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Story Publication logo May 8, 2021

Botanical Gardens Face the Threat of Small-Scale Miners (bahasa Indonesia)

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man riding a bike on a dirt road through the forest
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Reclaiming the former PT Newmont Minahasa Raya (NMR) gold mining area in Southeast Minahasa, North...

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Kebun Raya Hadapi Ancaman Tambang Rakyat, Nyawa Tak Lagi Nomor Satu Demi Sesuap Nasi
Miners in Bukit Messel Ratatotok at Lubang Nibong. Miners claim this area is outside the Megawati Soekarnoputri Botanical Gardens. Image by Finneke Wolajan/Tribun Manado. Indonesia, 2021.

This story excerpt and photo captions below were translated from bahasa Indonesia. To continue reading in bahasa Indonesia, visit the Tribun Manado website. You may also view the bahasa Indonesia story in full on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in EnglishSpanishbahasa IndonesiaFrench, and Portuguese.


Megawati Soekarnoputri Botanical Garden is the result of the reclamation of the former PT Newmont Minahasa Raya (PT NMR) mining land, but it is now facing the threat of smallholder mining. For years, residents have relied on the mining resources from the earth in Bukit Mesel Ratatotok for their source of income.

Despite the physical dangers of mining which threaten the miners' lives, they continue the practice. Mining accidents and theft from neighboring mining pits are practices that have become commonplace. Miners know it is dangerous, but they rely on the practice to make ends meet.


Miners in and out of the Megawati Soekarnoputri Botanical Gardens. Image by Finneke Wolajan/Tribun Manado. Indonesia, 2021.

Jeeps and motorbikes go back and forth in the Megawati Soekarnoputri Botanical Gardens area. Image by Finneke Wolajan/Tribun Manado. Indonesia, 2021.

Smallholder miners in Bukit Messel Ratatotok at Lubang Nibong. Miners claim this area is outside the Megawati Soekarnoputri Botanical Gardens. Image by Finneke Wolajan/Tribun Manado. Indonesia, 2021.

Smallholder miners in Bukit Messel Ratatotok at Lubang Nibong. Miners claim this area is outside the Megawati Soekarnoputri Botanical Gardens. Image by Finneke Wolajan/Tribun Manado. Indonesia, 2021.

Miners in the Megawati Soekarnoputri Botanical Gardens. Image by Finneke Wolajan/Tribun Manado. Indonesia, 2021.

Smallholder miners in Bukit Messel Ratatotok at Lubang Nibong. Miners claim this area is outside the Megawati Soekarnoputri Botanical Gardens. Image by Finneke Wolajan/Tribun Manado. Indonesia, 2021.

Miners in and out of the Megawati Soekarnoputri Botanical Gardens. Image by Finneke Wolajan/Tribun Manado. Indonesia, 2021.

Smallholder miners in Ratatotok, from the village of Buyat, burn the processed mining materials which then turn into gold. Image by Finneke Wolajan/Tribun Manado. Indonesia, 2021.

The artisanal miners in Ratatotok, from the village of Buyat, process mining materials which are then turned into gold. Image by Finneke Wolajan/Tribun Manado. Indonesia, 2021.

Artisan miners in Bukit Messel Ratatotok at Lubang Nibong. Miners claim this area is outside the Megawati Soekarnoputri Botanical Gardens. Image by Finneke Wolajan/Tribun Manado. Indonesia, 2021.

Artisan miners in Bukit Messel Ratatotok at Lubang Nibong. Miners claim this area is outside the Megawati Soekarnoputri Botanical Gardens. Image by Finneke Wolajan/Tribun Manado. Indonesia, 2021.

Megawati Soekarnoputri Botanical Gardens. Image by Finneke Wolajan/Tribun Manado. Indonesia, 2021.

Miners in the Megawati Soekarnoputri Botanical Gardens beside the artificial pond. Image by Finneke Wolajan/Tribun Manado. Indonesia, 2021.