West Nusa Tenggara Province (NTB) in September 2019 has enacted Local Regulation Number 9 of 2019 on Management of Mineral and Coal Mining. It replaces Local Regulation Number 4 of 2012 which also regulates the Management of Mineral and Coal Mining. The purpose of its revised due to adjusting with the Law Number 23 of 2014 on the Regional Government. With the existence of this Local Regulation of 2014, there have been several changes in authority, especially related to the mining sector which is before controlled by the district and now controlled by the provincial government. On the other side, West Nusa Tenggara Provincial Government has revised Local Regulation to manage coal and mining businesses such as ensure the effectiveness of the business, increasing their contribution for regional revenue, guarantee the benefits of mining for a sustainable environment, and to ensure certainty law of mineral and coal mining.

Meliana Lumbantoruan, Program Manager of PWYP Indonesia stressed that “Every change in regulations and policies made by the government, the public has the right to receive information and notification both in the process of preparation and implementation. They also can participate in the process of monitoring the implementation of the policy”. Meliana added “For that, when the West Nusa Tenggara Provincial government issues new regulation, the government must immediately conduct socialization to the community. All stakeholders in the sector such as bureaucracy, the private sector, and communities in the mining area which is affected by mining activities should receive adequate socialization, to prevent asymmetric information” she added.

In Local Regulation Number 9 of 2019 regulates the role of public participation in the management of mineral and coal mining. Article 78 clearly stated that the government provides a space for public participation in various matters in the mining sector. Public participation that is regulated in the Local Regulation is participating in the management of mineral and coal mining by protecting and preserving the environment; provide information, advice, and opinions on the management of mineral and coal mining; reporting damage and vandalism in the vicinity of the mining area that is allegedly caused directly by mining activities; and report mining activities without permission.

Johan Rahmatulloh, the Local Project Coordinator, said “With the regulation of the role of public participation in the mining regulation, the community, especially in the mining area, must obtain adequate socialization. Thus, it is expected that the community knows how to involve and monitor mineral and coal mining, so the policy will be well implemented.

By reading the substance of the local regulation, in particular, which is giving room to public participation in all matters of the mining activity, then Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia together with Somasi NTB held a discussion to review the contents of Regulation Number 9 of 2019 with the community in the mining area.

The socialization was held in Taman Ayu Village, Gerung Subdistrict, West Lombok Regency on October 16, 2019, and the topic talked about “Substance Review of Local Regulation of West Nusa Tenggara Province”. The discussion was attended by assisted communities from West Lombok and Central Lombok Regencies. Interestingly, the discussion was not only attended by the assisted community but also village youths and the Village Head from Taman Ayu who participated and opened the discussion.

Head of Taman Ayu Village, Gerung Subdistrict, West Lombok Regency during the socialization of Mining Local Regulation held by SOMASI NTB and PWYP. (10/16/2019). Doc: SOMASI NTB

Tajudin, Head of Taman Ayu Village, in his remarks greatly appreciated the activities carried out by Somasi NTB to provide knowledge to the community. “It is expected this kind of activity is not only carried out informal activities like this but also good to do in informal discussions,” Tajudin said. This activity is the first step to increase knowledge and public awareness. In the future, it is expected this event will create active participants who dare to tell the government by report if violations, environmental destruction, and mining activities without permits happen in their area. Ideally, that report will be followed up by the local government to improve mining governance in West Nusa Tenggara Province. (ML/J)