Lembata Mining Activities

What is affected
Housing private
Land Social/public
Type of violation Demolition/destruction
Date 06 April 2009
Region A [ Asia ]
Country Indonesia
Location Lembata in Flores

Affected persons

Total 60000
Men 0
Women 0
Children 0
Proposed solution
Land losses

- Land area (square meters)

- Total value
Housing losses
- Number of homes
- Total value €

Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)

Private party
Brief narrative

In June 2005, a gold and copper mining company began preliminary exploration activities in the regency (district) of Lembata in Flores. The proposed mining activities will result in the people of Lembata losing their agricultural land as well as ocean resources, which provide their staple diet. The planned mine will also cause the resettlement of at least 60,000 local people. As such, the right to food of the local people will therefore be severely threatened. International action is needed in order to stop current exploration activities and to stop the mine from going ahead. Please send a letter to the Minster for Energy and Mineral Resources, Governor of East Nusa Tenggara, Chair of the Lembata Regional Parliament, and the Regent of Lembata, requesting them to protect the right to food of 60,000 people in Lembata. Background Lembata is a regency and a small island in east Flores in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. It is a beautiful island, rich in land and ocean points of attraction, and has a unique culture not found elsewhere. The gold reserves in Lembata are said to be the third largest in the world. Three mining companies have in the past conducted exploration activities in Lembata. These have contaminated the water sources and polluted the environment. Nevertheless, the local government has permitted a new company, PT Merukh Lembata Copper, to carry out exploration activities, with the exploitation stage scheduled to commence in 2011. The Director of PT Merukh Lembata Copper is the Indonesian Yusuf Merukh who holds mineral exploration rights for at least one third of Lembata. Three German companies are said to be involved in project financing. The planned mining project in Lembata will result in the forced eviction and relocation of at least 60,000 people to other islands. Evicting and relocating these people to other areas will mean that they are forced to live on other people`s lands (including their ancestral lands). This will most likely cause further conflict. Since the livelihoods of the local people are dependent on agriculture, and supported by animal husbandry and fishing, their right to food will be threatened and the people will be faced with poverty and unemployment. The local government of Lembata and PT Merukh Lembata Copper agreed unilaterally to develop the mining industry. The local community was not involved in these discussions. The plan to mine was only revealed subsequently, after the written agreement between the Regent (head of regency) and PT Merukh Lembata Copper was discovered by the community. The discovery provoked a strong reaction, with the local community protesting in different ways. After the protests became stronger, the government conducted a socialisation process, where only the positive aspects of the mine were discussed. The government was not prepared to address the negative aspects. It has also been reported that the Regent of Lembata and other actors have attempted to gain community agreement to the mine through intimidation, manipulation and by offering bribes to community leaders and other important figures. FIAN Mandate The livelihood of the community in Lembata comes from agriculture, and is supplemented by fishing and animal husbandry. As the planned mining project in Lembata will result in the eviction and the relocation of 60,000 locals, it will severely threaten their right to food. As Indonesia is a state party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, the permission and licences granted to PT Merukh Lembata Copper should be revoked and all mining activities should stopped immediately. Original at: http://www.fian.org/cases/letter-campaigns/indonesia-mining-activities-will-threaten-right-to-food-of-60-000-people/fcampaign_view

Costs €   0