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West Papua Thriving Mining Industry: Balancing Economic Environmental

by Senaman
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For decades, the Indonesian province of West Papua has relied heavily on extracting mineral resources that can be find easily throughout the province.

Although other regions in Indonesia are not inferior in terms of the number of mineral resources that can be use for economic purposes,

West Papua’s mining industry is unique because of its enormous role in supporting not only the economy of this province but that of the whole of Indonesia.

Preview of West Papua‘s Mineral Resources

Various mineral resources found in West Papua are gold, coal, iron, copper, bronze, lime, and so on.

Coal mining in the last few decades has been one of the most prominent due to the large demand for coal from the Indonesian national industry.

Apart from coal, natural gas is also a form of a high-value natural resource from West Papua, such as those found in Bintuni Bay.

Furthermore, although now the Grasberg Mine, which PT Freeport Indonesia owns, has become part of the province of Central Papua,

There is no doubt that the entire territory of Indonesian Papua has many mineral resources whose potential cannot afford to be ignore by both local and external actors.

Balancing the Industry with Environmental Responsibility

However, with the increasing popularity of extraction by West Papua’s mining industry, greater scrutiny has been focuse on this industry because of its impact, which can cause damage to the environment.

Because there is no longer a shortage of cases of environmental damage in Indonesia due to the absence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices by large companies,

The magnitude of scrutiny against West Papua’s mining industry is a certainty.

Pressured not only by local interest groups but also by international groups such as environmental activism groups,

Large companies working in the mining industry in West Papua must ultimately fulfil their CSR responsibilities. To balance economic development and environmental preservation in the province.

1. Impact on Local Society

One of the most visible impacts of the development of West Papua’s mining industry is the availability of new opportunities for residents to work in this industry.

With the benefits of this extractive industry and the relative lack of public facilities like in Java and other islands,

The local people of West Papua who live near the mines have made these places their main places of work.

However, criticism arose when many residents could not get full compensation. For their daily work in the mines due to the unclear legal status of the mines.

2. Impact on the Local Environment

The forests and rivers, which for thousands of years have been the main blood vessels for the people of West Papua,

Are also threatened by this industry due to deforestation and contamination of the rivers from the results of mineral distillation.

Without the reforestation of forests that have been eroded by mining and river cleaning to improve their cleanliness and quality,

Local people cannot fully use the economic benefits of this industry to improve their quality of life.

3. CSR from the Industry

In many ways, national and international companies in West Papua’s mining industry. Have tried to fulfil their CSR obligations to improve the quality of life of the people of this province.

In 2021, PT Kilang Pertamina Internasional (KPI) win an award. From the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry for their CSR program,

To restore access to clean water and build a health clinic. This program is carry out in the Sorong area and its surroundings.

Apart from this company, Tangguh LNG has also tried to carry out its CSR program,

In the 2015 to 2019 period to preserve the environment. And empower local human resources in Bintuni Bay and its surroundings.

Even though various CSR efforts have been make, there are still so many improvements. That must be done in West Papua’s mining industry

To balance the economic growth of this province and the environmental preservation of this province in a meaningful way.



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