(Jakarta, 15th Nov, 2018). At present, indigenous communities, villages and customary forests in Papua are experiencing pressure, injustice and social tensions from development activities carried out by large scale plantation companies and commercial logging.
Our customary lands and forests, confiscated and taken without consent, consensus and free decision from the people, by the interface of government as permits giver, as well as security for those corporations. Indofood Group, one of the big corporations that owns five plantation Papua, namely: PT. Bintuni Agro Prima Perkasa (19,369 ha) in Tambrauw Regency, PT. Subur Karunia Raya (38,620 ha) in Teluk Bintuni Regency, PT. Rimbun Sawit Papua (30,596 ha) in Fakfak Regency, PT. Menara Wasior (32,173 ha) in Teluk Wondama Regency, all four companies are in West Papua Province and PT. Tunas Agung Sejahtera (40,000 ha) in Mimika Regency, Papua Province.
Bintuni Agro Prima Perkasa (PT. BAPP) in Kebar, Tambrauw Regency, obtained permit to open forest areas (HPK) from Ministry of Forestry and Environment for oil palm plantations, but PT. BAPP has planted corn on a large scale on designated area since 2015. The allotment deviation has not received a response from the government and law enforcement officials
After Ariks of Mpur indigenous community, the clan landowners in Kebar, who actively voiced the problems of PT. BAPP, revealed, “PT. BAPP is not transparent to the community and deviates from the agreement. The company explained that it had only conducted a trial of corn for three years on open land and reeds, but the fact is in doing so company has destroyed the forest and community sago hamlets, “explained Semuel Ariks.
The life of the Mpur tribe in Kebar and the indigenous Papuans general whose customary territories are targeted and given to plantation industry, still rely their live to the forest and sago hamlet as a source of food and community livelihoods.
Veronika Manimbu, a woman from Mpur indigenous community explained, “This is the first event, we have just experienced thousands of hectares loss of our forests and sago hamlet. We face difficulties, violence and intimidation by company security forces, ” explained Veronika.
Most plantation companies in Papua received permits to operate in forest areas and hamlets of community food sources, including peat areas that have socio-cultural, economic and ecological values. The government and companies are also intentionally negligent to carry out environmental management, respecting the culture and community socio-economic and the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples. The government is ignorant to law enforcement.
Yohanes Akwan, leader of the West Papua Province labor organization, GSBI revealed, “Government have failed to protect and respect the rights of Papuans indigenous and the workers from indigenous Papuans on the plantations. In practice, companies remunerate community land with low and unfair prices. Labor wages paid under government standards and workers are experience exploitation, various forms of modern slavery “, said Yohanes Akwan.
Mpur community head chief, Paulus Ajombuani, has met with officials from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Agrarian and Spatial Planning, during three days in Jakarta. Ajombuani, representing 64 sub-groups or groups of Kebar clan, he voiced and stated that the government must revoke licenses and cultivation rights (HGU) of PT. BAPP.
“We also ask PT. BAPP to immediately get out from Mpur customary land in Kebar, the company activities has caused various socio-cultural problems and threats, socio-economic and environmental damage. We can live without the company present “demanded Ajombuani.
Ank, Nov 2018