The former PT Newmont Minahasa Raya (NMR) gold mining area in Southeast Minahasa, North Sulawesi, has been reclaimed. PT NMR's gold mining operations in Ratatotok began in 1996, and the reclamation process began in October 2004, not long after PT NMR was thrust into the spotlight due to the pollution case in Buyat Bay. The reclaimed forest was then turned into a botanical garden in 2014 and named the Megawati Soekarnoputri Botanical Garden.
This botanical garden is unique because it was built on a former mining area, with an area of 221 hectares out of the former mining area's total 443 hectares. PT NMR disbursed a budget of 13.5 million USD for the reclamation program. Meanwhile, the construction of the botanical gardens cost the state Rp 518 billion. After reclamation, the diversity of flora and fauna in the area is high, but the rich gold content puts it at risk of destruction. It is estimated that there are thousands of people who carry out community mining activities illegally, even though the government has banned them. This project examines five points:
- The condition of the ex-mining forest reclamation area, which is now a botanical garden, and how it compares to conditions before reclamation and before mining.
- The impact of reclamation on biodiversity at the ex-mining location.
- The benefits of reclamation for the community around the former mine.
- The threat of destruction to the reclaimed forest by illegal gold miners, who are estimated to be in the thousands.
- The plans for the ex-mining reclamation program by PT NMR and the construction of the Megawati Soekarnoputri Botanical Garden.