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Cement factory in Kendeng Karst Mountains, Indonesia

Women have taken the lead in a grassroots campaign to save the Kendeng karst mountains in Central Java from environmental destruction brought upon by a new cement factory in Indonesia.


The Kendeng  Karst region is characterized by underground caves and springs. It is the main water source for farming communities living in the surrounding area. For decades, the people of Kendeng Karst have tried to live a life separate from modern Indonesia. They didn't have government identification until the early 2000s, and even then they fought to keep the religion line blank if the central government wouldn't recognize their faith [9]A study from the Centre for Disaster Management at private university UPN by Veteran Yogyakarta found underground water sources in the area proposed for a new cement factory by Semen Indonesia. On July 16, 2014, the local population was alerted of the construction of the cement factory plant in Rembang, Central Java just before an event placing the plant´s first stone. Women quickly mobilized as protest leaders in response, gathering community membres at the factory site to demonstrate. However, the army and police forcibly dispersed the action. During the scuffle, Police arrested four protestors and knocked two women unconscious from dragging and throwing them about [13].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Cement factory in Kendeng Karst Mountains, Indonesia
State or province:Rembang, Central Java
Location of conflict:Tegaldowo and Timbrangan villages (Kendeng karst mountains)
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific commodities:Cement
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The cement factory will have a capacity of 8000 tons per day

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Project area:850
Level of Investment for the conflictive project327,000,000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:16/07/2016
Company names or state enterprises:Semen Indonesia from Indonesia
Relevant government actors:Central Java Governor
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Samin community
Jaringan Masyarakat peduli Pegunungan Kendeng (JMPPK)
Semarang Caver Association [farming and local community groups in Rembang City]
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Women protest called "the Kartinis of Rembang"; Samin community; Jaringan Masyarakat Peduli Pegunungan Kendeng movement
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Women cement their feet, local people prayer and reciting the Koran
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Noise pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Air pollution
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession
Potential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood
Other socio-economic impactsCommunitarian division
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain: In January 2017, Central Java Governor canceled the cement factory permits. Before, the Supreme Court ruled the state-owned cement company began construction of its controversial plant without first conducting a thorough check of any potential impacts on the local environment [4]. Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo said: "Several [important] items were not included in the documents, especially on the procedures and regulations on the limitation of limestone mining activities in the area’s ground water basin" However, added that the permit could be reinstalled once Semen Indonesia fulfilled the requirements demanded.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[5] Korver, A. Pieter E. (1976). "The Samin Movement and Millenarism". Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde: 249–266
[click to view]

[6] King, Victor T. (1973). "Some Observations on the Samin Movement of North-Central Java: Suggestions for the Theoretical Analysis of the Dynamics of Rural Unrest". Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde: 457–481.
[click to view]

[7] Benda, Harry; Lance Castles (1969). "The Samin Movement". Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde: 207–216, 218–240
[click to view]

[8] Raden Adjeng Kartini Biography: Women's Rights Activist, Journalist (1879–1904)
[click to view]

[9] Renaldi (2017) Does This Look Like A Barren Wasteland?
[click to view]

[1] Kendeng Women Rise Up to Resist Cement Factory, Save Mother Earth
[click to view]

[2] PT Semen Indonesia’s Rembang plant is on track
[click to view]

[3] Women of Rembang put their feet down to save farms from cement factory
[click to view]

[4] Central Java Governor Revokes PT Semen Indonesia's Mining Permit in Rembang
[click to view]

[10] Semen Indonesia to build US$200m plant in Myanmar
[click to view]

[11] Semen Indonesia Rembang Plant to Be Fully Operational in 2016
[click to view]

[12] Protest against Semen Indonesia’s Rembang factory continues
[click to view]

Semen Indonesia
[click to view]

Protest against Semen Indonesia’s Rembang factory continues
[click to view]

Kendeng farmers disappointed with new cement factory permit
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The Kartinis of Kendeng: using motherhood as a form of resistance
[click to view]

Chronology of Resistance in Rembang City, Jawa Tengah: Street and community conflict against military & police in struggle against the construction of a cement factory (Indonesia)
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Women cement their feet protesting new factory construction in Indonesia
[click to view]

325 community. Chronology of Resistance in Rembang City, Jawa Tengah: Street and community conflict against military & police in struggle against the construction of a cement factory (Indonesia)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:SM (ICTA-UAB)
Last update28/03/2017
Conflict ID:2560
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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