May 30, 2018

Extra photos confirm ongoing mining of peat forest ecosystem

( - An earlier news report from (May 28) revealed ground-based evidence showing how the bauxite mining company PT Laman Mining is destroying parts of Indonesian Borneo’s peat ecosystem which includes high conservation value (HCV) areas. 

To follow up on the first exposé, this second news report presents extra evidence confirming that PT Laman Mining plans to keep clearing the peat forests of the Bukit Kiras ecosystem and dredge parts of the HCV areas distributed within a concession complex belonging to PT KAL, a subsidiary of the PT ANJT, situated in West Kalimantan’s Ketapang regency.

The Bukit Kiras peat forest ecosystem is already currently being destroyed by PT Laman Mining and these destructive practices are planned to continue.

Overwhelming evidence

In fact, all the evidence points to the fact that the peat forests spread among the HCV Bukit Kiras ecosystem continue, and will continue, to be wiped out for the sake of PT Laman Mining’s bauxite mining operations.

In late February 2017, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya established a national-level peat ecosystem map that encompasses the areas being exploited by PT Laman Mining.

In legal terms, the ongoing destruction of the Bukit Kiras peat forests represents a clear and continuing violation of the ban on new peat development as enshrined in Indonesia’s newly-revised government regulation signed by President Joko Widodo in early December 2016. 

It goes without saying that this newly-revised government regulation stipulates that the unrelenting and damaging operations by PT Laman Mining, which are severely impacting the local peat ecosystem, must be stopped. The signature of the President alone requires this.  

Impending victim

If the obliteration of the Bukit Kiras peat ecosystem by PT Laman Mining continues, without any law enforcement action imposed to counter it, this would set a dangerous and terrible precedent.

It would mean that it is only a matter of time before Bukit Kiras’s remaining peat forests, which are inhabited by the critically-endangered Bornean orangutan, become the next victim of PT Laman Mining’s operations. 

Any lack of law enforcement measures in this case would set a bad precedent seeing that since late 2015, the Environment and Forestry Ministry has taken stringent legal action against violations committed by various other companies.

At the same time, PT Laman Mining would be ill advised to close its eyes to the legal requirements prohibiting it from undertaking new peat ecosystem development causing the drying up of the peat ecosystem.   

Indeed, it would be of great concern if, especially in the lead up to and during the 2018 Asian Games, PT Laman Mining carries on with its destruction of the area’s peat ecosystem.