Coal Exploitation Threatens Ecology In East Kalimantan

SAMARINDA, Jan 18 (Bernama) — Business oriented coal exploitations in East Kalimantan are threatening the local ecology, Indonesia’s Antara news agency reported, citing environment observer Abrianto Amin as saying here on Sunday. “Ecological balance will be seriously threatened if coal exploitations are exclusively oriented to commercial aspects, and the social and environmental sectors are ignored,” he stressed. He said that regional government heads (district heads/mayors) were authorised to issue mining exploitation permits enabling them to secure a license easily. “However, if the companies ignore the social and environmental aspects, they will pose a serious threat to the environment,” he said. The collapse of forest and timber industries has caused companies to switch their business to the mining sector in East Kalimantan, particularly to ‘black gold’ (coal) mining, owing to the fact that the market for this commodity is stable both at home and abroad. Abrianto, who is also a former chief of the Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) for East Kalimantan, said that actually mining companies had the obligation to restore and preserve the environment. One of the programmes that had to be carried out by the mining companies was to reclaim and plant trees in the areas where they had carried out excavations. However, he said that the reclamation programme was not running well because the companies were reluctant to meet their obligation as they had to spend a lot of money on carrying out the program, he said.


About this entry