The Negotiations Between Indonesian Government and PT Freeport Indonesia Ignoring Environmental Recovery and Community Welfare

Press Release ELSAM

The Negotiations Between Indonesian Government and PT Freeport Indonesia Ignoring Environmental Recovery and Community Welfare

Jakarta, Juli 6, 2017 – On July 4, 2017, a number of ministers held a meeting on the continuation of PT Freeport Indonesia’s business. There are four issues discussed in the meeting related to PT Freeport, namely the extension of Freeport operations, the construction of smelters, the divestment of shares and investment stability.

Although it has not yet been decided whether the operating license of PT Freeport Indonesia will be extended or not, unfortunately the discussions at that meeting ignore the most important issue. The fortune of indigenous Papuans and the environment impacted by PT Freeport Indonesia’s operations has not seemed to be the subject of the meeting. The involvement of the people who suffered losses from PT Freeport Indonesia has always been ignored by the government.

Previously, the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) found 6 (six) violations committed by PT Freeport Indonesia, which was reported in the examination results with the specific purpose of the work contract of fiscal year 2013-2015. One of the violations found by BPK is the mining of PT. Freeport Indonesia caused by disposing of operational waste in rivers, estuaries and seas. As a result, the state suffered a loss IDR 185 trillion.

BPK also stated that PT Freeport Indonesia has used unlicensed protected forest in Freeport mining operations at least 4,535.93 hectares, from 2008 to 2015. As a result, the state could potentially lose around IDR 270 billion due to the potential loss of non-tax revenues (PNBP)

In fact, the environmental damage caused by waste disposal and the use of protected forests without these permits also harm the communities surrounding the forest. They lose their rights to water and a viable living environment.

In addition, PT Freeport Indonesia is also alleged to have violated the prevailing employment regulation because it has passed unemployment to 4,000 workers unilaterally. The dismissal was done by PT Freeport Indonesia in which thousands of workers went on strike action since 1 May 2017. The local government and central government have also given a warning to PT Freeport Indonesia regarding the mass layoffs, however, in fact, it is still ignored by the company.

The various problems should be considered by the government to follow up the business of PT Freeport Indonesia. Negotiations between the government and PT Freeport Indonesia have never discussed about the restoration of the environment and human rights violations that occurred in PT Freeport Indonesia’s concession areas. In this regard, all results of negotiations and policies will have a direct impact on the survival, welfare and environmental protection in the land of Papua.

The government should make and prepare livelihoods for communities in the vicinity of mining miners after the expiration of minerals in the PT Freeport Indonesia operations area for 10 or maybe 50 years ahead. The utilization of all natural resources should be used for the welfare and improvement of the quality of people living in Papua.

With regard to the above matters, it should be a special attention to the Indonesian government when negotiating with PT Freeport Indonesia. In relation to this, the involvement of the Papuan community should be engaged in any negotiations between the Indonesian government and PT Freeport Indonesia. Do not pay attention to the interests of PT Freeport Indonesia, which will then sacrifice the interests of the people in Papua.

Jakarta, 06 July 2017
Institute for Policy Reseach and Advocacy (ELSAM)

Wahyu Wagiman
Executive Director

For further information, please contact Andi Muttaqien (Deputy Direktur of Advocacy), Phone 0812 1996 984 or Ari Yurino (Staff of Human Rights Advocacy), Phone 0858 8206 3232