Jayapura, 3/4 (Jubi) – Deforestation in Papua is threatening natural reservation programs that carried out at the Lorentz National Park and the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) may revoke its status as a world heritage site.
“Currently, two natural world heritage sites, Lorentz National Park and Tropical Reinforest Heritage of Sumatra or commonly known as Bukit Barisan are under threat and both status as world heritage sites might be revoked, Deputy V for the Coordination of Culture,Tourism,Youth and Sports Welfare Coordinating Ministry, Haswan Yunaz said.
The government has implemented several efforts to preserve the world heritage sites in order not to satisfy Unesco .
“For example, we’ve been asked to relocate residents who live in national park areas and construct the road that does not damage the nature conservation activities which is in line with the analysis of the environmental impacts, ” he explained.
The Indonesian government has proposed to UNESCO to fix the damage that occurs in the two national parks up to 5 years ahead.
Other 15 cultural heritages in Indonesia are Komodo National Park, Ujung Kulon , Subak in Bali , Borobudur Temple, Prambanan, Keris, Angklung ( traditional instrument) , Camshaft/Noken , Saman dance and Sangiran monument.
Early April , Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare, Agung Laksono said that it is necessary to consider the local layout when conducting road infrastructure development.
Therefore, the Minister reminded that the road infrastructure is not expected to cross the Lorentz National Park because it is a natural reservation.
“We refuse the road construction through Lorentz National Park because it will undermine our commitment to keep and preserve it. We will find an alternative solution,” he said.
Lorentz National Park was included as a world natural heritage site by UNESCO in 1999 and as a representative of the complete ecosystem. ( Jubi / Victor Mambor/ Tina )
Jakarta imposes internet blackout in Papua as violent protests spread
Papua, Jubi – Indonesia imposed an internet blackout to restore order in its easternmost Papua region on Wednesday, officials said, during a third straight day of unrest sparked by the perceived harsh treatment of anti-Jakarta protesters by government security forces.
Demonstrators torched several stalls at a market and a few buildings in Fakfak, a regency in West Papua province, and more than 1,000 policemen were deployed to the region on Wednesday, national police spokesman Muhammad Iqbal said.
“The ministry decided to temporarily block telecommunication data services starting Wednesday until the situation in Tanah Papua returns to normal,” the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology said in a statement, using the local term for Papua and West Papua provinces, which make up the Indonesian half of New Guinea island.
Tensions rose when local residents who rallied outside the Fakfak regent’s office on Wednesday clashed with a rival group of protesters armed with machetes and iron bars, local resident Freddy Warpopor told BenarNews.
Security forces could do little because they were far outnumbered, he said.
“Members of the local community wanted to voice their aspirations to the regency chief, who promised to convey their message to President Joko Widodo,” Warpopor said.
During the rally in Fakfak, the crowd chanted, “We are not Red and White [the colors of the Indonesian flag]. We are the Morning Star [the banned Papuan separatist banner],” witnesses said.
Iqbal, the police spokesman, said 1,200 officers had been deployed to West Papua from neighboring provinces. More than 300 soldiers also arrived in the province on Tuesday to beef up security.
“We are talking to community and religious leaders,” Iqbal told reporters. “Soldiers and police are not being equipped with live ammunition.”
He insisted that things were under control, especially in Manokwari regency and Sorong city, the scenes of violent protests on Monday and Tuesday.
On Friday, dozens of people were injured when Papuan students who were demonstrating and calling for self-determination clashed with counter-protesters in Malang, a city in East Java province, police and Papuan activists said.
The next day, anti-riot police fired tear gas on a Papuan students’ dormitory in Surabaya, East Java’s main city. They arrested and briefly detained 43 people there over accusations that they had desecrated an Indonesian flag, local media reported.
In response, thousands marched in Papua and West Papua provinces on Monday to protest the alleged racist treatment by security forces and residents against the Papuan students.
Protesters in Manokwari, the capital of West Papua, attacked the provincial parliament and set fire to several other government buildings, including the provincial House of Representatives, police said.
Also on Monday in Sorong, a crowd set fire to a section of a prison, prompting a riot that led to the escape of more than 250 inmates, officials said. Most of the escapees remain at large, police said.
No violence was reported in Sorong on Wednesday, but protesters submitted a petition to the mayor demanding that the government act against non-indigenous Papuans who used racist slurs.
“The protesters also demand that the mayor limit the growth of the non-indigenous population, because all this time the influx of outsiders has been out of control,” a local resident, Poly Way, told BenarNews.
The petition urged the president, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, to visit and apologize to the Papuan people in person, he said.
A low-level separatist conflict has been taking place since the 1960s in Papua, where the population is predominantly Melanesian. Papua declared its independence from Dutch colonial rule on Dec. 1, 1961, but that was rejected by the Netherlands and later by Indonesia
In 1963, Indonesian forces invaded the region and annexed it. In 1969, the region held a referendum in which security forces selected slightly more than 1,000 people to agree to Papua’s formal absorption into the nation, according to human rights advocacy groups.
Violence has been on the rise in Papua after separatist rebels allegedly killed 19 members of a crew working on a government road project and a soldier in Nduga regency.
In response to the killings, the government sent additional 600 troops to Nduga.
The anti-insurgency campaign has forced more than 20,000 Nduga residents to flee to the forest and neighboring regencies to avoid being caught in the violence, local rights and church activists said.
At least 182 people had died of hunger and disease after fleeing, they said. (*)
Who actually benefits from the Trans Papua Highway?
Papua, Jubi – Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) researcher Cahyo Pamungkas says that the Trans Papua Highway has yet to bring any benefits to the Papuan people.
