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Indonesia National Human Right Commisions report of Human Right Abuses on Abandon Coal Pit Mining Case in East Kalimantan

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Mothers held a Prayer for their children who died in the pits. Photo: Jatam Kaltim

In Indonesia, East Kalimantan is a province that rely economically on coal. There are 1448 mining license known as IUP (Izin Usaha Pertambangan, License for Mining Business). IUP is issued by local government, both provincial and regency/city government.

Besides IUP, there is other mining license which issued by the national government through the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (Kementerian ESDM) which called as Cooperation Agreement on Coal Mine (Perjanjian kerjasama Pertambangan Batubara, PKP2B). In East Kalimantan, there are 33 PKP2B. The total land that permissible for mining through IUP is 5,4 mio acre, plus permission through PKP2B is 1,8 mio acre. Totally, the land that allowed for mining is around 7,2 mio acre, from whole East Kalimantan soil which around 12,7 mio acres. It can be said that through this process, 70% of land in East Kalimantan has been pegged as mining area. This fact hasn’t been compiled with other exploitation of commodity lincense such as License for Logging Concession Business Sector (Izin Usaha Pengusahaan Sektor Perkayuan, IUPHHK-Kayu), oil and gas work area (Wilayah Kerja Minyak dan Gas), Industrial forest until License for Palm Plantations, thus all land in East Kalimantan has been used for mining.

City of Samarinda is one of many cities that has been assigned by the Ministry of ESDM as an area for mining business. Through this decision, local government of Samarinda introduced management policy on coal mine according their authority. Mining and Energy Services of City of Samarinda documented from 2014, there were 5 PKP2B which issued by the national government,1 IUP by provincial government, and 63 IUP issued by City of Samarinda government. With each land area reached 33,48% for PKP2KB, 32,5% for Province’s IUP, 38,37% IUP for City of Samarinda. The land coverage for mining in City of Samarinda is about 71% from all total land. As the capital of the Province of East Kalimantan, Samarinda has distinct characteristic with other regency/city in East Kalimantan which also has potential for coal mining.

Number of population of Samarinda can be considered as the haighest in East Kalimantan. According to 2010 sensu, the number of Samarinda’s population has reached 727.500 peoples. high number of population combined with large mining activity, leaving only 5% for open green area. This contradict with the regulation no. 26/2007 on Urban Planning which mandate minimally open green area 30% of all city land. Through this perspective, natural landscape or ecological condition of Samarinda closes up the possibilit for further mining license, which directly will extent the land area for mining business.

The consequence of this ”obral izin” (license saleout) is creating overlapping area between mining area with residential area. the common case that usually found from this overlapping is the issue of former mining pit which left toxic water that containedd with heavy metal. Former mining pit also facilitates casualties which many children has to fall into those former mining pit. Until June 2016, there are 24 people (22 of the are children) become the victim of former mining pit. 15 children fall in City of Samarinda, 8 children fall in Kutai Kertanegara, and 1 person in Pasir Panajem Utara.

Each of the death event in the mining pit rarely fully resolve in the legal process. If there is a cased that resolved, the penalties are too light. As the case of Ema and Eza in which the resolution only sentenced for 9 month. While the other cases remain untouched by the court.

The lack for the remaining cases resolution which related to these former mining pits was caused by the lack of commitment of may parties. The task to pursuit justice rarely finished by the police, corporation, until the government, from provincial even to ministrial level. Lack of good will to preserve the environemnt from the danger of coal mining, especially to the furure of the Samarinda’s childern can be considered as the main reason on why such cases repeated for five years.

Read and download the full report here

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