Kalimantan is said to be the world’s lungs, with many forests as water catchment areas and including green places full of oxygen; now, this expression is no longer appropriate to be addressed to Kalimantan. The once beautiful, green, and fertile area has now turned black, sprinkled with dust, and lots of former mining holes in every part of the area.

Let’s check the new facts!

Let’s describe the current conditions in one part of Kalimantan, to be precise, in East Kalimantan.

Around 1488 IUP (Mining License) surround several East Kalimantan areas. Of an area of ​​6.6 million hectares of East Kalimantan, an estimated 34.3% has been used for mining areas. This area can be said to be wider than the territory of the State of Switzerland. Like the word, the extent of mining in East Kalimantan has matched another country’s time. We can also see that in the Samarinda area, which is still in the East Kalimantan region, almost 71% is controlled by mining permits, and only 0.1% is left for the urban forest. If you see this, how many areas of agricultural land and settlements are left for the community? It is sad to see the reality that is happening in the area of ​​East Kalimantan; there are so many people’s living spaces that are threatened.

The existing mining permits in the East Kalimantan region do not only take up agricultural land and residential areas. However, the Mahakam river and the Islamic Center Mosque have also been issued permits for plotting. It leaves deep worries when you see the characters of mine who are very unfriendly for survival in the future. Jatam (Mining Advocacy Network) Samarinda stated that the characteristics of the mine are non-renewable, short-lived (so the destructive power is very high by devouring a lot of lands, water, energy, and the massive amount of waste that remains), and its orientation is also more towards exports.

This extractive industry should immediately be replaced with a friendlier one for the survival of all of us. As has been experienced before, in East Kalimantan, with lots of natural resources and extractive mining that has been carried out, from the time of wood, oil, and now to coal mining, the local community has yet to get any results. In the Kutai Kartanegara (Kukar) region, which has the most significant number of mining license areas in all of Indonesia, it turns out that the population in this area is in the first position with the poorest category in the East Kalimantan region. Not only the Kukar area but the Samarinda area also has a similar fate, with the 71% of its territory being controlled by mining permits. It turns out that the population ranks second as the poorest in the East Kalimantan region. It is already very unequal with mining production activities which are so massive, but many neglect the negative impacts that are miserable to the surrounding community. Where are the agricultural products in East Kalimantan?

In East Kalimantan, mining activities no longer recognize sacred lands such as protected forest areas and conservation forests. Everything can be cleared as long as there are stones, and a permit will be given to mine. For example, in one of the villages in the Kukar area, the 6th largest company in Indonesia is named PT. Indomingko Mandiri, which is shaded by the Thai flag. The PT mines in a protected forest area. They implement underground mining but have been mining openly for over 20 years. However, the government was unable to do anything to stop it. This was also not only carried out by mining entrepreneurs but also by the authorities. As a former regent of Kukar, Mrs. Rita’s name turned out to be her own four mining companies, one of which was a plot of Bukit Suranto. Apart from obtaining a permit in a protected forest area in East Kalimantan, rivers are also allowed to be mined, as was done by the governor, who had just stepped down. He gave the Public Works Service a technical letter to work on 11 km to be mined.

In addition, we also need to know the data presented by JATAM that the coal mining industry has claimed many victims for future generations. From 2011-2015 18 children died from drowning in former mining pits in Samarinda and Kutai Kartanegara. The map of the Samarinda mining concession, which has claimed many victims, can be seen from the following data:

  1. PT. Lanna Haritain Indonesia
  2. PT. Cahaya Energi Mandiri
  3. PT. Energi Cahaya Industritama
  4. PT. Insani Bara Perkasa
  5. PT. Himko Coal
  6. PT. Transisi Energi Satunama
  7. PT. Graha Rebua Etam

The children who have been identified are Nadia Zaskia Putri, who drowned in a mining pit owned by PT. Energi Cahaya Industritama, on April 8, 2014, Maulana Mahendra, aged 11, drowned in a mining pit owned by PT. Insani Bara Perkasa, on December 24, 2011, Miftahul Jannah, old 10, Junaidi, aged 13, and Ramadhani, aged 11 three of them, drowned in a mining pit belonging to PT. Himko Coal on July 13, 2011, and M Raihan Saputra drowned in a mining pit owned by PT. Graha Rebua Etam on December 22 2014. Seeing the condition of East Kalimantan where many ex-mining holes have caused many victims, how long will the fixes be closed and adequately reclamation so as not to increase the number of victims who died in the gaps that mine?

If the earth could speak, perhaps it would already be screaming in pain due to the very extractive and massive mining activities upon itself. He is groaning in pain.

We as humans should understand the condition of this increasingly old and frail earth. Our earth must be protected from all careless and stupid actions that can shorten its life.

If the universe doesn’t approve, then just wait for its destruction.

The Earth of East Kalimantan needs supervision and protection, friends! Save the living space in East Kalimantan!

Data source: Results of summarizing the material presented by Jatam (Mining Advocacy Network) on the first day of Youth Xtra Active activities

By: Nur’aeni