Letter to GCF Board Members at the 21st GCF Board Meeting in Manama, Bahrain

Updated: Mar 25, 2019


To GCF Board Members at the 21st GCF Board Meeting in Manama, Bahrain

Dear GCF Board Members,

We, Civil Society Groups, urge you to reject the approval of FP 083 "Indonesia Geothermal Resource Risk Mitigation Project” proposed by the World Bank.

This project proposal was prepared hastily, and did not undergo proper process of information disclosure and consultation with indigenous peoples and local communities who could be potentially affected by the project. It also failed to address all the environmental, social and gender aspects of the sub-projects.

Details of our concerns with this proposed project are as follows:

1.The Project does not consider the ‘ring of fire’ fragile ecosystem.


All documents related to the FP 083 did not recognize the geothermal site, the tectonic plates boundary movements and potentially devastating risks in and around the project site. Indonesia is composed of more than 17,000 small and big islands located on the 'ring of fire' - a volcanic belt where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. The volcanoes in Indonesia are among the most active of the Pacific Ring of Fire. They are formed due to subduction zones of three main active tectonic plates namely the Eurasian Plate, Pacific Plate, and Indo-Australian Plate. Some of most active volcanoes are Kelud and Mount Merapi on Java island, both responsible for thousands of deaths in the region. Other active volcanos are Sinabung in Sumatra,Gunung Agung in Bali, and Gunung Slamet in Java, all showing volcanic activity since 2013. About 90 percent of all earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire, which is dotted with 75 percent of all the active volcanoes on earth. Just weeks ago Indonesia experienced earthquake with tsunami in Lombok, Palu, and Dongala with devastating impacts to the local peoples – resulting to deaths of more than a thousand, loss of properties and livelihoods of the communities.



2. The Project does not provide any description of the fragile ecosystem of geothermal reserves and sites that is vulnerable to volcano eruption and volcanoes induced earthquakes.


Geothermal potentials in Indonesia are on the volcanoes and around 70% from the forest area. The information in Figure 3: Designated Geothermal Work Areas by Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources on page 10 of the proposal, did not disclose the fact that those listed work areas are on the foot and/or surrounded by volcanoes. It seems that the World Bank has forgotten the experience of Sidoarjo volcano mudflow in 2006 that poured out mud at a rate of 180,000 m3/day at its peak due to the blowout of a natural gas well drilled by PT Lapindo Brantas, a company owned by a politician and a former Indonesian minister. The company’s officials argued that it was caused by a distant earthquake, but studies show that it was triggered by drilling activity occurred near the arc of volcanoes where geothermal activities were abundant.



3. The project must take into account the past experience in financing geothermal projects in Indonesia.


The Clean Technology Fund (CTF) in 2013 developed a financing plan for geothermal development in Indonesia totally in the amount of US$ 3,1 billion composed from IBRD (US$ 655 million), ADB (US$ 630 million) and IFC/ADB (US$ 725 million). The World Bank has to conduct an assessment of multiple geothermal project impacts (in this case this CTF financing plan) before financing another project particularly related to volcanic activities on its environmental, gender and social impacts. Otherwise, the same impacts and problems will be repeated.



4. The Project does not provide assurance that exploration/drilling activities on the sites of sub-projects will not induce fractures and earthquakes.


The Project indicated that it will implement 20 individual projects and lists additional 45 potential projects that will be supported by GCF (see Annex 1: List of Potential Pipeline Projects). Most of the project sites listed are located near the volcanoes, even those in small islands. Given the nature of activity to be undertaken by FP083, the risk of inducing devastating earthquake is high and the project failed to provide information on how to address this. Moreover, if the exploration/drillings activities do not result in confirmation of the geothermal sources, while land/forest clearings already conducted with impacts of mudflow into the river system and degradation of forest ecosystem as shown in some cases in geothermal explorations in Central Java, the project failed to provide information on how to address the problems and responsible to restore and compensate the loss and destruction.



5. The World Bank is yet to disclose locations of those 20 sub-projects and submit the environmental, gender and social impact assessment of each individual project for consideration.


