Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI) Riau
Jakarta, 16 September 2022— Rupat Island Fishermen, Bengkalis Regency, Riau Province keep insist the revocation marine sand Mining License (IUP) of PT Logomas Utama (LMU). Two Rupat fishermen along with WALHI complained this company to Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP), National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), Presidential Staff Office and Coordinating Ministry for Political Law and Human Rights (Kemenkopolhukam). Community complaint to various Ministries/Institutions aimed to urge Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) fulfilling recommendations from Riau Governor and KKP to revoke PT LMU Mining License.
“In addition to making complaints regarding PT LMU’s marine sand mining permit and activities, Rupat fishermen together with a solidarity network also held demonstration at the Office of the Directorate General of Mineral and Coal (Ditjen Minerba), Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. They urged the ministry to comply with the recommendations of the Governor of Riau and the KKP to immediately revoke the IUP of PT LMU,” said Parid Ridwanuddin, WALHI Coastal and Marine Campaign Manager.
The rejection of the existence of PT LMU’s mining activities in the northern sea of Rupat Island has been carried out since December 2021 by traditional fishermen, most of whom are the indigenous people of the Akit Tribe. Responding to the refusal, the Governor of Riau on January 12, 2022 sent a letter of recommendation to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources to revoke the company’s IUP. KKP, in February 2022, also gave a positive response to the rejection of mining activities voiced by communities by stopping PT LMU’s mining activities temporary. The basis for the termination of mining activities was because PT LMU did not have an Approval for the Conformity of Marine Space Utilization Activities (PKKPRL) in the waters of Rupat Island, Riau Province. The cessation of mining activities was followed up by KKP by sending a letter to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources on April 4, 2022 to evaluate sea sand mining in the waters of Rupat Island.
Presidential Regulation No.78 of 2005 concerning Management of Outermost Small Islands and Government Regulation No.62 of 2010 concerning Utilization of Outermost Small Islands mandates three management principles for outermost small islands aimed at defense and security; public welfare; and/or environmental preservation.
“Three principles mean maintaining the integrity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, using natural resources in a fair and sustainable manner and empowering the community in order to improve their welfare,” said Parid.
Even Sembiring, Executive Director of WALHI Riau, said that the struggle of Rupat’s fishermen for the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources to immediately revoke the IUP of PT LMU has been conveyed to the President. In March 2022, Fisherman Rupat wrote a letter to the President and the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources to immediately revoke the IUP of PT LMU. The letter requesting the revocation of the permit was based on the fishermen’s worries that PT LMU will back in operation to carry out sand mining.
“Today, we together with WALHI National and WALHI Jakarta accompanied Rupat fishermen to take action. Fisherman Rupat held a demonstration at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources not for dialogue, because so far there has been no response at all from the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources to Rupat fishermen’s letter or recommendation letter from the Governor of Riau and KKP for the revocation of the IUP PT LMU. They want to make sure the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources revokes PT LMU’s mining permit. In line with the Rupat community, we at WALHI Riau assessed that the revocation of the permit is urgent to be carried out by the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources. This mining activity has clearly caused damage to marine ecosystems, accelerated abrasion in coastal areas, and reduced the catch of traditional fishermen,” explained Even Sembiring.
Spatial analysis and field observations of WALHI Riau show the fact that the damage to Rupat Island is not only caused by sand mining activities. The analysis shows that 61.7 percent of the mainland of Rupat Island is burdened with various extractive permits. This amount will be even greater if the area of illegal shrimp and fish ponds farming are added, which contributes to the accumulation of damage to the mangrove ecosystem.
“Rupat Island is a small island that is very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Mining activities have accelerated and exacerbated environmental damage on Rupat Island, therefore the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources must immediately revoke PT LMU’s permit. If not, Rupat is in danger of drowning,” concluded Even Sembiring.
Parid Ridwanuddin (081237454623)
Eko Yunanda (081276552376)