245,000 Ton/Year Carbon Sequestration Mangroves Threatened to Loss by Coal Mines in Kalimantan, AEER Study

The carbon sequestration of mangroves, which are in danger of being lost, is greater than the carbon reduction of the Jeneponto wind power plant project

Press release

Association for Ecological Action and People’s Emancipation

Jakarta (28 April 2022) Kalimantan Island is the largest coal source in Indonesia, with almost 86% of national coal production1. The high mining activity in Kalimantan causes a decrease in environmental services and disturbances to wildlife. Kalimantan is an island rich in biodiversity.

According to a study conducted by the Association for Ecological Action and People’s Emancipation (AEER)2, there are 35 coal mines with an area of more than 10,000 hectares each located within a 25 kilometers radius of the conservation area. In addition, there are at least 5 species classified as critically endangered in and around the mining area (25 kilometers radius). The species are Eretmochelys imbricata (hawksbill turtle), Hopea rudiformis, Pongo pygmaeus (Kalimantan orangutan), Aquilaria malaccensis (eaglewood), and Sphyrna lewini (hammerhead shark).

A coal mining site in Kalimantan, April 2022 (photo: Jatam East Kalimantan )

According to GBIF biodiversity data, critically endangered species were found in the 7 mining companies studied, namely PT Insani Baraperkasa, PT Multi Harapan Utama, PT Batubara Selaras Sapta, PT Berau Indobara Semesta, PT Singlurus Pratama Coal, PT Kaltim Prima Coal, and PT Persada Berau Jaya Sakti. A total of 33 species of endangered rarity level and 69 species of vulnerable rarity level living in and around mining areas. Some of these species are Nasalis larvatus (proboscis monkey) and Helarctos malayanus (sun bear). The mining activities of PT Kaltim Prima Coal and PT Indominco Mandiri contributed to the decline in the carrying capacity of orangutan habitat by up to 60%3.

According to the 2019 land cover data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the mining activities of the 19 mining companies studied have the potential to pose a threat to the sustainability of the mangrove ecosystem. The mining companies are PT Amanah Putra Borneo, PT Arutmin Indonesia, PT Batubara Selaras Sapta, PT Berau Coal, PT Berau Indobara Semesta, PT Borneo Indobara, PT Delma Mining Corporation, PT Indominco Mandiri, PT Insani Baraperkasa, PT Kaltim Prima Coal, PT Kideco Jaya Agung, PT Lanna Harita Indonesia, PT Multi Harapan Utama, PT Perkasa Inakakerta, PT Persada Berau Jaya Sakti, PT Santan Batubara, PT Singlurus Pratama, PT Sumber Daya Energi, and PT Tambang Damai. The carbon absorption capacity of mangrove ecosystems around mining can reach 245,028.37 tons of carbon per year, exceeding the capacity of the Tolo wind power plant in Jeneponto, South Sulawesi which only reduces 160,600 tons of carbon. If coal mining activities around the mangrove ecosystem continue, the ability to absorb carbon will decrease as a result of the degradation of the mangrove ecosystem.

Mining activities have changed landscapes on a large scale and released pollutants that damage the ecosystems that host thousands of species of flora and fauna. Land clearing for mining activities damages microclimate factors such as temperature and rainfall4. Land clearing that is carried out eliminates various environmental services and harms the quality of life.

Iqbal Patiroi, AEER Association’s Biodiversity and Climate Program Coordinator stated that mining activities on the island of Kalimantan need to be reduced and stopped, accompanied by a transition process that is fair to all parties and the environment. In addition, restoration and rehabilitation efforts in each mining area must be carried out and monitored closely and seriously to form a sustainable ecosystem. Thus, wild animals can live safely in the wild and carry out their ecological role so that the living environment remains in a balanced condition.

Media contact:

Muhammad Iqbal Patiroi, Biodiversity and Climate Program Coordinator iqbalpatiroi@aeer.info

References:

  1. Performance Report of the Directorate General of Mineral and Coal in 2020
  2. To get copy of the report, contact AEER, aeermail[at]gmail.com
  3. https://www.forina.org/_files/ugd/d1b392_25fc22daefbc4cff9f3b026b893e66e1.pdf?index=true
  4. El-Hamid, H. T., Caiyong, W., & Yongting, Z. (2019). Geospatial Analysis of Land Use Driving Force in Coal Mining Area: Case Study in Ningdong, China. Geojournal, 1-16.

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