China Dialogue reported in December 2019 that Indonesian island villagers on Wawonii are fighting for their rights and way of life as the Indonesian government seeks to increase Chinese-backed nickel mining on the island.
Villagers fear that new mining operations will destroy farming and fishing and their livelihoods, as it has on other islands within the archipelago. The Chinese Harita corporation owns Gema Kreasi Perdana (GKP), which is already building infrastructure for new mining operations on Wawonii. Nickel processed at the Harita-owned smelter on the island of Obi is then exported to China.
Development of this project has fostered protests and violent conflict on Wawonii, including the deaths of two protesters in March 2019. Some communities on the island have already been cleared and displaced.
The article includes further information about the nickel and battery supply chains in Indonesia, investors involved, and social and environmental impacts.