At the end of 2018, Acting Governor of Aceh, Nova Iriansyah issued the Governor Decree no 540/1436/2018 concerning the revocation and termination of 98 mining permits in Aceh. This strong effort is believed to become a momentum for improving land governance in Aceh. Therefore, Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia along with GeRAK Aceh held a multi-stakeholder discussion regarding the use of ex-mining area as a follow up of the issuance of the decree in Banda Aceh last (28/3).

Opening the discussion, Fernan as the Head of the Public Policy and Budget Division of GeRAK Aceh said that after the mining curbing, the area of ex-mining area in Aceh reached 549.619 ha. This figure is equivalent to 10% of the total area of Aceh. It is crucial to monitor this matter further, especially since the moratorium policy on mining permits in Aceh is no longer continued.

Said Faisal, Head of Mineral and Coal Division, Energy and Mineral Resources (EMR) Agency of Aceh Province confirmed that the total area of revoked or terminated mining permits through the Governor Decree in 2018 reached 500 thousand ha. However, the identification is carried out only based on the document. Ground checking has not been carried out due to limited resources.

Said continued, “Currently the number of mining permits that are under the authority of Aceh Provincial Government is only 28 with a total area around 48.136 ha. Of this area, only 2% located in the production forest and the companies already have the Borrow to Use Forestry Permit (IPPKH) to operate there. While the rest is located in the Area for Other Land Uses (APL).”

Fahmi Riza, representative of the Regional Office of the National Land Agency of Aceh Province who was also spoke at the forum, explained that, in principle there are two schemes to use ex-rights land, namely being determined as State General Reserve Land (TCUN) and land utilization according to the district spatial plan (RTRW).

Land management after the revocation and termination of mining permit is regulated in the Government Regulation (PP) no 77/2014. It is stated that the mining area (wilayah izin usaha pertambangan-WIUP) of the revoked or not renewed permit is returned to the minister or governor according to the authority. Furthermore, the mining area can be re-established to be WIUP/WIUPK and or proposed to be a State Reserve Area (WPN) based on the ministerial evaluation. The WIUP then can be given through the auctions for mineral and coal mining and territorial request for non-metallic minerals and rocks.

Rizky Ananda Wulan, Program Manager of PWYP Indonesia, emphasized two things need to be done by provincial stakeholders. First, to identify the compliance of the holders of the revoked and terminated mining permit in meeting the financial and environment obligation. Revocation or termination of mining permit does not necessarily eliminate their obligations. Second, to identify the mining area, including the status of the land and the real conditions of the land. It is also necessary to identify the land use status, according to the plan for reclamation and post-mining and the regional spatial plan.

“Utilization of ex-mining area cannot be generalized in all districts or cities. Further analysis needs to be carried out, including the analysis of environmental carrying capacity and the cost and benefit analysis. Therefore, it needs active involvement of other stakeholders such as the Environment and Forestry Agency, as well as the Regional Development Planning Agency, given this issue is indeed a cross-sectoral,” said Rizky.