the Lapindo mudflow and other mining cases all over Indonesia, to join the action.

* The Lapindo mud flow started in 2006 with the explosion of a "volcano" in an area being drilled for natural gas by a company controlled by Aburizal Bakrie

[This statement has been edited from the original]

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