Jakarta – Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia together with the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) Indonesia held an online Dissemination of the Civic Space Report in the Extractive Sector in the Framework of EITI Implementation in Indonesia on February 28, 2024. This report was prepared by civil society representatives in the EITI Indonesia Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG), which aims to first explain the situation of civic space in Indonesia with a focus on several provinces rich in natural resources such as Riau, East Kalimantan, Yogyakarta, West Nusa Tenggara, Central Sulawesi, and at the national level. This report will also voice civil society organizations’ constraints in addressing natural resource governance issues. EITI should be used to defend civic space because it requires the state to guarantee an enabling environment for civil society participation. Finally, the report will generate lessons learned and recommendations for EITI stakeholders to improve civic space.

Dwi Arie Santo, Director of SOMASI West Nusa Tenggara, was present at the report and representative of civil society in the EITI Indonesia MSG. Also present as responders were Chrisnawan Anditya, Head of the Data and Information Center and Chair of the EITI Indonesia Secretariat, and Djoko Widajatno, Executive Director of the Indonesian Mining Association (IMA).

Dwi Arie Santo said that this report is an integral part of the EITI standard and is one of the aspects of the EITI validation assessment, especially related to civil society participation protocols, which are fundamental to achieving EITI goals. On the other hand, the situation of civic space in the MSG EITI forum cannot fully reflect the state of civic space in Indonesia. Moreover, the practice of criminalization of human rights and environmental activists still occurs widely, especially in the regions.

According to him, guaranteeing the availability and functioning of available civic space in the context of policy is critical in ensuring that stakeholders understand their respective rights and obligations to minimize conflict over aspects that cause dissent. “Indonesia recognizes at least three aspects in guaranteeing the availability of civic space, namely access to information, involvement in policy, and security,” he explained.

Related to the findings on civic space, there are still difficulties in accessing information, as the community has never received sufficient information before the company operates in their area. Socialization is also not carried out so that the community is energized when the company starts operating in their area.

The need for more space for participation and supervision is also still found, where the supervision model that can be carried out with data sources that are not derived from formal sources also makes the space for participation in mining management policies minimal. The same goes for security guarantees; cases of criminalization against people who try to fight for their rights to the environment still occur.

“EITI as an initiative that has standards that continue to evolve and are used as guidelines and regulations for implementing member countries to meet implementation requirements by criteria along the value chain should be able to capture the condition of civic space in practice, not only regulations to have an impact on improving the implementation of the provision of civic space so that the extractive industry not only has a positive impact on improving the nation’s economy but also provides greater benefits for the surrounding community and environmental sustainability,” he said.

In response to the report, Chrisnawan presented a mechanism for civil society involvement in extractive industry transparency in Indonesia. In supporting the government’s priority program in accelerating digitalization, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is launching an extractive data portal by the end of 2023, which can be accessed at portaldataekstraktif.id.

Chrisnawan conveyed the role of civil society representatives in implementing EITI, including independent monitoring and supervision. Civil society has a crucial role in monitoring and evaluating the implementation of EITI at the national and regional levels. Civil society can provide independent oversight of information reported by companies and the government regarding extractive sector licenses, revenues, and expenditures.

Civil society can also promote transparency and accountability, pushing companies and governments to improve their transparency and accountability in managing natural resources. Civil society can also advocate for stricter reporting standards and greater disclosure.

When it comes to community participation, civil society plays a vital role in facilitating active community participation in the EITI process. They can provide information and education to the public on issues related to extractive industries and their implications for people’s lives. In addition, civil society can fight for community inclusion in policy formulation and decision-making related to natural resource management.

Finally, Chrisnawan conveyed the role of the EITI Secretariat in providing discussion space for civil society, which involves civil society, especially representatives in the MSG forum, to propose actively and voice opinions, suggestions, and criticisms, among others, in the preparation of the EITI work plan in one year, joint organizing related EITI activities such as Extractive Transparency Day, thematic policy dialogues, involvement in the process of evaluating and correcting EITI reports, and collaboration in the EITI dissemination process at large.

Djoko Widajatno responded to the disseminated report by saying there needs to be more uniformity in social responsibility towards the environment. Business entities also strive for transparency, but this can work if there is a common perspective between the community and business actors. IMA has implemented Good Mining Practices. Harmony, harmony, and balance are needed to run the Sustainable Report. Law enforcement also needs to be improved when discussing information disclosure. There is also still criminalization of mining workers that occurs. Thus, policy alignment and law enforcement must also be improved so that all stakeholders can carry out good mining practices. Business actors and the community can also benefit from the operation of mining companies.

Author: Chitra Regina Apris
Reviewer: Aryanto Nugroho