“The benefits for indigenous people can’t be seen yet. So people ask who exactly is the road for? Because the there is still illegal logging in the central highlands, the highlands are being destroyed, it’s easier for outsiders to exploit natural resources”, said Pamungkas at a press conference on the conflict in Nduga regency at the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) offices in Jakarta on Thursday July 18.
Pamungkas explained that instead of benefiting ordinary Papuans, the Trans Papua Highway threatens their economic wellbeing.
“Pig livestock from Toraja comes into Wamena. So the Wamena’s people’s pigs don’t sell. This threatens their economy. It is increasingly easy for outsiders to come to Wamena, so Wamena people see the road as a threat to their future”, explained Pamungkas.
Pamungkas said that the Trans Papua Highway project only connects regencies or cities and the benefits of this are not felt by the Papuan people. Meanwhile roads between villages and districts which are in fact what is actually needed are not being built.
“Yet roads like this (between villages and districts) are very important, for example simply to sell vegetables produced by farmers in markets”, said Pamungkas.
According to Pamungkas, the Trans Papua Highway actually facilitates the exploitation of natural resources which can be seen from large number of trees being felled and gold mining.
“Moreover when LIPI researched development on this road, we found many logging camps for logging in the direction of the Papua Lorentz National Park, which should a protected area”, explained Pamungkas.
Pamungkas is of the view that the government should immediately hold a dialogue with Papuan social leaders with the assistance of appropriate mediators.
“Because the most important thing at the moment is liberating the Papuan people from the memory of suffering which has built up over time. Particularly the acts of violence by security forces which has resulted in trauma for the residents of Nduga regency, Papua province”, he explained.
Local people’s rights
Expressing a similar view to Pamungkas, Amnesty International Indonesia researcher Aviva Nababan believes that the Trans Papua Highway does not provide any clear benefits. He also questions the government’s planning process for the road.
“Looking at it again from the process. Did the government design its function by thinking about the rights of the people the road impacts on? Did they really follow the principles of involving local communities? If not, this needs to be fixed. We think it shouldn’t be seen from the perspective of western Indonesia. There’s a road, lovely. There’s a road, great”, said Nababan at Jakarta LBH on Friday July 19.
Nababan warned that Indonesia has a commitment to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) meaning that it must involve local communities in all development planning.
He also asked the government to respect the rights of indigenous Papuans. Because according to Amensty’s research, there have been alleged human rights (HAM) violations which have made Nduga residence traumatised and afraid of the security forces.
“When there are problems of HAM violations related to law enforcement in Papua, the tendency is that the cases are rarely investigated. Let alone followed up, or satisfactory accountability”, he explained. (*)
Korowai people ask health ministry for their promise on health services
Jayapura, Jubi – KOPKEDAT (The Remote Area Humanitarian Care Community) invoked the promise of the Ministry of Health when visiting Korowai for a survey in 2017. The Chairman of KOPKEDAT Yan Akobiarek said the promise has never actualised until now. “The main purpose of their visit was ‘Puti Hati’, the Korowai girl whose injury formed a hole on her cheek and became a concern of the central government,” he told Jubi on Friday (28/6/2019).
Further, he said the locals urgently need adequate health services, in particular in Danowage and Brukmakot villages where located in the forest areas. “ I think there will be a huge change after the integrated team returned to Jakarta. But there is no significant change. I hope the newly elected president along with the Papua Governor can help us to accommodate the issue of health here,” he said.
Similar with Akobiarek, a health cadre in Danowage Mrs Perin Lambe, who also the wife of an evangelist Jimmy Weyato, asked both the elected president and governor to pay more attention to the importance of health services in Papua’s remote areas. (*)
Reporter: Agus Pabika
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Most Read Posts
- Discrimination handling refugees hurts Papuans
- Five bodies discovered in Mbua, allegedly shot by military culprits
- Urgent international intervention in the Regency of Nduga, Papua Province, Indonesia : Open Letter
- Individuals might take advantage of current situation in Papua for own interests to meet President Widodo
- Individuals might take advantage of current situation in Papua for own interests to meet President Widodo 18 October 2019
- Discrimination handling refugees hurts Papuans 16 October 2019
- Five bodies discovered in Mbua, allegedly shot by military culprits 14 October 2019
- Urgent international intervention in the Regency of Nduga, Papua Province, Indonesia : Open Letter 12 October 2019
- Conducive, school activities resume in Wamena 11 October 2019
- Gangguan internet di Nabire akan diperbaiki mulai Sabtu 19 October 2019
- Pertamina terus salurkan BBM Satu Harga 19 October 2019
- Diduga terlilit utang, seorang ibu di Muram Sari Merauke nekad bakar diri 19 October 2019
- Jelang pelantikan, masyarakat adat Marind palang kantor DPRD Merauke 19 October 2019
- Golkar Merauke buka pendaftaran cabup-cawabup tanpa mahar 18 October 2019
- Memudarnya keadilan dan hukum di NKRI 18 October 2019
- LMA gelar pertemuan bersama mencari solusi persoalan di Wamena 18 October 2019
- Masyarakat adat harus berdiri di atas kekayaan sendiri 18 October 2019
Headlines9 months ago
Three refugees reportedly died in Nduga Forest
Headlines10 months ago
Papuan people demand the President to withdraw troops from Nduga
Human Right7 months ago
32,000 people flee violence in Papua – rights group
Health & Education Service5 years ago
Sex Education Taught at School In Jayawijaya
Analysis1 week ago
Urgent international intervention in the Regency of Nduga, Papua Province, Indonesia : Open Letter
Headlines7 months ago
Indonesian Military: Papuan Rebels Mount Deadly Attack on Soldiers
Headlines12 months ago
When a dense forest turns into an oil palm plantation
Economy1 year ago
Freeport Indonesia disregards Papua Manpower Office’s Decree