Giant Mining Corps Yet To Be Given Legal Sanctions – In spite of Law No.32 of 2009 concerning Environmental Management and Protection being in effect now for 20 months and granting wide authority to the Ministry of the Environment A and B category mining corporations have yet to be given sanctions.

Assistant deputy for Environmental Dispute Settlements at the Ministry of the Environment, Cicilia Sulastri made the statement during a discussion on the law in question held by the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) in Jakarta on Thursday (6/23).

Among other resource persons present were environmental and urban settlement observer Tjuk Kuswartojo and senior researcher from the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL) Rino Subagyo. Cicilia revealed up to now there were only a few in the C category given sanctions but in the A and B group there were not any, she said, adding that in the latter “ she did not mention how many- there were a few involved with the law and still undergoing questioning.

This is due to lack of commitment on the side of the related ministry and the regional authorities in addition to lack of comprehension and commitment from law enforcers, Cicilia said. Category A mining companies are engaged in extracting strategic material such as oil, gas, asphalt, coal, nickel, white tin, and uranium. Category B are extractors of iron, bauxite, copper, zinc, gold, platinum, silver and diamonds; Category C are extractors of a.o gems, quartz, marble, granite, clay/loam and sand.

Rino’s perspective on the issue was that there is no synergy between the Environmental Ministry and other ministries. Law enforcement is absolutely lacking also Proper results (evaluation of extracting companies). Blacklisted companies were not given sanctions. In short internal coordination seems to be a big problem, he said.

He continued to say Proper evaluations were lacking transparency and participation.  In fact the best evaluators would be the communities in the surrounds of the mines.

According to Tjuk the laws have granted extraordinary authority to the environmental ministry but can only be effectively implemented if the ministry is being reposed with a strong leadership.

First and foremost the minister of the environment should be brought to an equal level of empowerment with the minister of energy and mineral resources and the minister for public works, Tjuk said.

Would the ministry of the environment have the ability to stop forest destruction (as a result of the activities of another ministry?, he asked. For the 20 consecutive months the law is running, not one of the 30 government regulations and 19 ministerial decrees to endorse the law were published in spite of a one year deadline in place.

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