Konkep, April 16, 2021 – The plan of the Konawe Islands Regency Government (Konkep) or Wawonii Island, the Southeast Sulawesi Provincial Government, and the Ministry of Agrarian and Spatial Planning / National Land Agency, which seeks to allocate mining space in the Konkep Regional Spatial Planning Draft (RTRW), poses a significant threat to residents and the small island of Wawonii.

The threats are related to the safety of agricultural / plantation lands, springs, and coastal and marine areas, which have been the primary support for the economy of farmers and fishers on the island of Wawonii.

As is known, the island of Wawonii, even though it has been blooming since 2013, the tiny island’s Regional Spatial Plan (RTRW) is still stuck at the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning (ATR / BPN). So that for the sake of direction in utilizing space, the Konawe Islands Regency still refers to the Spatial Plan (RTRW) Konawe as the parent district before being expanded.

The Wawonii Island Spatial Plan draft has been stuck at the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning in Jakarta until Tuesday, March 23, 2021. After that, it was discussed again through the Coordination Meeting for the Discussion on the Approval of the Spatial Plan Substance Approval of the Konawe Islands Regency at the Regional Office of National Land Agency, Southeast Sulawesi Province.

One of the strategic issues that have emerged is related to mining issues. The government, at the meeting, discussed the matter of tactics to allocate mining space, something that has long received resistance from the islanders.

History of Mining Resistance

Historically, the existence of the mining industry on Wawonii Island has received resistance from the community since PT Derawan Berjaya Mining was about to mine chrome sand in Polara Village and Tondongito Village Wawonii Tenggara District in 2007.

Residents who were worried and threatened with safety and production space then fought back. On Sunday, March 8, 2015, residents were forced to burn the factory complex and company equipment until its peak. As a result, 14 residents were injured due to the security forces’ repression, and one person was imprisoned for being accused of being the leader of the arson of the PT Derawan Berjaya Mining company.

The residents’ resistance to the mining did not stop there. The government’s insistence on ignoring the aspirations of the residents also occurred when PT Gema Kreasi Perdana (GKP) was about to mine nickel on Wawonii Island.

PT GKP, which built a mining road into the concession area by penetrating community-owned lands, triggered a significant and prolonged conflict. As a result, a total of 28 residents were criminalized on charges of making it up, ranging from deprivation of freedom, threats, persecution to defamation. However, residents are only limited to defending their homeland, as the direct support of life, including financing children’s education to a higher level.

Not only that, the Special Terminal (tersus) owned by PT GKP, which was built in Sukarela Jaya Village, Wawonii Tenggara District, is also not regulated (violates) the Southeast Sulawesi Regional Regulation No. 9 of 2018-2038 concerning the Zoning Plan for Coastal Areas and Small Islands (RZWP3K).

The threat is getting bigger and more complex when the Konawe Islands Regency Government, the Southeast Sulawesi Provincial Government, and the Ministry of Agrarian and Spatial Planning / National Land Agency are trying to allocate mining space Konkep Regional Spatial Plan (RTRW).

The process of discussing the draft Regional Spatial Plan appears to be treating the residents of Wawonii Island in a discriminatory manner, without notification and involvement, and taking place amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, in substance, the effort to allocate mining space on the small island of Wawonii contradicts a higher regulation than the District Regulation, namely Law Number 1 of 2014 concerning Amendments to Law Number 27 of 2007 concerning Management of Coastal Areas and Small Islands. Therefore, in substance, the use of small islands is not prioritized for mining.

Departing from that situation, we urge:

  • Urge the Minister of Agrarian and Spatial Planning / National Land Agency, the Governor of Southeast Sulawesi, the Regent, and the DPRD of Konawe Kepulauan Regency not to include and or allocate space for the mining industry in the Konkep draft of the Regional Spatial Plan.
  • Publish the Strategic Environmental Assessment, Academic Paper, and draft of Konkep Regional Spatial Plan immediately and involve the residents of Wawonii Island in the entire discussion process.
  • Urge the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to investigate suspected corruption transactions between the Minister of Agrarian and Spatial Planning / National Land Agency, the Regional Government of Konkep, the Provincial Government of Southeast Sulawesi, and mining corporations in connection with discussions on the draft of Regional Spatial Plans and the process of issuing mining permits on Wawonii Island.

Contact person:

  • FRSBW – Mando Maskuri – +62 822-5951-2921
  • JATAM – Muh Jamil – +62 821-5647-0477
  • KIARA – Fikerman Saragi – +62823 6596 7999

Editor’s note:

  • Portrait of the Crisis of Wawonii Island
  • Wawonii Island is Threatened with Vanishing