CSOs Urge the Government to Immediately Take Effective Steps to Save Indigenous Peoples who are Affected by the Climate and Food Crises
Papua and Jakarta, 12 August 2023. The impacts of climate change are now being felt by the world’s population. Cold weather and extreme rainfall, hot weather and drought, along with ecological disasters, floods, landslides, pest disturbances, and so on, are devastating people’s lives one after another. The climate crisis has also led to economic problems, harvest failure, forest and land fires, increased health problems, hunger and malnutrition, ecosystem damage, suffering and death.
In July 2023, the national media reported about the hardships experienced by residents in Agandungume, Lembewi and Oneri Districts, Puncak Regency, Central Papua Province, in acquiring and obtaining food. Fields, hamlets and food crops in the villages are undergoing drought and harvest failure, with no rain and in low temperatures. They are forced to relocate and walk in poor condition to obtain food aid.
We, of the civil society organizations Yayasan Pusaka Bentala Rakyat, FIAN Indonesia, Greenpeace Indonesia and Petrus Vertenten MSC Center Papua, Perkumpulan Harmoni Alam Papuana, LBH PAPUA Pos Merauke, SKP of Agats-Asmat Diocese, have convened and heard the complaints regarding the poor situation, difficulties and food and clean water crises which occurred and are experienced by the indigenous peoples in Malind, Kaptel and Eligobel Districts, Merauke Regency; the indigenous peoples in Kepi, Obaa and Manjemur regions, Mappi Regency; and Fayit District in Asmat Regency, all of which are located in South Papua Province.
It has been difficult for the people to obtain clean water, which is also expensive, the fields and food crops have been subject to drought, crop yields are below the target and are insufficient for family food needs. The activity of sago harvesting in the hamlets has stopped due to the drought, and the game animals are migrating further into the forest. The people are experiencing hardships in fulfilling food and water from hamlets and forests that are far from the village. The river water is dry and the rivers are impassable. Swamps and rivers are also in poor condition, unhealthy and allegedly polluted, thus the people avoid them and are unable to consume the river water.
We have also been monitoring and found hotspots which may result in and/or have led to forest and land fires in Papua. The Modis and Viirs satellite image monitoring on the website https://map.nusantara-atlas.org in the last 14 days (23 July – 11 August 2023) found 2,270 hotspots throughout the Land of Papua, the majority of which are located in South Papua Province, namely 1,910 hotspots. The highest number of hotspots by regency is in Merauke Regency, namely 1,576 hotspots, as well as 302 hotspots in Mappi. The districts with more than 100 hotspots include Okaba, Sota, Naukenjerai, Kimaam, Tabonji, Waan, Tanah Miring Districts, Merauke Regency, and Obaa District, Mappi Regency.
Hotspots have also been found in the concession areas of oil palm plantation companies, PT Agriprima Cipta Persada, PT Internusa Jaya Sejahtera and PT Hardaya Sawit Plantation, in Merauke Regency, and in the concession areas of Industrial Plantation Forest companies, PT Selaras Inti Semesta and PT Plasma Nutfah Marind Papua in Merauke Regency.
The events of drought, food insecurity and forest fire will result in hardships, conflicts, environmental damage, ecological disasters, and even death, which may lead to potential violations of human rights. Regulatory provisions stipulate that every person has the right to a proper and safe environment, this is the main prerequisite for fulfilling the right to life, the right to food, and a number of fundamental rights in human rights as emphasized in Article 9 of Law Number 39 Year 1999 regarding Human Rights. The state assumes the obligation to ensure that every citizen and all organizations and institutions in Indonesia protect the environment.
The state is also obligated to encourage mitigation against damage and threats to the environment as part of the state’s obligations to protect, respect and fulfill the human rights of its citizens. The fulfillment of the state’s obligations is manifested in its responsibility to assume an active role in the treatment, rehabilitation and recovery of the victims affected by forest, land, water and air degradation as well as carrying out law enforcement against perpetrators of environmental destruction.
We, leaders of civil society organizations, urge and request that the national government, South Papua government and the regency governments in South Papua region, immediately take effective, rapid response and emergency measures to save and fulfill the rights of indigenous peoples affected by the climate crisis and food shortage, by way of providing programs of proper and easily accessible food assistance, as well as fulfilling the people’s basic needs based on innovations in the food knowledge of indigenous peoples, in an orderly and sustainable manner.
We urge the regency regional governments in the South Papua Province region, district governments and village administrations, to work together with leaders of district-level religious organizations, Parishes, Chapelries and Church Councils, to protect the forests which are rich and contain a variety of foods, and to immediately anticipate food emergencies as well as forest and land fires that occur in affected areas, by opening food service and emergency response posts, as channels for sharing information and providing proper and healthy food assistance.
We urge the national government, as well as provincial and regency regional governments in the Land of Papua, to respect, protect and advance the indigenous peoples’ knowledge and food systems, safeguard land and forests as the people’s food sources, protect and empower the indigenous peoples’ food businesses, business organizations, technological innovations, provision of capital and markets, in a sustainable manner.
We urge the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to conduct investigation into the allegations of land and forest fires that occurred in the concession areas of oil palm plantation companies and industrial tree plantations in Merauke Regency, and to endeavor towards law enforcement and order.
Franky Samperante, Yayasan Pusaka Bentala Rakyat: 0813 1728 6019
Betty Nababan, FIAN Indonesia: 0816 103 461
Harry Woersok, Petrus Vertenten MSC Center: 0812 4080 8786
Iqbal Damanik, Greenpeace Indonesia: 0811 444 5026
Dewanto Talubun, Perkumpulan Harmoni Alam Papuana: 0852 5474 9321
Teddy Wakum, LBH PAPUA Pos Merauke: 0822 4245 0431
Witnesses Tell of Intimidation Against Indigenous Landowners, Refute Palm Oil Company Claims in West Papuan Environment Lawsuit
Jayapura, 27 July 2023. Witnesses today gave evidence in a Jayapura courtroom during an environmental lawsuit taken by members of the Auyu People against a Malaysian-owned palm oil company’s plan to clear tens of thousands of hectares of their West Papuan forest homeland.
Kasimus Awe of the Auyu People explained to the Jayapura State Administrative Court what he described as intimidation directed towards opponents of the company plans. Meanwhile Arief Rossi Ramadhan, a participatory mapping expert from the Bentala Rakyat Heritage Foundation described the process carried out by the Woro clan of the Indigenous Auyu People to set down on paper the boundaries of their traditional land.
Legal representatives for the plaintiff, Hendrikus ‘Franky’ Woro, argued that the Woro clan had not been informed of the company plans, and that their land rights had not been recognised in maps drawn up by the palm oil company, PT Indo Asiana Lestari in its process of seeking government permits. While the company’s lawyers previously asserted that it had placed an advisory notice regarding its plans in the Harian Papua newspaper, representatives for the plaintiffs noted that the offices for the little-known newspaper have long been shuttered, and that in any case newspapers did not usually reach the Woro clan.
The Woro clan is based in the remote village of Yare, Fofi District, in the richly forested Boven Digoel regency, located in the remote southeastern-most corner of the Indonesian territory known internationally as West Papua.
Outside the courtroom, the Alliance of Students and Youth Concerned about Forests and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Aliansi Mahasiswa dan Pemuda Peduli Hutan dan Hak Masyarakat Adat) provided support for the plaintiffs. They held a peaceful demonstration, unfurling banners with calls such as ‘Save Indigenous Papuans’ Forest’ and ‘Cabut Semua Izin di Tanah Awyu’ (Revoke All Permits Over Auyu Land).
