Developing a harmonious environment

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IN Indonesia, many companies, both private and state, have corporate social responsibility programs, although admittedly the most active are companies involved in exploiting natural resources, for example mining companies, which pay much attention to the environment.

They also focus on improving the economic status of nearby communities and enhancing the mining companies’ image through community development (Comdev) programs, which come under corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an integral part of a company’s activities.

In Indonesia, numerous private and state enterprises are active members of the Corporate Forum for Community Development, the mission of which is to increase awareness about the importance of community development programs so that companies are seen as an integral part of national development.

Most companies regard CSR as a tool to facilitate their business operations as well as to boost profit. In the case of mining companies, CSR activities especially focus on environmental issues.

Some NGOs are of the opinion that coal mining companies damage the environment. They point out that during the initial stage of exploration, coal companies must excavate to a certain depth, which means eliminating the forest and affecting the fauna and fertility of the land and causing water pollution as well as creating much dust and noise.

On one hand, the activities of mining companies do make a large contribution to the country’s economy, but on the other hand, the exploration creates problems of its own. To reduce the negative impact on the environment, the government issued Law No. 40/2007 that stipulates that mining companies must take care of the immediate environment and make annual reports as a form of the company’s accountability related to their environmental maintenance.

Indeed, as aforementioned, mining companies are most active in the implementation of CSR programs that have a direct impact on the community. Take PT Adaro Indonesia, for instance, which has an environmental rehabilitation program included its main community development activities.

PT Adaro Indonesia, a coal mining company, from its early days of establishment has committed to being a good neighbor to its surrounding communities. It has developed four pillars to make the community independent economically, intellectually and management-wise in the fields of the economy, education, health and socio-culture.

A community development program that is oriented toward the environment has a mission to eventually make the exploited area beautiful and productive again. PT Adaro Indonesia is quite serious about this mission as it has built a center to cultivate several kinds of seedlings for the rehabilitation process. Recently, PT Adaro Indonesia, which is the largest mining company in South Kalimantan, also built a waste water processing plant called WTP T-300 to produce clean water.

Meanwhile, PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) Tbk recently spent Rp 1 billion in its CSR program to construct a clean water installation for the people of Padasuka and Mangkualam villages in Pandeglang, Banten. Both villages are located close to the Cibaliung gold mine belonging to Antam. The program was implemented by Antam’s subsidiary PT Cibaliung Sumberdaya (CSD) and was officially inauguration by Pandeglang Regent Erwan Kurtubi.

About 300 families or 1,000 people in the two villages will enjoy the benefits of the clean water from the clean water installation. The clean water is expected to improve the residents’ health.

The availability of clean water also opens up various business opportunities for the villages’ residents. The clean water installation also includes the construction of the Curug Pamugas water catchment, water refinery, distribution pipes, tanks for clean water and sanitation facilities at seven locations in seven kampongs.

In the not too distant future, management of the clean water installation will be handed over to the residents of the villages in the form of the Clean Water Management Agency, which will be established by them.

For this program, PT CSD is jointly working with the Ujung Kulon National Park Board. In 2007, PT CSD signed an MoU with the Ujung Kulon National Park Board for the preservation and benefits of clean water resources in Curug Pamugas for Padasuka and Mangkualam villages. (Iwan Suci Jatmiko)

The Jakarta Post, April 22, 2010
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