Sejarah Eksploitasi Sumberdaya Alam Kalimantan (English Version)

Sejarah Eksploitasi Sumberdaya Alam Kalimantan
The History of Exploitation of Natural Resources

Outside pressure on livelihood demands becoming more intrusive lately. Firstly, economic pressure had forced the exploitation of natural resources by a means of conversion of available resources on earth’s surface, i.e. rainforest timber as raw material for plywood factories and sawmills. Forest and rural areas also converted into palm oil plantation.

Secondly, resources within the earth’s core i.e. minerals were dug out and used to fulfil the demand of population as well as world market. It shows that post-traditional community needs are prioritized and pre-modern communities needs are put second. Raw materials are located at the “Lebensraum” of traditional groups. As long as history goes, Kalimantan seen as unlimited national resources, yet the resources are actually very limited.

Demands for timber from world market are still high, yet log production had long decreased due to difficulties in extending operational permit or illegal cutting. During my trip, one of the passenger sit next to me said that he is working in plywood factory in West Kalimantan and he admits that the supply of raw material is not sufficient at the moment iron

To address the lack of log in Kalimantan, log from Papua are imported. Tree felling for commercial purpose is not happening in every part of Kalimantan.

One of the most important histories of mineral exploitation probably is the mining and processing of iron ore found all over Borneo by the introduction of iron processing skill from Asia between 5th and 10th century AD (Bellwood 1985). Apo Kayan and Montalat River located upriver of Barito basin, Mantikai River down of Sambas River, Tayan River down of Kapuas River in West Kalimantan, had the iron ore stock and are famous for iron processing and iron made goods (Ave and King 1986).

Gold and diamond also had been collecting for a long time, traded to Sultanate’s Palaces and to Hindu and Chinese tradesman. According to Dayak’s tradition, Dayak people had never made or wear gold accessories (Sellato 1989a), yet gold trade had affected this island’s culture. Gold had been exported from western part of Borneo since approximately the 13th century and by the end of the 17th century Chinese tradesman had loaded their vessels with gold in Sambas (Hamilton 1930).

Chinese people did commercial gold mining at first. In the height of gold rush by the end of 18th century and the beginning of 19th century, the richest and most easily accessed gold mine were extracted first, the biggest become the one located in Sambas and Pontianak surround Mandor area.

The Chinese people then move on to western part of Landak area, following the Kapuas River basin, and once the stock run out they start to dig smaller mines deeper into the woods. By mid 19th century, Kalimantan’s gold mining industry decreased rapidly yet leaving long-term impacts to the environment and the culture.

Nowadays, Kalimantan had been divided into gold mining concessions in Sambas, West Kalimantan at the Schwaner Mountain Range, Central Kalimantan and Kelian River, East Kalimantan.

Public coal mining under the supervision of the Sultanate had started in Kalimanatan by the 19th century, the result are low quality coal in small quantity and for local use only (Lindblad 1988). State-owned small mine in Palaran near Tenggarong in Kutai Sultanate is a special exception. First modern coal mine in Kalimantan is “Oranje Nassau’ mine operated by Dutch in Pengaron, South Kalimantan in 1849. This mine used more to express Dutch’s power over the island’s mineral and not because of its commercial potential (Lindblad 1988).

With the same idea in mind, England create “British North Borneo Company” to operate in Sabah, because they’re interested to another coal mine in Labuan. These colonial rights could be enacted only with some difficulties.

By 1888 Dutch’s coal company (Oost-Borneo Maatchappij) open a big coalmine in Batu Panggal by the side of Mahakam River. There are also small mining done by locals in Martapura along Barito, Mahakam Hulu and Berau River. By 1903, with Dutch’s investment, the largest coalmine located in Laut Island start operational and by 1910 had extracted approximately 25% of whole Indonesia production (Lindblad 1988).

The production from large mining belong to Dutch are exported and smaller production are targeted for local market. the low quality and the presence of cheaper coal from Europe especially from England had affect the development of Dutch’s mines in Kalimantan. However, the discovery of new coal fields had create a new attention towards Kalimantan coal.

