Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Energy News .




THE PITS
Environmentalists urge scrapping of Borneo coal project
by Staff Writers
Jakarta (UPI) Nov 7, 2013


Malaysian police arrest tribespeople protesting dam
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) Nov 07, 2013 - Malaysian police on Thursday arrested eight tribespeople blocking access to a dam which they say will displace them from their lands, amid increasing protests on Borneo island.

Police arrested the eight Penans including two teenagers, took down banners and dismantled wooden barriers on the road to the remote $1.3 billion Murum dam in Sarawak state, said activist Raymond Abin.

Abin, an official with the NGO Save Sarawak's Rivers Network, said some 100 other Penans remained at the site to continue the blockade.

"The authorities just find that this is the only way to deal with the people -- refusing to deal with their demands," Abin told AFP. "The easy way is to arrest them in order to intimidate and threaten them."

A local police official confirmed eight were in custody but declined to comment further. Abin said the Penans were not told the reason for their arrest.

The Penans set up the blockade in September to demand 500,000 ringgit ($157,000) for the loss of their land, property and livelihood.

The dam is expected to flood 245 square kilometres (95 square miles) and cause 1,500 Penan and 80 Kenyah natives to lose their homes.

Sarawak Energy said the 944-megawatt dam began filling in late September and would be completed within 14 months.

It added that relocation of affected natives was set to be completed by year-end and insisted that displaced villagers were being compensated fairly.

The company dismissed the protest as "instigated" by activists.

The Murum dam is one of a series of hydroelectric facilities planned by the Sarawak state government as it pushes economic development in one of Malaysia's poorest states.

But the building spree in the resource-rich state along the powerful jungle rivers has been dogged by controversy.

Activists allege massive corruption, while natives complain it has flooded rainforests and uprooted tens of thousands of people.

Hundreds of Malaysian tribespeople have also blockaded the construction site of the nearby Baram dam.

While the Baram dam is expected to generate 1,200 megawatts of power, activists claim it will flood 400 square kilometres of rainforest (154 square miles) and displace 20,000 tribespeople.

Sarawak's longtime chief minister Taib Mahmud has faced mounting accusations of enriching himself and cronies through a stranglehold on the state's economy, charges which he denies.

Environmentalists are calling for mining giant BHP Billiton to abandon coal mining in Indonesia's central Kalimantan province, also known as Borneo.

At issue is the IndoMet coal project, a joint venture between BHP Billiton and Adaro Energy, Indonesia's second largest producer of thermal coal. BHP Billiton owns 75 percent of the project, with the remaining 25 percent held by Adaro.

IndoMet covers 865,000 acres in the Borneo rainforest and is believed to have coal reserves of more than 774 million tons, reports The Guardian newspaper. The first stage of IndoMet's development is a small operation called Haju.

Environmental group Friends of the Earth says IndoMet will cause mass deforestation and damage the rivers of the upper Barito basin.

"These are sensitive forests full of biodiversity," Nick McClean, the group's climate justice spokesman told The Guardian. "There has been some logging of the lowland areas in the past but much of the area hasn't been scientifically surveyed. We could lose species we don't know anything about," he said.

The region is inhabited by remote communities and the endangered orangutan.

"We do know that river systems absolutely will be impacted. It's alarming to think that BHP will be clearing an area simply to export coal that may not have a future."

Hendrik Siregar, Coordinator of The Indonesian Mining Advocacy Network, known as JATAM, in a news release last month said, "BHP Billiton, backed by UK shareholders and investors, tells the world that it is 'resourcing the future.' Local communities in Central Kalimantan are telling us that coal mining is destroying their future."

In a July blog post entitled "What is BHP up to in Indonesia?" Bob Burton, director of Australian environmental organization The Sunrise Group wrote that the mining giant "is keeping very quiet" about its involvement in IndoMet.

Little information on the project was disclosed in the company's presentation to analysts in June, he noted.

In response to an email inquiry, BHP Billiton told Burton that the Haju mine project would cost the company $80 million and would produce one million tons of coal a year from early 2014. However, the company did not respond when asked whether an environmental impact assessment had been undertaken.

A spokeswoman for BHP told the Guardian that the environmental impact of further mining would be fully assessed.

"Our plans do not include mining in any protection forest areas in central Kalimantan, and any development in central and east Kalimantan will be subject to detailed environmental and social impact assessments, feasibility studies and will require all appropriate permits to be in place before activities commence," the spokeswoman said.

.


Related Links
Surviving the Pits






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





THE PITS
Coal-addicted Poland gears for key UN climate talks
Warsaw (AFP) Nov 08, 2013
The UN climate talks opening in Warsaw next week will not be without a touch of irony. The chair of a high-stakes meeting to roll back greenhouse gases is none other than Poland, one of the world's most ardent users and outspoken defenders of coal. Poland's dependence on cheap and plentiful black stuff means it ranks fifth for carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution in the European Union (EU), be ... read more


THE PITS
Emissions pricing and overcompensating

EU bids to revive carbon market on eve of Warsaw climate meet

Estimating Policy-Driven Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trajectories in California

Lithuania seeking 'swift' approval of EU grid connection funds

THE PITS
New technology can harvest 'lost' energy, create electricity

Shell 'manipulates Nigeria oil spills probes': Amnesty

Colorado vote against fracking to trigger more opposition?

Lebanon's gas boom-in-waiting goes into deep freeze

THE PITS
Wind turbines blamed in death of estimated 600,000 bats in 2012

Assessing impact of noise from offshore wind farm construction may help protect marine mammals

Windswept German island gives power to the people

When the wind blows

THE PITS
The Next Big Thing in the Energy Sector: Photovoltaic Generated DC Electricity

Big beats bolster solar cell efficiency

Understanding what makes a thin film solar cell efficient

Martifer Solar and Hanwha Q CELLS Korea complete PV project in Portugal

THE PITS
Fukushima plant readies for delicate fuel rod removal

Japan's Toshiba to buy British nuclear firm: report

Volume of nuclear waste could be reduced by 90 percent

Fukushima operator TEPCO considers split: report

THE PITS
Burning biomass pellets instead of wood or plants in China could lower mercury emissions

Scientists trick algae's biological clock to create valuable compounds

Crafting a better enzyme cocktail to turn plants into fuel faster

Chickens to benefit from biofuel bonanza

THE PITS
China shows off moon rover model before space launch

China providing space training

China launches experimental satellite Shijian-16

China Moon Rover A New Opportunity To Explore Our Nearest Neighbor

THE PITS
UN climate talks amid new warnings of dire warming

Greenhouse gas in atmosphere hits new record: UN

Two-degree global warming limit 'ever-more elusive': UN

Is global heating hiding out in the oceans




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement