[JAKARTA, April 6, 2017] – The long struggle of the people of Bangka Island in North Minahasa Regency, North Sulawesi Province who deny the existence of iron ore mine PT Mikgro Metal Premium (MMP) finally paid, after the Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, Ignasius Jonan, revoke the company’s permits.

Copies of revocation letterwhich is signed by the Minister on March 23, 2017 was sent to the stakeholders, including Jaringan Advokasi Tambang (Jatam) as one of the applicants on March 30, 2017 as part of the Save Bangka IslandCoalition, along with many organizations and other community groups, such as WALHI, YLBHI, ICW and Greenpeace Indonesia.

The Bangka Island community’s protest over mine rejection is quite long, after all the possibilities have been taken, from various acts, composed an online petition to legal proceedings in court.

Noted, on July 14, 2015, the State Administrative Court (PTUN) of Jakarta won and granting the entire lawsuit of Bangka Island residents on mining license (SK IUP Operasi Produksi) PT. MMP and ordered Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry to revoke the mining license because it doesn’t meet all the legislation requirements. The issuance of the mining license allowed mining operation on a small island and without the permission of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

Due to the PTUN Jakarta’s result, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and PT. MMP appealed to the Jakarta High Court TUN, and the results on December 18, 2015, the Jakarta High Court rejected the appeal and upheld the verdict of the PTUN Jakarta earlier.

Not satisfied with the result, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and PT. MMP even appealed to the Supreme Court (MA). Then came the Supreme Court decision No. 255 K/TUN/2016 ordered the Ministry of Energy to revoke the decree No. 3109 K/30/2014 on Production Operation IUP PT. MMP. With the existence of the decision, it should have been no way for the Ministry to approve the mines of PT. MMP on Bangka Island.

Nevertheless, the legal facts above, it was not in line with the facts on the ground which is found on the Bangka Island. Residents noted, a number of mining support facilities is still standing, heavy equipments PT MMP still exists in the location of the dredging, and there is a trend the company and other parties are in line with the interests of the company did not respect the legal decision that has been inkracht, and still want to do exploitation.

Mining support facilities that have been established include the construction of a factory, warehouse of explosives, fuel storage tanks, construction of access roads to the area of indigenous forests, Camp for Workers and unloading jetty-port that will be used by the company.

The damage had already occurred due to force mining companies operating in Bangka Island such as the clearing of indigenous forests, mangrove hoarding, some mountains and hills have been dismantled and backfill shoreline reclamation for the construction of the jetty which is already damaging the surrounding ecosystem.

The coalition expect government consistency to not issuing new license for mining companies anywhere in Bangka Island. The next homework, is to ensure there is an audit and recovery for environmental damage. This starts from the hill damage to damage a coral reef and mangrove hoarding performed during the company operates. In the case of an audit and recovery for the environmental damage, Environment and Forestry Ministry must take an active part.

Kaka Slank also join the rescue campaign of Bangka Island, North Minahasa, North Sulawesi, from the threat of mines. Through song, Kaka join the action until initiate a petition supported by more than 20.000 people on Change.org. Kaka wants to open the eyes of the government, that the island is in danger of disappearing from the map of Indonesia if left to the mining corporations.

The Save Bangka IslandCoalition considers victory of Bangka Island residents can become jurisprudence, inspiration and legal milestones for many residents in other small islands in Indonesia which is currently against the expansion of mining corporations.

According to data from Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries there are more than 12.000 small islands in Indonesia and threatened a similar fate of Bangka Island. The newest is Romang Island in Maluku Barat Daya which is 98 percent of its area is mining. Meanwhile, according to the coalition notes, Bangka Island’sarea just 4778 hectares, and 2000 hectares or half has been taken by Chinese mining corporation.

With the revocation letter of mining operations of PT MMP by the Minister, on March 23, 2017, we as the Save Bangka Island Coalition urge:

1. The Revocation of Mining Business License of PT MMP should be followed by social ecological restoration that have occurred during this time, so not just limited to revoke the permission.

2. Environment and Forestry Ministrymust be immediately ensured and together with the PT MMP perform redress for environmental destruction that has been caused.

3. Asking Environment and Forestry Ministry to conduct stocktaking and investigation to find and collect the data destruction that has happened and find a possible or potential acts of civil and environmental crime that have occurred on the island.

4. Bangka Island’s society urge central and local governments to STOP giving space to the mining company, instead support community efforts to develop community-based tourism, agriculture and plantations, as well as fisheries and marine which is not bad for a social and ecological conditions.

5. Coalition urges the government to provide security to the people of Bangka Island in order to run the economy and livelihood without disruption for the provision of licenses to extractive companies and monoculture, a sort of mining and oil palm plantations.

6. Coalition demands the government to comply with the mandate of the law (Act) No. 27 of 2007 on the Management of Coastal Areas and Small Islands, where the entire region of small islands off limits to mining activities that damage ecosystems and marine life in the vicinity.

7. Coalition urges the government to rescue a small island in a way to audit the entire permits mining on a small island and immediate revocation of permits on the small island by using events revocation of IUP in Bangka Island as jurisprudence, footing and legal sources save the little islands not only vulnerable because of policy development and more vulnerable when dealing with the impact of climate change.

Contact Save Bangka Island Coalition

Yaya Nurhidayati (Direktur Eksekutif Nasional, WALHI)- 0813 1610 1154

Merah Johansyah (Kordinator Nasional, JATAM)- 0813 4788 2228

Leonard Simanjuntak (Kepala, Greenpeace Indonesia)- 0811 1969 6217

Ulva Novita Takke (Pendiri, Yayasan Suara Pulau Bangka)- 0812 4751 599

Kaka Slank (Pekerja Seni)- 0811 9402 204

Contact in North Sulawesi, Pulau Bangka

Jull Takaliuang – 0811 4357 722