In WRM Bulletin Nr 1 (23/5/97) we informed on PT Tanjung Enim Lestari (PT TEL) plans to establish a huge pulp mill in South Sumatra. Despite protests from local communities and NGOs the project continues. Although PT TEL has not still received the necessary government license (which is to be taken for granted since President Suharto’s eldest daughter, Tutut, is a shareholder in the project herself), the company has already cleared 800 hectares of the 1,250 hectares of forested lands the factory site will occupy. On June 23 -with the strong opposition of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI)- the Environmental Impact Assessment of the project was approved. This study completely ignored several important issues, e.g.: the source of raw materials; the way local farmers, rubber tappers and villagers were forced by the company to give up their lands for the developing of the project; how wastes will be treated before their disposal in the River Lematang, which is the only source of water for domestic use for the surrounding communities and source of livelihoood for local fishermen.
Source: Down to Earth. Nr 34. August 1997.