7 Presidential Instructions on Mercury Use in Small Mining

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Jakarta (Greeners) – The use of mercury especially on people’s mining and small mining has been creating environment damages as well as health issues. As a result, government is taking actions against the use of the dangerous chemical for people’s mining.

“I receive information that mercury use in 850 mining hotspots has been creating dangerous pollution. Not just for the health of 250,000 miners but also their families, especially children and other people living near mining site,” said President Joko Widodo, in Jakarta, on Thursday (9/3).

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President Jokowi issued seven instructions to tackle the use of mercury, including people and small mining management inside and outside forest areas, stop the use of mercury on people’s mining.

“The use of mercury on people’s mining must be stopped, must be banned. When I went to Maluku province, three weeks ago, I had instructed the police to stop gold mining using mercury in Botak mountain and it had stopped,” he said.

In addition, monitoring the use of mercury as it will not only targeting small mining but also middle and large mining activities.

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The fourth instruction, monitoring on mercury distribution source as it was imported illegally.

“I have also asked the trade on mercury distribution and supply, including mercury import as I have heard information there are illegal mercury used in people’s mining,” he said.

On his sixth instruction, President encouraged for solution not limited to closing or evicting illegal mining but also to finding alternative livelihood for the miners.

Lastly, President Jokowi instructed ministry of health to provide medical support for people contaminated with the dangerous substance.

Reports by Danny Kosasih

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