The proposal does not provide detailed information on individual sub-projects, its environmental and social assessments (ESS) and well as gender assessment and action plan. Since this is a high-risk project in a fragile ecosystem of volcanoes and earthquake, each individual each project has to present respective ESS and gender risk assessment for approval, and not as a package by the GCF Board. To provide a context, here are some of the issues experienced by indigenous and local communities residing around the geothermal exploration activities and power plants in Indonesia:


• The construction of PLTP Baturraden geothermal plant in Central Java destroyed a waterfall and contaminating rivers essential to the daily needs of villagers. Muds coming from forest clearing led to local communities loosing their livelihoods. • Forest clearing and exploration activities of PLTP Gunung Slamet geothermal plant located on the foot of Mt. Slamet in Central Java caused contamination and flow of mud into the rivers of the area, affecting forest ecosystem. • Villagers living near the geothermal Mataloko in Flores (one of Eastern Sunda Islands) complained about the strong sulfur smell from the plant. The sulfur smoke also affected their crops like cloves, coffee and cacao, which are their sources of income. The smoke also triggered corrosion of the resident roofs that is mainly made of iron sheets. Poverty made them unable to replace their sulfur corrugated their roofs. • Villagers living near the geothermal plant is North Sumatra (financed by the Asian Development Bank with US$ 330 million), suffer from extreme noises coming from the pipes and the cooling system of the plant. • Communities surrounding Mt. Talang in West Sumatra have protested against the planned exploration of a geothermal plant in the forest protected area because they deem the activity will harm the forest ecosystem and may cause floods and land slides. Their protests were responded with intimidation and violence by military forces. These examples are evidences to prove that a geothermal project will not be done in an empty space but in a place where people’s live and livelihoods depend. Therefore, impacts and risks assessment of each geothermal plant must be conducted with active participation especially from indigenous and local communities who will be affected directly.



6. The Gender Action Plan (GAP) is too general and does not assess impacts from this environmentally high-risk project to women. The Gender Action Plan and assessment of the project failed to elaborate on the existing gendered socio-cultural context of communities residing in the project sites. It did not provide an explanation on how women will benefit from geothermal energy projects. It claims to empower women through increased access to electricity and jobs, but it failed to address the negative impacts of the construction of geothermal plants to women’s lands and livelihoods. No redressal mechanism under the World Bank's gender strategy was presented, and the project did not lay down the risks and hazards that may particularly impact women. Indonesia does not have any domestic disaster relief/management plans or mechanisms for addressing power plant breakdowns nor gender provisions for occupational/exposure hazards either. The case of Sidoarjo mud flow, where 40,000 people lost their homes, illustrates the lack of this mechanism.

7. Lack of information and consultation with communities on the sub-project sites.

There is no information that the Indonesian NDA to GCF did any public consultation on this project. Because the project sites are yet to be determined, there is no information disclosure to potentially affected indigenous peoples and local communities, nor a consultation conducted. The World Bank, SMI as the Implemented Entity and the Indonesian NDA to GCF must disclose information related to environmental, gender and social impacts of the sub-projects, and do a meaningful consultation with communities will be affected. Since this important procedure was not completed, we urge the Board not to approve FP083. Finally, we would like to remind all of us, the GCF Board Members, the World Bank, SMI and the Indonesian NDA to GCF that geothermal project is not about market and money, but more about people’s lives and livelihood, and the lives of their future generations.

