President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has signed the new Coal and Mineral Mining Law, which is meant to expand Indonesia’s mining industry but is marred with controversy over its socioenvironmental impacts and lack of procedural transparency.
According to a copy obtained by The Jakarta Post, Jokowi signed Law No. 3/2020 on June 10, a month after the House of Representatives (DPR) approved the bill on May 12. Presidential expert staff member Dini Shanti Purwono has confirmed the President’s signing.
“The Mining Law is hoped to balance out legal certainty, business certainty and corporate compliance,” Dini told the Post on Thursday.
In particular, companies were expected to comply with laws related to the environment and obligations to the state, she added.
As the country grapples with the COVID-19 crisis, lawmakers went ahead to approve the controversial revision of the 2009 Coal and Mineral Mining Law, despite outcry from civil society organizations.
Notable revisions include quadrupling the maximum size of traditional mining zones to 100 hectares and allowing mining activities in rivers and the sea. Meanwhile, the revision cuts red tape for miners by centralizing permit issuance at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry instead of keeping governors and regents in charge.
Activists have lambasted the DPR for not giving many stakeholders, including civil society groups, foreign investors and regents, time to scrutinize the bill.
Eight civil society organizations, including Greenpeace and the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), have mobilized grassroots support for challenging the new Mining Law through a judicial review.
“Deliberations in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic left no room for public participation and information,” Edo Rakhman of Walhi Indonesia said on May 12. “What the House did was like burglary in the middle of a fire.”