JAKARTA — Hundreds of mining concessions across Indonesia lie in areas prone to earthquakes, landslides and floods, making them ticking time bombs for local communities, according to a new report. The Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam), an Indonesian NGO, says 104 mining concessions, covering a combined area of 1.6 million hectares (3.9 million acres) — half the size of Belgium — are vulnerable to earthquakes. Forty-nine of these concessions are located on the island of Sumatra, with 23 on Sulawesi and 21 in the Malukus. Most are opposed by communities living in those areas. “These mines aren’t operating in vacant space,” said Jatam legal researcher Muhammad Jamil. “The majority of them are operating in disaster areas.” Jatam data from 2019 show the government has issued at least 783 mining licenses in disaster-prone areas. Eleven coal-fired power plants are also located in areas vulnerable to disasters that include landslides and floods. An active mine pit at the PT Singlurus Pratama coal mine in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Image by David Woodbury. ‘Very real’ consequences The issue of mining-related natural disasters has come under the spotlight recently following widespread flooding in the Bornean province of South Kalimantan in January. Environmental activists and a senior minister attributed the scale of the flooding to the degradation of the water catchment area by coal mines and oil palm plantations. The environment minister and the president, however, blamed the high volume of rainfall. Not so, said Arie Rompas, Greenpeace Indonesia’s forest campaign team leader, pointing to data showing…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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