Fighting for ecological justice

Our Forest Our Live: A Story from Muara Tae

Problems between oil palm plantation companies and indigenous peoples, mining companies and indigenous peoples, HTI companies and indigenous peoples and HPHs and indigenous peoples are problems that have not been resolved in Indonesia.

Expansion of coal and palm oil has spread to the village of Muara Tae which is located in West Kutai Regency. The expansion was carried out with the reason of meeting national energy needs. However, this argument is contradicted by the fact that more than half of coal and crude palm oil are exported abroad due to more attractive prices. Around 73.8 percent of crude palm oil production was exported abroad in 2009. In West Kutai, the increase in coal production has more than doubled from 2007 to 2009. 70 percent of national coal production was dredged from East Kalimantan. . However, 80% of national coal production was exported abroad in 2010.

The arrival of coal mining and palm oil corporations also did not have a significant impact on meeting the needs for electricity and welfare for the people of Muara Tae. Coal is one of the raw materials for electrical energy. Although one of the large corporations supplying coal to Muara Tae the most, namely PT Gunung Bayan Pratama coal, West Kutai district is one of the lowest districts in terms of electricity supply in East Kalimantan. In East Kalimantan, PLN (State Electricity Company) was also reported to have experienced a deficit of 30 MW. Ironically, more than 50 percent of national electricity sales are still for industrial and commercial combined. In terms of welfare, although Kutai Barat Regency is the 18th highest district nationally in receiving tax or non-tax revenue sharing, up to 740 billion rupiahs, the HDI (Human Development Index) of West Kutai is in the lowest 5 ranks in East Kalimantan….see attached document



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