Nabire, Jubi – Representatives of five tribes from five regencies in the western and southern region of Papua visited government agencies, civil society and religious organizations in Jakarta concerning to the campaign of eight demands for the restoration of the rights of Papuan indigenous people and the protection of indigenous Papuan forests.
At present, we, the indigenous peoples and our villages as well as the customary forests where we live and make a living, are experiencing oppression, injustice and social tensions due to the development activities carried out by large-scale commercial timber plantation and logging companies. A statement from the five tribal representatives who supported by dozens of activists from different social backgrounds in that received by Jubi editors on Tuesday (11/13/2018).
Indigenous people and the land and customary forest owners are from the Mandobo tribe in Kao River, Boven Digoel Regency; Suku Malind in Muting, Merauke Regency; Mpur tribe in Kebar, Tambrauw Regency; Moi tribe in Klasouw and Klayili, Sorong Regency; Maybrat Tribe in Ikana, South Sorong Regency.
They experienced land grabbing by the company that involving the government through permit issuance and security protection which violated the principles of Free, Prior, Informed, Consent (FPIC). After the company operates, its activities result in damage and loss of forests and hamlets of community food sources.
Indigenous people also lose timber forest products, rattan, animals, medicinal plants, polluted clean water and other natural resources, which are the source of life and livelihoods of the people.
So that all threaten with loss of sovereignty and independence over knowledge and management of nature, all of which are priceless, they wrote.
In addition to environmental degradation, indigenous people who have long been guardians of land and forests experience intimidation and even violence and imprisonment. Further, they wrote that the primary right of freedom to speak, to assemble and express opinions is not guaranteed.
Referring to this condition, indigenous peoples accompanied by activists from Papuan and Jakarta civil society organizations brought eight demands to government agencies in Jakarta.
First, the government immediately acknowledges and values the autonomy and rights of indigenous Papuans on lands and forests to determine regulatory policies and programs in their customary territories.
Second, the central and regional governments review and revoke various agreements, business use rights, control permits and use of land and forest products that take place in indigenous territories, which are unilaterally granted to companies and ignore customary rights, harm the community and damage the environment, and contrary to the laws and regulations;
Third, the government conducts an environmental audit of Papua’s natural resource balance, related to the performance and impact of the activities of all large-scale plantation companies on the environment and socio-economic life, and does not provide an extension of environmental permits and fair law enforcement of the company;
Fourth, the government and companies are responsible for rehabilitating forest areas and sago hamlets affected by damage and loss, as well as providing incentives program to replace community losses;
Fifth, the government and companies to no longer use the police and military to secure the plantation areas and corporate offices in the field, stop the violent approach, practice intimidation, discrimination and physical violence in handling disputes, protests and public complaints;
Sixth, the government and companies to resolve any disputes by the legal system, customary law and customary legal institutions that exist in society wisely, peacefully, and impartially;
Seventh, the government to protect human rights defenders and environmental activists in Papua, and ensure that all perpetrators of crimes prosecuted in the public courts;
Eighth, emphasizing that Papua is not an empty land, and asking the government and companies to respect the rights of indigenous peoples in carrying out various development activities and the use of land and natural resources in Papua, by developing business based on knowledge and resources possessed by indigenous Papuans, and involving the comprehensive extent of indigenous peoples.
Responding the palm oil moratorium
The arrival of representatives of indigenous Papuans was also in response to the issuance of the Indonesian President’s Instruction No. 8/2018 about delaying and evaluating the licensing of palm oil plantations.
So far, we have discovered many problems and the critical impacts of the policies of the palm oil companies as well as their activities on the life of indigenous peoples and the environment in Papua. Operation permits and access to the land and forest areas, or the companies operate without legal documents such as AMDAL and HGU that destroy the sources of food and the environment and so on are a few examples. So what can the Ministry of Forestry and the Head of Forestry Agency in Jakarta do to follow up the regulation issued by the president (INPRES – President’s Instruction)? said Y.L Franky from Pusaka Foundation who advocate the rights of indigenous peoples when contacted by Jubi on Tuesday (11/13/2018). (*)
Reporter: Zely Ariane
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Papuan activists dispute Indonesia’s poll numbers, claim boycott success
Papua, Jubi – It may be more than a month since Indonesians went to the polls, but the country is still being shaken by violence related to the election, including in the Papua region.
At least six people died in clashes in the capital Jakarta, during protests against the election outcome that saw President Joko Widodo declared the winner over Prabowo Subianto.
