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Pancer Local Community in Sumberagung, Banyuwangi, East Java

Learning Points

  • Legal and non-legal tools and approaches to secure land rights
  • Relation between community and third parties (gold mining)
  • Creation of no-hierarchical and democratic social movements to support land rights struggle, with a strong focus on social inclusiveness

Responsible Organisation

Sajogyo Institute (SAINS)


Sumberagung Village, Pasanggaran District, Banyuwangi Regency, East Java

245 Km (±7 hours by car and ferry) from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport (Bali DPS), or 300 Km (±7 hours by car) from Juanda International Airport (SUB)

Community Visit Profile

This is another story of the struggle between community members and a mining company. Smallholders have always been the primary victim of private sector activities, especially mining. Sumberagung is, in fact, the first village where the Merdeka Cooper Gold, Tbk (MCG) started its operations in 2012. At that time, the mining company granted a permit to start gold extraction in the Tumpang Pitu site, covering almost 5,000 ha in the forest area of Sumberagung Village. The subsidiary company working on the gold mining project was PT. Bumi Suksesindo (BSI), whose centre is close to Pancer Hamlet village, where the location of the visit would be.

The majority of Sumberagung residents are farmers, and some of them work on leased land. Others are fishermen. The agricultural location is adjacent to Mount Tumpang Pitu, where agricultural areas are overlapping with the mining extraction area. Gold mining operations have caused many socio-ecological problems and human rights violations, as conflicts between the community and the company exacerbated. Natural resources, on which people's livelihoods depend, were critically impacted by gold mining extraction. Clean drinking water was contaminated, affecting the community’s health as well as polluting the main source of water for agricultural production and livestock breeding; the shoreline and the fishing area were also damaged. In addition, community members that tried to oppose the mining company suffered from criminalization and intimidation. In 2016, a mud flood hit the community's agricultural areas; the social and economic impacts of the mining led to protests headed by the women's movement in Sumberagung.

Today, the village is seeking for the recognition of their land rights by the government. The community has mobilised solidarity and built strong alliances and networks with social movements to support their legal struggle. They are using legal tools (litigation) and non-legal channels and approaches (advocacy campaigns, social movements) to secure their land rights. The resistance movement against mining involves many women, both farmers and fisherfolk.