Jakarta, October 18, 2018


Concerned Indonesian Civil Society Organizations 1. Aksi! for gender, social and ecological justice 2. Aliansi Kerakyatan untuk Poso, Sulawesi Tengah 3. Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN) 4. Aliansi Perpustakaan Jalanan, Nasional 5. Asosiasi Pengacara Syariah Indonesia, Nasional 6. Banyumas Tolak PLTPB, Jawa Tengah 7. Barisan Rakyat Peduli Lingkungan 8. Bhinneka Ceria, Jawa Tengah 9. BYTRA Lhokseumawe, Aceh 10. Center for Community Development and Education (CCDE) 11.Cilongok Bersatu (CIBER), Jawa Tengah 12.Civil Liberty Defender 13.Damar Pala 14.Daulat Perempuan Maluku Utara, Maluku 15.Farmer's Inititiative for Ecological Livelihoods and Democracy (FIELD) 16. Nasional Informasi dan Komunikasi Organisasi Non Pemerintah (FIK-Ornop), Makassar 17. Flower Aceh, Aceh 18. Masyarakat Konservasi Bantaeng, Sulawesi Selatan 19.Gerakan Mahasiswa Nasionalis Indonesia Kupang, Nusa Tenggara Timur 20.Greenpeace Indonesia 21.Nasional Himpunan Masyarakat Pecinta Alam Gunung Talang, Sumatera Barat 22.Ikatan Mahasiswa Muhammadiyah 23.Nasional Ikatan Mahasiswa Muhammadiyah Universitas Ahmad Dahlan. Yogyakarta 24.Ikatan Pelajar Mandailing Natal, Sumatera Utara 25.IMS3 (Ikatan Mahasiswa Solok Saiyo Sakato) Bukittinggi, Sumatera Barat 26.Indonesia for Global Justice, Nasional 27. Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM), Nasional 28. Institute for Women's Empowerment, Nasional 29.Jaringan Advokasi Tambang (JATAM), Nasional 30.Jendela Post 31.Kalyanamitra, Nasional 32.Kedai JATAM, Jakarta 33.KePPaK Perempuan, Nasional 34.Kesatuan Nelayan Tradisional Indonesia, Nasional 35.Koalisi Perempuan Indonesia, Nasional 36.Koalisi Rakyat untuk Keadilan Perikanan, Nasional 37.Komunitas Masyarakat Adat Yimnawai Gir, Papua 38.Konsorsium Pembaruan Agraria Sulawesi Selatan 39.Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Jakarta, DKI Jakarta 40.Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Medan, Sumatera Utara 41.Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Padang, Sumatera Barat 42.Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Surabaya, Jawa Timur 43.Lembaga Pemberdayaan Perempuan, Bone 44.Lembaga Riset dan Pengembangan Kapasitas Masyarakat (LRPKM), Makassar 45.Lembaga Seniman Budayawan Muslimin Indonesia, Jawa Tengah 46.Liga Mahasiswa Nasional untuk Demokrasi Banyumas, Jawa Tengah 47.Lopo Belajar Gender Kupang, Nusa Tenggara Timur 48.LSM GUGAT, Nasiomal 49.LSM Puan Addisa, Nasional 50.Papuana Conservation 51.PBHI Sumatera Barat 52.Pecinta Alam dan Gunung Rimba Indonesia Slawi, Jawa Tengah 53.Pecinta Alam Mahasiswa Universitas Subang, Jawa Barat 54.Pecinta Alam Teknik Uhamka, Jakarta 55.Pergerakan Mahasiswa Islam Indonesia, Nasional 56.Perkumpulan Pikul, Nusa Tenggara Timur 57.Perkumpulan Tabah Air, Sumatera Selatan 58.PPA Yoga Rimba Purwokerto, Jawa Tengah 59. Save Gunung Slamet, Jawa Tengah 60.Serikat Mahasiswa Progresif (SEMAR) Universitas Indonesia, Jabotabek 61.Serikat Nelayan Indonesia, Nasional 62.Serikat Pengorganisasian Rakyat Indonesia, Nasional 63.Solidaritas Perempuan, Nasional 64.Solidaritas Perempuan Anging Mammiri, Sulawesi Selatan 65.Solidaritas Perempuan Kendari, Sulawesi Tenggara 66.Solidaritas Perempuan Mataram, Nusa Tenggara Barat 67.Solidaritas Perempuan Sebay Lampung, Lampung 68.Solidaritas Perempuan Sintuwu Raya Poso, Sulawesi Tengah 69.Solidaritas Perempuan Sumbawa, Nusa Tenggara Barat 70.Suara Perempuan Desa, Jawa Timur 71.UKBA UNP 72.Wahana Lingkungan Hidup (WALHI), Nasional 73.Walhi Jawa Barat 74.Walhi Kalimantan Timur 75.Walhi Kepulauan Bangka Belitung 76.Walhi Nusa Tenggara Barat 77.Walhi Sulawesi Selatan 78.Walhi Sumatera Barat 79.Yapesdi 80.Yayasan Bina Desa, Nasional 81.Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia, Nasional 82.Yayasan Lembaga Konsumen Sulawesi Selatan 83.Yayasan Perempuan Beskar, Bone 84.Yayasan Pusaka, Nasional

Supporting international and regional civil society organization: 1. Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) 2. Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) 3. Asian Peoples Movements on Debt and Development (APMDD) 4. Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh 5. Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (BWGED), Bangladesh 6. Both Ends, the Netherlands 7. Bretton Woods Project, UK 8. NGO Forum on ADB 9. CLEAN (Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network), Bangladesh 10.Climate Watch Thailand 11.Environics Trust, India 12.Friends of the Earth US 13.GenderCC - Women for Climate Justice 14.Heinrich Boell Stiftung North America 15.Human Rights and Development, Mongolia 16.INSAF, India 17.Labour,Health and Human Rights Development Centre, Nigeria 18.Nadi Ghati Morcha, India 19.Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities ( NEFIN)


20. TierrActiva Peru


21. Urgewald


#Aksi #Indonesia

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