There are also reports in the Jakarta Post that post-election violence erupted in the troubled Papua region with investigations taking place into the deaths of four protesters allegedly killed by Indonesian soldiers.
It comes as President Widodo’s re-elected government has promised greater infrastructure development in Papua province.
But West Papuan activists pushing for independence from Indonesia have declared their election boycott was a success, saying that a majority of West Papuans did not vote.
Benny Wenda, the exiled leader of the United Liberation Movement, called for the peaceful boycott to show that West Papuans were not interested in electing Indonesia’s president.
After the preliminary count came in he claimed that 60 percent of West Papuans had not taken part in the election.
However, the official results from the electoral commission show that 88 per cent of West Papuans did vote.
ULMWP spokesman Ronny Kareni said that while West Papuan activists were glad that Joko Widodo remained in power, they did not think anything would change citing that Joko Widodo had not addressed any of the human rights cases in Papua that he said he would in his first term.
“The trust that has always been there, that gap is widening,” he said.
“The general feeling is that nothing will change, even though Jokowi is back serving for the second time.” (*)
Activists protest the conservation award to Governor Mandacan
Manokwari, Jubi – The award of Global Conservation Hero to the West Papua Governor Dominggus Mandacan by Conservation International in Los Angeles to appreciate the efforts of Provincial Government of West Papua in protecting and implementing sustainable development has drawn a protest from local conservationist and environmental activists.
The activists argue that the government has not been eligible to receive the award because of no integrated database record the forest, ocean and indigenous resources to use as a barometer of the success of the conservation or sustainable development program in West Papua Province.
Although the ICBE Forum 2018 resulted in an agreement named “Manokwari Declaration” that has 14 commitments, in reality, it does not reach people on the ground.
Yohanis Akwan, the Coordinator of Pantau Gambut Papua in Manokwari, states the Global Conservation Award to Governor Dominggus Mandacan was so premature and allegedly full of interests. Since the declaration of West Papua Province as the conservation-based province by the former Governor Abraham Oktavianus Atururi in 2015, no real effort yet been realised by the provincial government to protect the natural resources of Papua Barat.
Further, Akwan suggests that the award should present to people living in remote or coastal areas who are faithful protecting the forest and the sea with their local wisdom and traditional values. Also, he said West Papua Province even does not have a peatland map that can be used to review relevant permits, while the peatland is an indicator of the conservation-based province. He also asses that there are more unfinished plan to be done by Papua Barat concerning to conservation-based province. That is a reality.
“Unfortunately, the United States, Conservation International is too quick to present this award to the governor, while the forest and natural resources in this province continue to be in hand of giant investors. This award should not present to the government official, but villagers who traditionally protect their natural resources from time to time,” Akwan told Jubi in Manokwari.
Moreover, he points out a problem recently faced by Manowakri residents, namely a seasonal food disaster during rain as a result of a forest clearing in Wosi-Rendani area for human settlement and mismanagement of spatial plan for housings.
“Last Monday, dozens of houses in Petrus Kafiar Village of Manokwari Timur District were flooded. People forced to evacuate, while the government acts to pay attention from the international community,” said Akwan.
The head of the Provincial Public Relations and Protocol of West Papua Yohanes Nauw on behalf of the Governor Dominggus Mandacan says in the press conference that the award presented in a gala dinner organised by Conservation International in Los Angeles, the United States on Saturday (8/6/2019).
The head of provincial parliament has reportedly joined the governor because the parliament contributed to authorise the special regulation on Sustainable Development that represents the principles of environmentally friendly development.
“Through the special regulation, West Papua has been named as ‘conservation-based province’ in which 70% of its forest area and ecosystem will be protected and managed sustainably. This regulation also called the Manokwari Declaration,” explained Nauw.
Meanwhile, the Head of the Provincial Research and Development Agency of West Papua Government as a specialised agency who launched the agenda, Prof. Charlie D Heatubun, said that Governor Dominggus Mandacan has involved promoting the adoption of the regulation on Sustainable Development.
“This award is also to appreciate the leadership and commitment of the governor in promoting the enactment of the special regulation and reviewing other policies such as the Provincial Spatial Plan, the Provincial Medium-Term Development Plan, protected areas expansion and the preparation of the Provincial Master Plan and the Roadmap of Green and Blue Economic Development,” he said.
