The Coal Question

PhotographerAward winning Indonesian photographer Kemal Juf...
PrizeGold in Press / Nature/Environmental
Entry Description

Indonesia is the fifth largest coal producer in the world today and as of 2009, is the second largest exporter after Australia. This archipelagic nation only uses approximately 13 percent of the coal it produces for domestic consumption and the remaining 87 percent is sold to the rest of the world. Coal powers 41 percent of the world's electrical supply. This led to the dramatic increase of world coal demand, which in turn prompted the industry to grow in leaps and bounds. However, irresponsible coal exploitation results in adverse impacts and comes at the expense of human health, environmental degradation and global climate change -- a high cost to pay when alternative energy is a cleaner, safer and healthier option. In Indonesia, where open-pit mining is predominantly practiced, coal leaves an irreparable trail of destruction in its chain of custody from extraction to burning. The story of coal is a tale rife with destructions and misery rooted in irresponsibility.

About Photographer

Award-winning Indonesian photographer Kemal Jufri's career started in 1996 when he joined Agence-France Presse (AFP). He left AFP two years later and worked as a photo contributor for Asiaweek until the magazine closed down in 2001. Since then he has worked as a freelance photographer across Asia for major publications, including Newsweek, TIME, The New York Times, STERN and Der Spiegel. His photographs of the Mount Merapi eruptions in Central Java at the end of 2010 won him a total of seven awards from five prestigious International Photojournalism competitions including the World Press Photo, Picture of The Year International, NPPA Best of Photojournalism, China International Press Photo Contest and Prix De La Photographie Paris (PX3).