Environmentalists in Indonesia’s South Kalimantan province have emerged victorious after a three-year legal battle against a company that planned to displace thousands of people and mine coal in a rich, mountainous rainforest. The Supreme Court rejected last month the coal company’s final appeal in a lawsuit that argued the former minister of energy and mines should not have given an operating permit to PT Mantimin Coal Mining (MCM) because it had not produced an environmental permit first. “This is good news in the midst of the ecological disaster that’s happening in South Kalimantan,” Kisworo Dwi Cahyono, director of the provincial chapter of Indonesian environmental NGO Walhi, said in a recent online discussion. “The people of South Kalimantan awaited this decision after going through a long process and twice unsuccessfully suing in lower courts. Finally, the people’s voice was heard, and we won.” Director of Walhi in South Kalimantan, Kisworo Dwi Cahyono, points to the Batutangga concession area on a map in the Walhi office in Banjarbaru. The Meratus Mountains and Central Hulu Sungai district stand out as the only green spaces in the province otherwise a mosaic of plantations and mines. Photo by Ian Morse for Mongabay. Walhi lodged the lawsuit in February 2018 against MCM as well as the former mining minister, Ignasius Jonan. The company’s permit to operate in a 5,908-hectare (14,600-acre) concession in the Meratus Mountains was issued in December 2017. Two other MCM concessions were given operating permits at the same time, which by a 2017…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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