NORTH SULAWESI GOVERNOR TAKES ECO-FRIENDLY STANCE AGAINST GOLD MINEPublished by MAC on 2007-07-13
*NORTH SULAWESI GOVERNOR TAKES ECO-FRIENDLY STANCE AGAINST GOLD MINE *
The Indonesian government's Governor of North Sulawesi, Dr S H Sarundajang, has publicly declared that he only wants sustainable and eco-friendly development for the island. A gold mine is hoping to begin extraction in North Sulawesi, which would mean large quantities of waste from the process being dumped on land.
In 2006 the mine, under pressure from the concerned local community, decided to reverse a decision to dump its waste into the sea between the award-winning Bunaken National Park and the famous Lembeh Strait. North Sulawesi is rich in natural resources and its unique marine biodiversity ecosystem has been earmarked for application to UNESCO as a World Marine Heritage Area.
However, the decision by the mine company to dump on land does not satisfy Dr Sarundajang; he has highlighted his concern that the technology needed to monitor the environmental impact of the waste is not adequate. He also stressed how vital it is that the water table should not be contaminated.
The North Sulawesi Watersports Association (NSWA) welcomed the North Sulawesi Governor's statement. North Sulawesi is an earthquake-sensitive area and if the gold mine were to dump its waste on land an earthquake could trigger a landslide with potentially disastrous consequences. The NSWA is asking the Indonesian government not to grant any permits for the operation of the gold mine until the mine company has properly fulfilled the legal requirement, by having an independent, transparent and comprehensive EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment, known as an “AMDAL” in Indonesian) done.
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North Sulawesi Watersports Association (NSWA)