No to mining business in Raja Ampat

... no way as long as I still hold the position... "
Manokwari, West Papua (ANTARA Nws) - Minister for the Environment Balthasar Kambuaya said he would reject any proposal for mining operation in the district of Raja Ampat of West Papua.

"I have already told my staff to reject any such proposal in the district of Raja Ampat," Balthasar said here on Friday.

Balthasar said Raja Ampat is extraordinarily rich in natural resources that would be damaged if mining companies are allowed to operate there.

"If the governor wants to give the license, well go ahead, but I would reject it," he said.

It would be better to develop the natural potentials rather than allowing them to be destroyed by mining operation, he added.

He said he could not say if the next minister after him later would allow the natural beauty of Raja Ampat be destroyed in favor of expected earning from mining operation.

"But no way as long as I still hold the position." he said

The district of Raja Ampat has 610 islands but only 35 of them are inhabited including the islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo, the largest of them.

Raja Ampat is a world class tourist destination boasting its undersea natural riches , among the best in the world, Balthasar said.

The islands of Raja Ampat consist of 4.5 million hectares of land and sea which is home to 1,511 fish species , 700 species of mollusk and 540 types of coral.