Mining governance in Indonesia continues to be an issue effecting the environment and the economy. These issues stem directly from a total lack of transparency and accountability in the industry. Systemic corruption is a further challenge in need of tackling.

A main issue in the industry is the careless way that mining permits are issued. In 2014, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry estimated that over half of all mining licenses issued since the enactment of the Mineral and Coal Act that prohibited regencies from issuing mining licenses, were problematic and possibly overlapping concession areas.

Almost 4000 licenses have since been found to have failed in meeting their legal obligations. The Central Government is on-track to revoke these permits early next year. The KPK’s supervision division has been working closely with the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and will further evaluate these permits to deal with the specific problems.

The process has been long. Civil society coalitions have a role here to assist government agencies in the coordination and supervision of mining governance and to conduct research to ensure the same problems do no arise again and again.

We recently published a policy brief on these issues, suggesting a number of measures to improve mining governance.

To move forward, it is essential for there to be stronger enforcement against those who breach the rules. More importantly, the development of better technology and information sharing between levels of government must occur to map permit data and mining operations. These measures will take time and need to be done properly. A moratorium should be imposed while these changes are implemented. [CB]