Indonesia is a country of 17508 islands with over a quarter of a billion inhabitants. This in itself causes a lot of problems. If we add to this the mining and burning of coal, the clearing and burning of the rainforest, the artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) and the import of waste, the degradation of the environment is one of the biggest problems of this populous country. In addition, it is difficult for the island state to control the import of waste and raw materials, including the toxic mercury for gold mining.
Arnika helps local civil society organizations to map the level of environmental pollution by toxic substances and its effects on the health of local people. In 2012, we started with analyses of mercury around ASGM sites. Since 2018, we have been investigating pollution, especially in the vicinity of places affected by the uncontrolled import of plastic waste from around the world on the island of Java. We can do all this mainly thanks to the support of the international network IPEN.