MAC: Mines and Communities

Indonesia: Coal Impacted Communities Demand Prioritisation over Corporations

Published by MAC on 2015-12-22
Source: Jatam

Coal Industry Impacted Communities Demand President Jokowi to Prioritise People over Corporations

Joint press release

21 December 2015

Bogor - Representatives of affected communities near coal mines and coal-powered electricity plants from all over Indonesia demanded that President Joko Widodo fulfill his campaign promise to place the people’s welfare above interests of companies and investors. The community gathered in Bogor from Friday, December 18, saying that they had experienced negative effects even though in some areas construction has not yet begun.

"We do not want to experience the same fate as those living around other power plants. I was jailed for seven months for opposing the construction of this power plant," said Cayadi, Community Representative of the Ujungnegoro, Karanggeneng, Ponowareng, Wonokerso, Roban (UKPWR), Batang.

Over the past five years, UKPWR Batang have consistently resisted construction plans to build the largest coal power plant in Southeast Asia on fertile agricultural land and rich territorial waters.

In addition to representatives of UKPWR Batang, the meeting was also attended by the Environment Defender Community (Rapel) Cirebon who have been fighting against the construction of Cirebon power plant (PLTU); representatives of affected communities of PLTU Tanjung Jati B Jepara; representatives of affected communities of PLTU Paiton, Probolinggo; representatives of affected communities of PLTU Indramayu; PLTU Pelabuhan Ratu; PLTU Labuan Banten and representatives of communities affected by coal mining from East Kalimantan and Sumatra.

"As a representative of affected communities of the planned Cirebon power plant, I urge President Jokowi to cancel the construction plan of the PLTU Cirebon unit II, and review the operation permit of PLTU Cirebon unit I. Although they have only operated for less than two years, this plant has caused a number of negative impacts to the surrounding communities. Starting from health impacts, breakdown of social network, until the loss of livelihood of mostly farmers and fishermen," said Aan Anwarudin, Head of Rapel Cirebon.

"This meeting is the first that brings together representatives of affected communities in coal and mining coal from all over Indonesia. We want this meeting to echo the voices of the coal industry victims which has been ignored by the government. The state must ensure the safety of the people from the impacts of this dirty industry," said Hindun Mulaika, Climate and Energy Campaigner Team Leader of Greenpeace Indonesia.

At the end of this meeting, representatives of communities affected by coal will deliver a manifesto demanding that the government stop its reliance on dirty coal energy, make serious efforts to develop clean and renewable energy and ensure people's right to a healthy and clean environment.

"We have organised this meeting because President Jokowi has failed to protect the people of Indonesia from the threats of dirty energy. In Batang, Jokowi favors the interests of corporations and foreign investors, instead of farmers and fishermen who were his voters in the last election. We hope this national movement against coal that emerged from the people directly impacted can awaken Jokowi, the people’s president, reminding him to listen to the aspirations of the people," said Pius Ginting of the Indonesian Forum for Environment (Walhi).

"From the unloading, transport to combustion in power plants, coal is a source of catastrophe that disregarded the safety of the people. It raises global temperatures, exacerbating climate change which threatens the safety of human beings. The people present at this meeting sternly demanded that President Jokowi prioritize the safety of the people from the threat of coal," says Hendrik Siregar, Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) Coordinator.

Greenpeace, the Indonesian Forum for Environment (Walhi), and the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) is a coalition of environmental organisations active in highlighting the damaging impacts of the dirty energy-based industries in Indonesia.

For further information, please contact:
Hindun Mulaika, Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner of Team Leader,
Pius Ginting, WALHI,
Hendrik Siregar, JATAM Coordinator,
Cayadi, UKPWR Community Coordinator,

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