Illegal Mining in Customary Forest


Hundreds people of Desa Baru, Pangkalan Jambu, Merangin District burst their anger to illegal gold mining activities within their customary forest. They set fires to all equipment found in their customary forest on February 8th, 2018. According to them, this illegal gold mining activity has been warned for times to stop running, yet, it results nothing. It kept carrying out within their area, the customary forests. Thus, this triggers their anger and fire all the equipment they find placed within their forests. This issue, the illegal gold mining activities, also known as PETI, is an old matter which happens all the time, as if it keeps going on and on. The gold mining has scrapped the edge of rivers belong to this area while the communities could do nothing to stop, although it has adverse impact on the ecology, social, and culture, this activity even has taken few of their life. Indonesian Conservation Community (KKI) WARSI recorded in 2017 that there were seven people died because of this illegal gold mining (PETI) activity. Meanwhile, 22 people died in 2016. In fact, declining number of victims caused by PETI from 2016 to 2017 cannot approve that the issue went down, yet more problems even rose. We see that, more illegal gold mining carried out means more devastated area will we find, particularly in Merangin, Sarolangun and Bungo districts. Based on Satellite Image Landsat 8 obtained by GIS Division of KKI WARSI in 2017, Sarolangun has 13,762 hectares of damaged area as the result of illegal gold mining, while Merangin has 9,966 hectares and Bungo has 4,094 hectares. To sum up, total devastated area because of this gold mining is 27,822 hectares. This analysis reveals that the area for illegal mining is increasing more than 100% in Merangin and Sarolangun Districts. It is estimated that half of total area are farming land, an area where the local societies depend their food resource on.  Illegal gold mining activities run not only in non-forest state, more...