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Jakarta Post

BHP Billiton encroaching into the Heart of Borneo

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, October 23, 2013   /  04:02 pm

An Indonesian activist is set to slam the board of mining giant BHP Billiton during its annual general meeting (AGM) in London, UK.

The activist, Indonesian Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM) coordinator Hendrik Siregar, will raise concerns over seven coal concessions collectively covering an area of more than 350,000 hectares in the relatively unspoiled rain forest in the center of Borneo

These concessions overlap into the transnational Heart of Borneo conservation area, described by the Asian Development Bank as '€œthe lungs of Southeast Asia".

Hendrik will attend the AGM to voice his concerns about the Indomet project in Central and East Kalimantan. The Indomet project is a joint venture between Indonesia'€™s second biggest thermal coal producer PT Adaro. BHP Billiton holds a 75 percent share, with Adaro holding the other 25 percent.

"BHP Billiton, backed by UK shareholders and investors, tells the world that it is 'resourcing the future'. But local communities in Central Kalimantan are telling us that coal mining is destroying their future," Hendrik said in an official release.

Hendrik's trip to London follows a visit to Indonesia and the site of the Indomet project by the UK organizations Down to Earth and the World Development Movement and coincides with the launch of a report by the World Development Movement called "Banking while Borneo Burns".

The report highlights the wide-ranging complicity of UK investment in Indonesia'€™s '€œcoal rush'€, which is devastating for local communities and their environment.

Hendrik will also be meeting with parliamentarians, investors and the public during his trip.

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