Legislature criticizes Indonesian mining regulationPublished by MAC on 2004-06-02
The mining industry hasn't yet got its own way in Indonesian protected forests...
House criticizes mining regulation
The Jakarta Post
June 02, 2004
Jakarta - House of Representatives Commission VIII on the environment criticized on Tuesday government regulation in lieu of law No. 1/2004 on mining in protected forests.
The commission said the regulation would only worsen the environmental damage to protected forests.
The regulation, issued on March 11 while the House was in recess, allowed 13 mining companies to resume their operations in protected forests. The companies had been forced to halt their activities after a new law was issued outlawing mining in protected forests.
The criticism was expressed during a meeting between the House commission and Minister of Justice and Human Rights Yusril Ihza Mahendra, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Purnomo Yusgiantoro and Minister of Forestry M. Prakosa.
DPR has actually declined mining in protected forests
The DPR (Indonesian national parliaments) has actually declined the submission of bill of government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) No. 1 on mining in protected forests, which was recently issued by the central government of Indonesia.
It was said by member of DPR's Commission III, Andas P Tanri, as quoted from local daily Kaltim Post. He said it on May 23 to clarify on the central government's policy that allows mining in protected forests.
"The DPR has actually declined the Perppu since two months ago. Please be aware that the DPR has rejected the Perppu," confirmed Tanri.
The rejection by the DPR was based on the result of investigation by DPR's commissions III and VIII in a number of locations throughout the country. He said, after the investigation by the DPR's commissions, the central government cut down the number of mining companies as proposed from 150 to only 24 companies. But under the Perppu No.1 only 13 companies have eventually been allowed to go ahead with their activities in protected forests. "But in considering the currently bad condition of protected forests throughout the country, the DPR has decided to totally reject the Perppu. It was decided at a plenary session of the DPR two weeks after the issuance of the Perppu," he said.
According to Tanri, if the DPR did not reject the Perpu, there would emerge new problems. The rest of the 150 mining companies would make all efforts including using money to obtain permits from the government to mine in protected forests in the country. "If they were allowed, the forests in Indonesia would be more damaged. The worst condition of forests would be found in Eastern Indonesia because out of the 150 companies about 90 percent of them would operate in Eastern Indonesia," he explained.
In that regard, Tanri added, regions throughout the country should no longer be fretful about the issuance of the Perppu because the DPR had indeed declined the Perrpu. The DPR is currently waiting for a response from the central government against such a rejection.
Tanri said, there was some thoughtfulness of the DPR to decline the Perpu, particularly in a bid to preserve protected forests in Indonesia.
"You can see the forest in the province of Bangka Balitung (Sumatra) has been barren and there are large craters here and there. The condition was quite awful. I think there was a tendency by the central government to allow the mining in protected forests just simply to make easy money and the money would likely be used for political campaign," he alleged.