Report blames coal-fired plant in Bali for pollution, loss of livelihoods

first_imgArticle published by Basten Gokkon A coal-fired power plant in Celukan Bawang village in Bali, Indonesia, was completed in 2015 to provide up to two-fifth of the resort island’s electricity and help jump-start the local economy.An investigation by advocacy group Greenpeace has since revealed persistent opposition to the project by residents, who have voiced concerns over health and environmental issues, as well as land compensation.In its report, Greenpeace calls on the district, provincial and national governments to regularly monitor the changes in the area and focus on development based on renewable energy sources.The district environmental agency says its own tests show that air and water quality in the area remain within safe limits. It says it has required the plant operator to submit an environmental report every six months. Away from the frenetic tourism development that has taken over the beaches of southern Bali, the Indonesian resort island’s northern coast remains largely rural and agrarian. Per capita income here is lower than in the south, and authorities hoped for an economic revival with the construction of a coal-fired power plant, underwritten by Chinese loans.But the Celukan Bawang plant, completed in 2015, has instead been blamed by environmental advocacy group Greenpeace for polluting the local environment and depriving residents of their livelihoods. This is in addition to long-running disputes over the 40 hectares (99 acres) of land on which it sits.In a report published in April, Greenpeace quoted a number of residents and local officials it had interviewed in May 2017 and who were opposed to the power plant. It concluded that the plant was “destroying local livelihoods and threatening the health of nearby communities,” and that the interviews “revealed problems over land and compensation, the impact on the local economy, environmental degradation and health impacts caused by the power plant.”This image from Google Maps shows Celukan Bawang village and the coal plant on its coast.The 426-megawatt plant was built by a Chinese-Indonesian consortium that included China Huadian Engineering Co. Ltd, Merryline International Plt. and PT General Energy Bali, and received funding of $700 million in the form of loans from state-owned China Development Bank. It reportedly burns through 5,200 tons of coal a day, and can meet two-fifths of Bali’s power demand, according to Jian Fang Shuai, a director at Huadian.From the outset, however, the project has been opposed by residents concerned about pollution, waste, their livelihoods, and unresolved land compensation deals. A third of the plant’s site remains under dispute, according to Greenpeace.Ketut Mangku Wijana, a 56-year-old resident, was one of those interviewed who told Greenpeace he would not give up his land. He told the group that he did not sell his land to the plant operator because they could not agree on a fair price.“They have not been transparent since the very beginning and they also used a middle man to buy my land on the cheap,” he said.If the community had known the land would be used for a power plant, he added, “most of them would probably not have sold their land.”Karimun, 63, lives just 50 meters (164 feet) from where the plant’s smoke stacks stand today, with nine other family members. She complained of dust, fumes and liquid waste that she said she saw being dumped near her home.“I’m worried about my health,” she said in the report. “I’ve gotten sick, so have my grandchildren, usually from respiratory issues and fevers. But what can I say. The price is not right, so I don’t want to move.”The villagers interviewed by Greenpeace also said the power plant affected the local economy for the worse. Fishing is one of the main sources of livelihood in the area, but local fishermen are having to go further out to sea because catches closer to shore have declined.Eko, a member of a fishing cooperative in Celukan Bawang village, blamed coal freighters for damaging the coral reefs and driving fish away. The power plant has also necessitated the building of a dock for the ships, which Mulyadi, a district councilman, said had destroyed the coastal ecosystem.The Celukan Bawang coal-fired power plant has been blamed by advocacy group Greenpeace for damaging the environment, public health and the local economy. Image courtesy of Alit Kertaraharja/Mongabay-Indonesia.Also at issue is the plant operator’s promise to hire local residents. Agus Adnan, the Celukan Bawang village council head, said the number of positions being offered was too low.“The number of local residents hired to work at the plant does not compare with the level of grief they endured,” he said in the report.Nearly everyone quoted in the report complained of health problems. Emissions from coal-fired power plants can expose people living within the vicinity of such facilities to dangerous levels of microscopic particles known as PM2.5. Long-term exposure to such particulates can cause acute respiratory infections and cardiovascular disease. Other noxious emissions produced by coal-fired power plants include nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide, and heavy metals like mercury.“Governments at all levels continue to ignore these impacts. The surrounding community is left alone to deal with the problems,” Greenpeace said in a statement on April 16.It has called on the district, provincial and national governments to monitor air quality and conduct periodic medical checks on the community living around the power plant; to monitor the environmental degradation caused by the plant and scrap a planned expansion; and to develop a national energy plan based on sustainable, renewable energy.Local officials, however, are skeptical. The environmental agency in Buleleng district, where the plant is located, told Mongabay-Indonesia that its own tests showed that water and air quality near the power plant were at acceptable levels.It said the pH of the seawater near the plant was 8.37, below the upper limit of 8.5. Meanwhile, six samples of seawater gave an average water temperature of 30.9 degrees Celsius (87.6 degrees Fahrenheit), lower than the limit of 35 degrees Celsius (85 degrees Fahrenheit).The agency also said it had examined the plant’s waste facility and concluded it was in line with official requirements. It has ordered the plant operator to submit an environmental report to the agency every six months, according to environmental agency chief I Made Gelgel.“It’s not about whether or not we believe [the Greenpeace report],” Gelgel said. “But we have to look at the report in detail: Who’s being poisoned? Where’s the proof?”A coal pit at the Celukan Bawang power plant in northern Bali. Image courtesy of Alit Kertaraharja/Mongabay-Indonesia.Banner image: Balinese fishermen from Celukan Bawang village stage a protest against the coal plant for pollution and job loss. Image courtesy of Greenpeace.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Activism, Air Pollution, Carbon Emissions, Coal, Conflict, Energy, Environment, Environmental Activism, Fossil Fuels, Land Conflict, Pollution, Public Health, Social Conflict, Water Pollution center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img

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