TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Non-governmental organization Mining Advocacy Network(Jatam) coordinator Merah Johansyah on Thursday said that revoking mining permits in forest areas will be one of the crucial long-term keys to save South Kalimantan from future floodings.
The region was recently hit by major floods that caused havoc in numerous areas. Johansyah believes that the cause is related to the land exploitation used for coal mining, palm oil plantations, and other major extractive industries towards Kalimantan’s forests.
“There are 114 forest area utilization permits (IPPKH) that span about 64, 953.12 hectares which is nearly the size of Jakarta,” he told Tempo on Thursday, January 21.
He also revealed that out of the total IPPKH land areas, 12,618.44 hectares were currently used and only 28,93 hectares revegetated. The IPPKH is granted by the Forestry and Environment Ministry and is given for non-forestry uses, one of which is mining activities.
According to Jatam’s data, there are 651 permits worth 474,859.67 hectares granted by the ministry for IPPKH mining. For context, this size is one and a half of the total area of Bogor Regency.
However, the Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko claimed that the Jokowi administration had only granted a few mining permits. "Under pak Jokowi’s era, we need to look at how many permits were given. I think that it can be considered very insignificant," said Moeldoko on Thursday.