Furthermore, Heatubun said the visit of Papua Barat officials to Los Angeles, the United States, was to respond to the official invitation of the President of Conservation International. The event also attended by some CEOs of large companies who interested in investing in Papua Barat such as Mars, Unilever, and the Governor of California and Los Angeles Mayor. (*)
Reporter: Hans Kapisa
Editor: Pipit Maizier
CSOs decline logging company in Wondama
Jayapura, Jubi – Some Papua’s CSOs namely LP3BH Manokwari, YALI Papua, Yayasan Pusaka and Pemuda Suku Mairasi urge the Minister of Environment and Foresty to review the operation permit of a logging company PT Kurniatama Sejahtera (KTS) in Mairasi area.
The Mairasi tribal communities from Undurara, Wosimo and Inyora villages sent a statement letter stated on 12 May 2019 to oppose PT KTS to operate in Mairasi.
“People feel uneasy and disturbed due to the presence of the company and the military. It creates unsecured, disharmony and has no guarantee of providing economic benefit to the community,” Agust Veth from Pemuda Suku Mairasi told Jubi by phone on Sunday, 9 June 2019 in Jayapura.
According to Veth, people have not forgotten the incident of Bloody Wasior (2001) that allegedly triggered by logging activity from the timber company Darma Mukti Persana. Further, he said the human rights violation case in Wasior has not settled since then.
“Now, the military along with some public leaders represent the LMA (Customary Council) who facilitate the meeting on ‘Social Communication’ allegedly want to intimidate and force the local community to approve the logging company to operate in Mairasi. However, the local community continue to decline the company and refuse to attend the meeting.”
Mairasi people have objected the timber activity of KTS since 2012, while in 2013, a military culprit based in KTS logging area in Sorong allegedly tortured three residents from Sararti and Ambuni villages. The incident then reported to the local government, the People’s Assembly of Papua Barat and the Minister of Forestry. No action towards both perpetrator and the company has yet taken.
“Some reports revealed that PT KTS had some internal and financial issues. The company cannot pay the IUPHHK-HA (licence for utilization of timber in natural forest) and has a deficit (source: www.nasional.kontan.co.id, 2010; PT. Inti Multima Sertifikasi, 2015),” added Vest.
The logging company PT Kurniatama Sejahtera obtained the IUPHHK-HA from the Minister of Forestry (now the Minister of Environment and Forestry) Nomor SK.648/Menhut-II/2009 on 15 October 2009 to permit it to operate in a concession area of 115.800 hectares located in Teluk Wondama Regency. PT KSP is a subsidiary company of Artha Graha Group operating in Teluk Wondama Regency.
Concerning the permit, the civil society organisations ask the Minister of Environment and Forestry to evaluate the permit of PT KSP and give penalties for their negligence.
“We also ask the Military Commander of XVIII Kasuari to urge the Military District Command Sector Wasior and other local military authorities to stop using the military approach and intimidation towards the local community and backing up the interest of PT KTS.”
“They should prioritise respect, protection and fulfilment on human rights and environment, especially the basic rights of Mairasi Tribe. Most importantly, they must prevent the reoccurrence of the same conflict. Therefore, the law enforcement and legal protection of Mairasi Tribe are in need.”
However, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Military Command of Kasuari and PT KTS have not confirmed this information. On the other hand, Konstan Natama, the Acting Sub-district Chief of Naikere, Teluk Wondama Regency told Antara on 18 January 2018 that he was concerned about the massive logging activity by PT KTS clearing out the ironwood trees in Naikere.
Meanwhile, Franky Sanperante from Yayasan Pusaka said another subsidiary company of Artha Graha Network is PT Papua Satya Kencana with IUPHHK-HA license No SK.647/Menhut-II/2009. It has a concession area of 195.420 hectares located in Teluk Bintuni Regency.
“Combined, the total concession of the two companies is about 79% of the total area of Teluk Wondama Regency (3,960 Km2) or fivefold of the area of Jakarta,” said Frangky.
In the report published by Research and Development Centre of Department of Health of the Republic Indonesia “Merindukan Hidup Sehat Orama Etnik Mairasi Kabupaten Teluk Bintuni, 2014”, it mentioned that trees with a diameter of one meter such as ironwood and mahogany found in that area.
In Naikere, PT KTS has cleared out the trees since 1990 and stopped the operation at the time of Wasior incident (2001). Timber trucks carried one or two logs of wood with a diameter of one or two meters three or four times a day at that time. (*)
Reporter: Timoteus Marten
Editor: Pipit Maizier
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