Mineral mining in Kalimantan through Foreign Investment had started with contracts of Phase III+, namely Indo Muro Kencana in Central Kalimantan and Kelian Equatorial Mining in East Kalimantan. Coal mining were started with contracts of Phase I by Adaro and Arutmin in South Kalimantan and by Berau Coal, Indominco Mandiri, KPC, Kideco Jaya Agung, Multi Harapan Utama, Tanito Harum in East Kalimantan.

At the moment, there are at least 21 large mining company in South Kalimantan, 15 Perjanjian Kontrak Bagi hasil Batu Bara dan Kontrak Karya [KK] serta 154 KP (Coal Sharecrops Agreement), while in Central Kalimantan there are 15 Perjanjian Kontrak Bagihasil Batu Bara dan KK serta 188 Karya Pertambangan (Coal Sharecrops Agreement).

Timber exploitation in Kalimantan had been started long time ago and played an important part during Dutch collonialization. Starting from 1904, several timber concessions had been issued and given for the up river part of Barito River and unoccupied areas along eastern coast, especially Kutai (Potter 1988).

80% of the timbers exploited are Dipterocarpaceae, while timbers coming from eastern coast are mainly ironwood (van Braam 1914). The wide Dipterocarpaceae forests in eastern coast are more difficult to harvest and several effort in the beginning had met with failure despite the huge investment (Potter 1988).

By 1942, Dutch authorities prepared a holistic forest map for the area of South Borneo and East Borneo (including the now East-South-Central Kalimantan) that shows 94% of the area is forested. The figures on the width of forested areas issued in 1929 are still used to issue forest concession permits in 1975 (Hamzah 1978; Potter 1988).

Forest conservation had become concern since the colonial period. Four forested areas are declared as hydrology reserve in Southeast Borneo, namely the mountains of Laut Island, and three natural reserves including Mount Meratus that are stretched from north to south (van Suchtelen 1933). Massive trees felling are started in 1967, by that time 77% of forested areas or approximately 41.470.000 hectares are declared to be state owned forest. By that time the government faced a heavy economic pressure therefore forest concessions permits were given easily and with cheap prices to foreign countries interested in exploit the large tropical forest. By 1972 the width of concession areas had reached 26,2 million hectares and then increased to 31 million hectares by 1982 especially in Central Kalimantan and East Kalimantan (Ave & King).

Large plantation industry in Kalimantan started in West Kalimantan around early 80s by PTPN, a state owned company. It is held by PTP/PTPN VII with its head office in Pontianak. Started from there, a phenomenon was created, Sanggau as Palm Oil Premiere. Land used for this plantation could be called Other Land Use (APL) of forested area.

By 2006, 4.5 million hectares had been allocated in Central Kalimantan for a Large Private Plantation (PBS). At the moment there are 104 operational PBS covering an area of 1.7 million hectares and 196 non-operational PBS covering an area of 2.8million hectares.

South Kalimantan planned to open 1.1 million hectares palm oil plantation where 400 thousand hectares are already operational and the newly allocated land are 700 thousand hectares. While in East Kalimantan, 2.6 million hectares (2005) forested areas are about to be converted into plantation, where 4.09 million hectares had been given as concessions to 186 companies yet only 34 are operational. West Kalimantan (July 2006) had given concessions for palm oil plantation as large as 1,461,648 hectares to 79 companies. Of those numbers, 127,100 hectares are converted forested areas. Therefore, total plantation that would be opened in the whole Kalimantan would reach at least 10 million hectares.

Unfortunately, the development and natural resources exploitation, particularly forest for plantation and other conversion in Kalimantan had fails to took into account the condition of forest coverage that had been reduced, where: only 15.65% primary forest remain, 16.93% secondary forest, 0.26% primary wetland forest, 11.31% secondary wetland forest and the remains are 55.84% non forested areas [Sources: Analysis of the Satellite 2003].

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One thought on “Sejarah Eksploitasi Sumberdaya Alam Kalimantan (English Version)

  1. gideon

    thanks sirr !!!!!

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