According to Indonesia’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Report published on March 31, 2021, it is stated that revenue from natural resources in 2019 contributed as much as 7.90% to total state revenue.

This report is proving of Indonesia’s commitment to improve the transparency of mining sector. However, other challenges arise from the aspect of accountability and community participation in mining governance, as seen from the actual events that occurs in resource-rich areas.

As an effort to push an improvement of mining governance in the sub national level , Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia through the Social Accountability in Mining Sector Project which supported by the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) Program and the World Bank, held a virtual meeting for 3 days, on 19, 22, and 24 March 2021 to map out mining-related stakeholders – from grassroots to policy makers – with partners in three pilot areas: Aceh, East Kalimantan, and Southeast Sulawesi Provinces.

This virtual meeting gives insights on the mining practices in the region and how it impacts various levels of stakeholder groups, which are categorized into parties with interests and influence at various levels, namely low, medium, and high.

Stakeholder mapping is an important tool before starting the GPSA project. It will determine the influencing parties and how big their influence in mining management, from the executors in the area to the regulators. Analysis from the mapping will later become a benchmark in the implementation of the project for the next 12 months.

Broadly, interested parties are divided into three major groups, namely district, provincial and national, each consisting of communities around the mining area, women communities, indigenous people, village governments, district governments, provincial governments, local legislative, mining worker associations, corporates, national government, non-governmental organizations, journalists, and academics.

The mapping process began with the identification of related parties, their characteristics, level of interest and influence, issues surrounding them, effective media for engagement, challenges, and contacts. During this process, discussions, questions, and input from other partners emerged, which then became all partners’ notes and homework for the local partners to come back with more complete and comprehensive information.

There are similarities related to mining management issues in Aceh, East Kalimantan and Southeast Sulawesi, especially the lack of social accountability, such as civil society involvement, the public’s right for information and public services, as well as transparency in licensing and mining revenues.

This is shown by an example brought by GeRAK Aceh where indigenous communities is supposed to have—legally—high influence in mining awarding process, but in reality they are treated as an object rather than a subject. The people’s voice is not heard by the corporates and it is even suspected that the corporates often create a separate group as a basis for legality.

The women faced an even worse condition. In Indonesia, where patriarchy is still going strong, women’s voices are often ignored in decision-making at the community/village level, most of them even choose to remain silent because they don’t have the courage to speak their aspirations as people who are directly affected by the mining site.

Pokja 30 as a provincial partner from East Kalimantan has substantial experiences in advocating the transparency of public funds, monitoring oil and gas revenues, mining and forestry, as well as information disclosure regarding licensing and the regional budget (APBD) in East Kalimantan. Pokja 30 shared one example regarding the community around the coal mine managed by PT MULTI HARAPAN UTAMA (PT MHU), especially in Sungai Payang Village, Kutai Kartanegara Regency, which has a high level of importance, but a low level of influence.

Village communities generally are farmers whose land is located near the mining site, but many of their land are evicted by community organizations that partnering with the corporate.

PT MHU’s mining operation is suspected of having an environmental impact such as damaging the upstream of the Payang River, causing the village to be flooded up to two meters since the issuance of the mining permit.

The community felt that the process of mining permits was not transparent from the beginning, especially regarding land rights, mining impacts, environmental impact analysis that were not consulted with the community, to corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, so that this high level of community interest was not balanced with a high influence. Even though administratively, the communities around the mine site should have a big influence in determining mining licensing decisions, because they are the parties that directly affected by mining activities.

Impacted community indeed has limited access to information and wider networks. Hence, the community involvement in this project offers through several means – discussion and capacity building (use of ICT to monitor mining operation, information regarding mining licensing and revenue management) – is essential.

There are many aspects of stakeholders that still need to be explored and mapped, especially the contact person of interested parties, effective communication channels, and plans for engagement activities in the project. However, this activity is a good first step to comprehend the context of mining governance in the project area.

Even though it was only a preliminary outline, this mapping process took an entire day. Examining more details of the influence and interests of parties involved from the grassroots and their relation to mining management issues, so that the project adopt the right tools and methods to improve transparency, accountability and community participation in mining governance.

Written by

Adzia Rizkika
Communication Specialist Awrago