WALHI: Recover People and Environmental Rights

Foto by Raisan Al Farisi/SawitFest 2021
WALHI: Recover People and Environmental Rights

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – What the government did by revoking 2.078 mining licenses, 192 forestry licenses and 137 plantation Business Rights licenses is good enough and needs to respect. But the most important thing to do is how the process could be the moment to solve agrarian conflicts which happen between the people and companies both belong to the government and private sectors.

For the license revocation could be conflict resolution, first thing first, the government should tell and confirm every information about the companies, where they operate which the licenses are revoked. This is about to know what companies are in conflict with the people and then, the areas should be returned to the people as the recovery to people’s rights which the country has ‘officially taken’ from the scheme of ‘license publication’.

Uli Arta Siagian, Exclusive Forest and Plantation Campaigner, Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI), told, besides having agrarian conflict settlement, the revocation should not vanish corporates’ responsibility to environmental damages that happened, referring to absolute responsibility, both to environmental damages and recovery.

“The licenses om forestry sector, for instance, the government should confirm the companies to recover forest ecosystem by re-functioning the forests as they were. If the companies in forestry sector have conflicts with people, the country should confirm the admission and recovery of an area that the people used to cultivate to the people themselves,” Arta Siagian told, as in the official information, Thursday (6/1/2022).

She also mentioned, besides the forestry licenses, plantation Business Rights licenses which have been revoked – if the licenses are in conflict with the people – should be returned to the people. If the license concession is in important ‘regions’, they have to be recovered.

Executive Director of WALHI, Zenzi Suhadi also reminded, license revocation as what President Joko Widodo announced is the way of government to improve natural resource governance to be equal, transparent, and fair to correct unfairness, inequality and natural damages or as the evaluation to mining, forestry and land use licenses.

That is why, Zenzi told, President JokoWidodo should evaluate after revoking licenses continuously and in phase by indicators that this will not be only to inactive license or uncultivated areas, but also the licenses in conflict with people and the licenses which damaged environment and ecologic disaster.

“President should confirm the related ministries not to publish or do auction of new licenses which have been revoked to realize natural resource and environmental improvement,” he said. (T2)