Indonesian coal firms shut down for violations fight back in court, with mixed results

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Isabel Esterman Coal, Energy, Environment, Environmental Law, Environmental Politics, Governance, Mining, Pollution center_img Indonesian authorities have revoked or not renewed more than 2,100 mining licenses that fail to meet legal standards.In South Sumatra province, where 77 licenses were canceled, 10 coal mining firms have sued local officials for taking away their permits.So far, one lawsuit has succeeded, while four other companies have failed to get their licenses reinstated.The legal challenges in South Sumatra underscore the difficulties officials face as they try to clean up Indonesia’s mining sector. As Indonesian authorities move to strip thousands of mining licenses from firms that have failed to meet legal requirements, some companies are fighting back in the courts.Claiming that local officials who revoked mining permits acted arbitrarily or exceeded their authority has so far yielded positive results for at least one company. In June, South Sumatra-based coal miner PT Batubara Lahat successfully sued to have its Mining Business License (IUP) reinstated after it was revoked by the provincial governor.The Palembang Administrative Court ruled in the mining company’s favor, even though the mining firm had previously been found to owe the government more than 27 billion rupiah (~$2 million) in royalties and other non-tax obligations.At the time of the verdict, activists feared the case would set a precedent, emboldening other mining companies to mount similar challenges. In South Sumatra province alone, ten companies have so far sued to have their IUPs reinstated — including two firms who initiated lawsuits after PT Batubara Lahat prevailed in court.Despite that legal victory, similar lawsuits have not fared very well. “Of the five verdicts by the Palembang Administrative Court, only one (PT Babubara Lahat’s case) has gone in favor of the company,” said Rabin Ibnu Zainal, director of Pilar Nusantara, an NGO monitoring coal mining in South Sumatra.Among the firms whose cases have so far failed, three sued the head of energy and mineral resources for South Sumatra: PT Bintan Mineral Resources, PT Buana Minera Harvest and PT Mitra Bisnis Harvest. Another coal miner, PT Andalas Bara Sejahtera, unsuccessfully sued the provincial governor.A active coal mining site in Bengkulu, Sumatra. Photo by Taufik Wijaya/Mongabay-Indonesia.Violations and revocationsThe legal battles taking place in the South Sumatra represent just a small part of a much larger struggle by Indonesian authorities to stamp out illegality in the mining sector. Indonesia is one of the world’s leading exporters of coal, but civil society groups have for years documented cases of environmental, legal and human rights violations by mining firms.In 2014, the KPK — Indonesia’s anti-graft agency — launched an investigation into the mining industry. In cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the KPK set out to examine the legality of mining permits in 12 provinces.Out of 10,992 licenses examined as part of the investigation, around 40 percent were found not be be “clean and clear” — meaning they failed to meet all legal requirements, such as having proper registration to pay taxes, land rents and royalties. In South Sumatra, things looked even worse. Out of 359 IUPs issued in the province, only 175 were found to be in compliance with the applicable laws.By April 2017, more than 2,100 mining permits nationwide were revoked or left to expire without being renewed, including 77 IUPs in South Sumatra.However, more than 2,500 licenses found to be in violation still remain active, and the fight in South Sumatra underscores how complex it can be to actually shut these companies down.A coal mining pit in Lahat district, South Sumatra. Photo courtesy of Walhi South Sumatra.Like PT Batubara Lahat, many of these violating firms owe large sums of money to the Indonesian government.As of March 2017, coal companies were found to owe the government more than $380.2 million in unpaid royalties. In effect, the public have been denied their share of the profits from mining, while being left to deal with the negative social and environmental impacts of mining. Communities across the archipelago face problems ranging from water pollution and deforestation to community conflict and deadly abandoned mine pits in which at least 27 people have drowned.In some cases — including the PT Batubara Lahat verdict — officials cite fears that revoking IUPs will only make matters worse by provoking companies to simply walk away from unpaid debts and unreclaimed mining sites. But activists insist the government must hold strong in the face of these challenges. “Coal companies operating in Indonesia, especially in South Sumatra, must operate correctly, not only not damaging the environment but also not harming the state,” said Zainal in a June interview.This story was reported by Mongabay’s Indonesia team and was first published on our Indonesian site on Aug. 13, 2017.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more