Campaign Against Tin Mining: Bangka Belitung Islands

Located on the east coast of Sumatra, Bangka Belitung Islands is known for their tin miners and pepper. The beaches itself, offers more than what you can expect.

The most iconic natural phenomenon in Bangka Belitung is the giant boulders on beaches, creating incredible giant granite rock sculptures. This phenomenon has been attracting tourist for the past few years.

Known for their tin mines, tin mining in Bangka Belitung has been exploited for more than decades. These islands produce more than 90% of the tin in Indonesia, that also signifies that Bangka Belitung is the second largest tin producer in the world. Though the mining activities has helped increases the wealth of local miners, but on the other hand it damaged the environmental stability and contaminated the land.

The scale of environmental damage in Bangka Belitung can be clearly seen from the air, revealing a crater with turquoise water from unregulated tin mining. Offshore mining, especially reduced the water quality, and increase the death rate of coral reefs. Inland mining activity reduces biodiversity and causes permanent damages to the soil.

By 2017, over 40% of the island’s workforce was currently involved in tin mining production, and obviously this needs to be cut, especially the small-scale traditional illegal mining operations that are operating all over the island.


Campaign Against Tin Mining

The local government are trying to encourage people to work in tourism and agriculture industries. An approach need to be applied in environmental planning to recover ex-mining sites. Nowadays, there are few private sectors who are working on strategic approachment for developing beach recreational site, eco-park, a new landscape ex-mining development based on sustainability and local wisdom.

Private sectors, for instance TERANGI an NGO based in Jakarta are working together with the government as well as the local people to develop a model of an eco development that emphasizes on eco – system in ex-mining area named “HKM Juru Seberang” in Belitung. Juru Seberang Village is a sample case of post-mining site planning through development of eco-park, re-arranging the environment, creating a friendly atmosphere for human, flora, and fauna in a balance ecology.

Those efforts of re-generating nature as a sustainable habitat is done by applying the concept of re-greening and reclamation of ex-mining sites; conservation of water system; improvement and regeneration land’s quality; and tourism and recreation.

For Bangka itself, there are few conservation areas run by private sectors for tourism such as Bangka Botanical Garden and Bangka Mangrove Park Kurau.

Sustainable environment and natural resources are important for the world that we live and depend on. Therefore, an immediate action is needed. The development of post-mining areas plan with ecological based requires understanding that an area is affected and affects the people who lived around there as well.

Implementation of development must be integrated by all components from stakeholders, government, NGO, Department of Forestry, as well as the society itself. Socialization of regional development should be through community supervision, where mechanism of development should be done horizontally through persuasive approachment, so that created a unity, sustainable management, which will create public trust and an affective and efficient result of region environmental development.

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