Indonesia is a megabiodiversity area and the island of Sumatra is the second richest island in terms of biodiversity in Indonesia after Papua. The stability of the ecosystem is important to support human life physically, biologically, economically, and culturally.
The negative impact on local biodiversity has intensified with the development of mine-mouth coal-fired power plants, which are already operating in South Sumatra Province, and are also planned to be built in Jambi and Riau provinces.
According to the sixth assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), nature absorbs the majority of greenhouse gas emissions (56%), therefore climate mitigation and biodiversity loss prevention efforts need to be done in parallel. Discontinuation of coal-fired power plants in megabiodiversity areas would make the Paris Agreement goals and commitments in the Convention on Biological Diversity achievable at low cost, provided that it does not exclude local residents and indigenous peoples.
The results of this research can be used as a consideration for canceling the new coal-fired power plants in Sumatra and developing renewable energy. Furthermore, it can be a factor for the consideration of coal-fired power plants that are included in the early termination scheme related to climate change.
The Central Sulawesi Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM) and the People’s Action & Ecology and Emancipation Society (AEER) will submit a petition rejecting the disposal of tailings waste into the sea from the nickel battery industry and urge the government to replace steam power plants (PLTU) with renewable energy in the nickel battery industry to the Central Sulawesi Provincial Government.
Research conducted by Ecological Action and People’s Emancipation (AEER) shows the potential environmental impact of deep-sea tailing placement (DSTP) plans selected as a method to reduce the operating costs of the nickel industry. In addition, the nickel industry in both Morowali (Central Sulawesi) and Vedas (North Maluku) still utilizes coal power plants (PLTU) as the main energy source for which carbon is in fact a source of pollutants.
Managing Coordinator Jatam Sulteng, Moh. Taufik, stated, encouraging nickel downstreaming does not mean without new homework. The track record of the nickel industry environment on land should not be extended to the sea. China itself does not apply the disposal of mining waste to the sea in its country.
“We expect a biodiversity commitment from the Chinese government as host of the UN Biodiversity Conference, which takes place in Kunming, a city in the southwestern part of china this month. We hope that this Biodiversity Conference in China, also accompanied by the Chinese Government’s commitment, not to dump mining waste into the sea from its investments abroad such as in Central Sulawesi, “he said, adding that he rejected plans to dispose of tailings waste in the Morowali sea region.
In addition, Taufik hopes that the Central Sulawesi Provincial Government, through this petition, can also show leadership in climate mitigation by placing the ocean as a blue carbon zone, by not recommending the disposal of mine waste into the sea in Central Sulawesi that can endanger biodiversity, such as the plan to dump tailings waste into the morowali sea because it endangers the biodiversity that lives in morowali sea waters.
Pius Ginting, Coordinator of AEER stated “Chinese President Xi Jinping’s climate commitment that the People’s Republic of China no longer builds new power plants abroad needed to be confirmed by disclosing information to the public that it no longer support additional new power plants in nickel industrial estates related to Chinese investment in Central Sulawesi. And strive in the near future to replace power plants that have been operating with renewable energy. This will be good for the climate and good for the health of Bahodopi residents who have become victims of air pollution.
Pius added, the Central Sulawesi Provincial Government should encourage the nickel industry not to become a center for greenhouse gas emissions because it will be bad for the image of nickel batteries from Central Sulawesi.
Moh Taufik, Coordinator of JATAM Sulteng, upiik. Sondang94@gmail.com
Pius Ginting, AEER Kordiantor, firstname.lastname@example.org/