Henry Mathews Award 2022 to Watch Indonesia! and the JM-PPK

Cologne. On 10 September 2022, together with the citizens’ initiative JM-PPK (Jaringan Masyarakat Peduli Pegunungan Kendeng, “Network of People Who Care About the Kendeng Mountains”), we received the Henry Mathews Award for Corporate Criticism 2022 from the Dachverband der Kritischen Aktionärinnen und Aktionäre.

As Watch Indonesia! e.V., we are grateful to the office of the Dachverband der Kritischen Aktionärinnen und Aktionäre as well as its board members. Its director Markus Dufner held the laudatio and Basilisa Dengen, former co-director of Watch Indonesia! and board member, accepted it.

Gunretno as member of the Samin and co-founder of the JM-PPK joined online. He emphasised that the citizens’ initiative not only stands up for the interests of the people in the Pati district but also for the people in the surrounding districts of the Karst region. After all, the Kendeng Mountains are the physical and spiritual basis of life for everyone.

The award honours the joint activities of Watch Indonesia! and JM-PPK in the transnational campaign known as Save Kendeng campaign which is active since 2016. Particularly noteworthy is Roadshow of the film Samin vs. Semen [Link to the documentary] accompanied by Gunarti representing the Samin and publicity-effective protestl like in concrete enbedded feet of protesters front of HeidelbergCement’s headquarter as well as our continuous critical intervention of the annual shareholders’ meetings.

In the course of the award ceremony, Dr. Josephine Sahner, a member of our organisatione and former environmental spokesperson, presented how the topic of cement and the Kendeng region became a specific concern of Watch Indonesia! e.V. and why the criticism of this building material and the company is urgently required: The globally active company is the second largest CO2 emitter in the DAX and is therefore at least co-responsible for a number of environmental and human rights violations.

Contrary to the clear recommendation in the strategic environmental analysis (KLHS – Kajian Lingkungan Hidup Strategis) to actively protect the Kendeng karst system, HeidelbergCement’s subsidiary Indocement insists on going through with its plan to exploit the mountain range for cement production. Any intervention in the fragile ecosystem by a karst mine or cement plant, however, would destroy it irretrievably. 

Leona Pröpper also presented the work of Watch Indonesia! e.V. In addition to the areas of democracy, protest, and looking into past and ongoing human rights crimes in Indonesia, she also mentioned our association’s involvement within the End Cement Alliance, whose independent foundation in 2019 also represents a great success in terms of transnational solidarity. 

For more impressions and a summary of the annual conference, please also visit the website of the Dachverband der Kritischen Aktionärinnen und Aktionäre.

Here you can find our press release from September 10, 2022 (in German).



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