Record from Information Dispute Jatam vs BLH

12 February 2014

Transparency has become a public demand. The issuance of Law No. 14/2008 about Public Information Openness (UU KIP) has made public bodies incapable of covering up information that people need. The following is an account of information dispute between the Samarinda Environmental Agency (BLH) and the East Kalimantan Mining Advocacy (Jatam).

On 21 March 2013, BLH submitted 63 environmental impact analysis (amdal) documents on all coal mining activities in Samarinda to Jatam. Jatam representative Johansyah Ismail said it was a consequence after six months of dispute at the East Kalimantan Information Commission (KI). BLH was forced through aanmaning or admonition to submit the documents before forced submission by the Samarinda State Court because BLH had violated KI’s legally binding ruling.

Every resident living near coal mining locations is vulnerable to direct and indirect effects from mining operation. Based on the record, many people were affected by mining activities, such as air pollution and loss of water resources.

Coal mining operations also damage roads and are not immune to coal mining accidents. Therefore, public access to information on amdal and mining operation is important for the people.

UU KIP guarantees freedom to information for all people and groups. Public bodies that do not comply with UU KIP will be subjected to prison sentences. Jatam sued BLH to the court six months ago where there was still constitutional guarantee. However, BLH refused to provide data on coal mining activities due to excuses, such as legality of institution and state document confidentiality.

Souce: KaltimPost

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