More than 5 (five) years, residents on Wawonii Island, Konawe Island Regency, South-East Sulawesi fight to defend their living spaces from being treated by PT Gema Kreasi Perdana (PT GKP) mining activity. The residents’ struggle faced violent acts, threats, and intimidations from the PT GKP and even the police and army. Those repressive acts got worse with criminalization of people who are against the mine. Until March 2022, there had been 29 residents reported to the police.

The existence of PT GKP has changed social relation among the people. They had lived in peace and calm before the company came. Now, the residents are polarized into two groups, namely the pros and cons groups which ended in social conflicts in houses, families, and villages.  Besides taking advantage on claims over land ownership, PT GKP also takes advantage from the pros to claim the land ownership over cons’ land. In fact, the claimed land has been managed more than three generations and has never been in any disputes before.

Contrarily, the one-side-claim of the land ownership was used by PT GKP to pass the land in order to build a hauling road to the company’s mining concession. The land intrusion was done repeatedly and destroyed the agricultural and plantation crops consisting of cashew trees, coconut trees, nutmegs, cacaos, and sago. A number of the agricultural and plantation crops are the primary breadwinner of the resident’s for more than three generations.

Another potential threat is related to the residents’ water source. Mining concession is situated coinciding with a water source, which bring a huge risk regarding pollutions that will end to health problems for the residents.  In a long term, the water source will disappear.  Likewise, coastal and marine areas, fishermen’s living spaces, have the potential to be polluted by the mining materials.

These complex, potential threats become the main reason for the residents to keep strength in defending their living spaces. The blocking act that was done women farmers on March 3rd, for instance, was one of the last forts of the residents to defend their land.  The women’s act was a message of resistance for injustice by using their bodies, although it was then repressed and threatened by police as well as given various negative stigmas from many parties.

For Wawonii residents, losing their rights and access to their land and marine spaces is clearly implicating with the loss of jobs as farmers and fishermen. Losing those production spaces will finally impact poverty. Then same thing will also happen when the water source is polluted or disappear, which will affect residents’ health and it forces them to spend more money to access clean water. All these threats will simultaneously happen, even far from the lifetime of the mine itself.


Wawonii Residents’ Struggle

In the middle of those sufferings, PT GKP even got a special treatment and was facilitate by the state. Some of them were the land intrusion guarded by apparatus from police and army; the tinkering of the spatial plan (RTRW) of Konawe Island Regency; to utilizing law instruments to criminalizing those who refuse mine.

The arrogance of PT GKP, the repressive apparatus, as well as the ignorance of local governments of Konawe Island and South-East Sulawesi, show the oligarchic characters of authorities which ignoring the safety of the living space and the future of the residents. These points then motivate the Wawonii residents to come to several related ministries and institutions in Jakarta.

Residents’ representatives of Wawonii Island along with the Coalition of Save The Coast and Small Islands consisting of YLBHI, KontraS, KIARA, WALHI, Solidaritas Perempuan, KPA, Trend Asia, Bersihkan Indonesia, LBH Makassar, and JATAM; had reported the agrarian and social conflicts as well a number of allegations of environmental and humanitarian crimes done by  PT GKP and the police apparatus to President’s Staff Office, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the National Commission on Violence Against Women, the National Commission of Human Rights, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and the Ombudsman on 16- 23 March 2022. These reports will also be submitted to Ministry of Environment and Forestry and the Professional and Security Division of Indonesian National Police.

As for the points of this report related to alleged crimes of the PT GKP which was intruding resident’s land, threatening the contra-mining residents, building a special terminal that was not in accordance with  marine spatial allocation, to allegation of human rights violations, especially during the land intrusion process owned by residents who refuse the  mine.

The residents and the lawyer team from the Coalition of Save The Coast and Small Islands also report the allegation of crimes and human rights violation done by security apparatus who guarded the intrusion process, as well as the allegation of threats and violation toward those who are against mine. Besides, the coalition’s lawyer team also reported the Regional Police of South-East Sulawesi and the Resort Police of Kendari to the Professional and Security Division of Indonesian National Police due to allegations of a transactional conspiracy related to involvement in the land intrusion as well as criminalization and legal process of 29 residents who refuse the PT GKP mining activity.

The reports submitted to the various ministries and institutions will be continuously monitored by the coalition, so there will be follow-ups in form of recommendations and policies siding with the people’s safety and their living spaces. Furthermore, we will also keep eyes on the recommendations and policies from the states’ institutions to evaluate and to revoke all mining licenses on Wawonii Island.


Contact Person:

  • Muh Jamil – JATAM – +62 821-5647-0477
  • Ady Anugrah Pratama – YLBHI-LBH Makassar – +62 853-4297-7545
  • Benny Wijaya – KPA – +62 853-6306-6036
  • Wahyu Perdana – WALHI – +62 821-1239-5919
  • Atikah – Solidaritas Perempuan –  0812-1402-4197