Our Efforts To Monitor and Maintain Nature

12 October 2015


Lately, many photos of mountain climbers to Carstensz peak have been uploaded, a peak of the Sudirman line. These photos captured how incredible is the nature in Indonesia. Many different scenes, many different photo perspectives, yet one word comes to mind when describing each and every new photo, “Amazing”.

"Amazing” is the most appropriate word to describe these photographs of climbing to Carstensz peak. Though the photographers are not professionals, rather selfies, group selfies, and mobile phone photos. Still the photos captured the sunny day reflected upon the snowy hills and mountain side, the magnificence of the mountains, and the freedom climbers felt reaching the peak. Indeed we should appreciate the breath taking nature we have. And to show our appreciation, we should not litter and conserve our nature that is our blessing, especially in Papua and in Indonesia.

1997 - RI approved the EIA 300K - a reference document on environmental management and monitoring in the PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) work area. This document ensures that PTFI upholds the environment management and monitoring at various locations of PTFI work area and also within the Lorentz National Park area (Lorentz NP). Why? This is how we show our concern, RI and also PTFI ensure that the beauty of these mountains is preserved and undisturbed. Mountains that until now – it has been 48 years since PTFI started its operations - the natural beauty is well maintained.

How difficult is it maintaining the natural beauty of nature? This is the responsibility of the Monitoring Group of Environmental Department PTFI.  Their routine is to monitor water quality, air quality and meteorology in the mine and surrounding areas, to ensure the nature preservation with the mining operations running. Given that the broad location of environmental monitoring and certain areas are more difficult to reach by road, often a helicopter is used. As you know, safety is our first priority in any work we do including operating a helicopter.


Retrieving samples in the mountain range is not an easy task, in certain areas the surface is not flat, however the samples must be retrieved, the monitoring group has to use a hoist technique to retrieve samples – where the helicopter will hover low enough so the team can use a ropeto retrieve samples. As in a scene from the movie the Expendables. Taking safety measures into consideration, the availability of helicopter landing area (helipad) is crucially needed in several strategic locations in order to fly personnel or equipment to and from the locations safely.

The Environmental Department collaborated with PT Airfast Indonesia (PT AVCO) in designing the helipad in accordance with the standards required for environmental monitoring duties. Upon achieving the right design, this team then collaborated with PT Exploration Nusa Jaya (PT ENJ) in constructing the helipad at various monitoring sites. Up till now there is four (4) helipads that have been constructed with the sole purpose of environmental monitoring.

The existence of these helipads are not only beneficial to PTFI but will also benefit the Indonesian government by opening access for the Lorentz NP officers in monitoring the condition of the forest ecosystem that has become a world heritage. Some locations in the Lorentz NP area are still awaiting construction permit from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

The helipad is expected to maintain the security and safety of those involved in environmental monitoring in accordance with PTFI safety standards, and support the collaboration between PTFI and Lorentz NP monitoring officers to protect and preserve the natural resources. (im)

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