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KOMPAS.com A number of major players in the smartphone world recognize that its products may contain tin mining in Bangka Island, Indonesia. They are Nokia, Sony, BlackBerry, Motorola, and LG Electronis.
Based on the written statement received by Kompas Tekno, the recognition came after the pressure from the Friends of the Earh (FoE) environmental organizations that urged the five companies to take action related to environmental destruction that occurred in Bangka Island.
Bangka Island and its neighboring island of Belitung account for about a third of the world's tin supply. Tin mined is partly used for soldering materials in electronic products, including mobile gadgets, such as smartphones and tablet devices.
Unfortunately, mining activities in Bangka and Belitung Island are said to have resulted in damage not only impacting the environment, but also on local conditions.
Farmers on Bangka Island are reported to be unable to grow crops because the soil conditions become acidic after forests are cleared for mining, while fishermen find it harder to find fish following the destruction of marine biota due to the overflow of mining mud.
The situation in the tin mine is also unsafe for the workers involved. In 2011 and then, police data recorded every week an average of one person miners died from accidents. At the location of wild mines are also often found workers who are still children.
FoE presents an investigation of mining activities on Bangka Island in short videos as listed below. Two more videos can be viewed on this link.
Statement of attitude
The five companies have stated that they will participate in efforts to improve the situation in Bangka Island. This is a form of shared responsibility arising from FoE's insistence. Moreover, the parties are also concerned with the results of tin from mining in question, although not directly.
"Indonesia's tin mining industry is an important part of the BlackBerry supply chain, we are very concerned about environmental and health risks associated with the industry," the company said in a statement cited by FoE.
Nokia and Motorola also recognize that its products are likely to contain tin extracted from Bangka Island.LG Electronics, Sony and Samsung said they would take the matter seriously regarding the company's supply chain transparency policy. Quotations of these companies' statements can be found at the following link.
To accommodate the joint effort to improve the situation on Bangka Island, the big players of this industry are joining the Bangka Tin Working Group established by Apple and Philips in cooperation with the Netherlands Government Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (ElCC) in March 2013 .
Towards the end of this year, the Bangka Tin Working Group is expected to have finalized recommendations on how to address the distressing situation on the island. A meeting with industry players to discuss the issue will also be attended by FoE.