Asep Komarudin, Greenpeace Indonesia, +62-813-1072-8770
Tigor Hutapea, Bentala Rakyat Heritage Foundation, +62 812-8729-6684
Igor O’Neill, Greenpeace Indonesia, [email protected] +61-414-288-424
Since the end of 1982, there has been increasing state control and regulation in managing and utilizing Papua’s forest products, signified by the Decree of the Minister of Agriculture Number 820 Year 1982 regarding Designation of Forest Areas in Irian Jaya Level I Region Province covering an area of almost 41 million hectares as Forest Areas. This decision is based upon the Law on Forestry Number 5 Year 1967, the Minister stipulated the (state) Forest Areas, after being worked on and mapped out on the table, with minimum consultation with the residents, dividing their functions and designations, erecting Prohibition Signs and/or concession monuments in the field.
Despite the amendment to the Forestry Law (1999) and revisions to certain articles (2012), which accepted and recognized the existence of customary forests, the state arranged for requirements which had not fully promoted and restored the rights of indigenous peoples that occurred during the New Order regime. The development regime at that time issued a unilateral policy of taking over and utilizing customary land and forests, turning it into (state) political forests and establishing them as (state) forest areas, and endeavors towards commercial commodities were carried out using legal politics, territorialization and even the use of state violence, which are still being repeated today, benefitting the corporations. Unfair.
Moses Kilangin of the Amungme Tribe, talks about the ‘customary’ prohibition poles of the Amungme Tribe which are considered taboo by the Amungme people in the Wa Valley. However, the Freeport mining company, capitalizing on a Contract of Work and military apparatuses with a security approach, operates a mining business by displacing and destroying Nemangkawi, which is considered a sacred mountain. In 2004, the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Megawati Soekarnoputri, issued a decree supporting this mining company to operate in forest areas that should have been protected. The plenary session of the People’s Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Indonesia (2004) also approved it by amending Law 41/1999 to protect the mining business in the forests. Today, the Job Creation Law has become a lubricant for business highways and profit multiplication.
The business of extracting natural wealth, reaping and multiplying profits involves Strong People (Hasiman, 2019), namely business-political elites with close access to rulers and strategic policy makers. The oligarchs are directly involved in controlling the business, they exert influence and are able to change the direction of policies using power and money for the benefit of financiers and corporations. They have extensive business and political networks from local, national to global levels. Plato had described about an oligarchic regime, led by a handful of wealthy elites, who are more concerned with wealth, making money, with a dishonest attitude (Asshiddiqie,2022).
They have impunity and privileges that are protected by state authorities to pave the way for generating profits by filthy schemes, such as bribing and giving incentives to expand and obtain business licenses, including protection and settlement free from legal entanglement. Mas Pujo (2022) makes the parable of strong people as giants to explain the existence of rulers and unfair power relations in the plantation industry production system, the marginalization of people and the exploitation of laborers, as well as environmental degradation.
Ruler of Papuan Forests
Since 1988 up to the issuance of Presidential Instruction on Moratorium on the clearing of natural forest and peatland products (2011), it is acknowledged that the government had issued business permits for logging forest products (HPH) in Papua and West Papua Provinces (before the division into new autonomous regions) to 86 companies with a total area of up to 11,170,416 hectares. Perhaps the largest logging permits compared to other areas outside Papua. Currently, several of the dozens of companies have stopped operating, some of which have changed ownership and/or been acquired by new owners.
The large concession area resulted from the practice of arbitrariness in law without considering the sense of justice and the people’s interests, perceived socio-economic discrimination, and using the arguments of development expansion and poverty alleviation, which is driven and influenced by the interests of accelerating and expanding capital accumulation in Papua. In 1999, the government issued Government Regulation Number 6 Year 1999 regarding Forest Concession and Collection of Forest Products in Production Forests, Article 8 paragraph (1) stipulates the provisions on the maximum area of Forest Concession Rights (HPH), (a) for one province each right holder is a maximum of 100,000 (one hundred thousand) hectares; (b) for all of Indonesia each right holder shall be a maximum of 400,000 (four hundred thousand) hectares; (c) specifically for Irian Jaya Province, each right holder shall be a maximum of 200,000 (two hundred thousand) hectares. The provisions on the maximum area of Forest Concession Rights as referred to in this paragraph shall apply to one company and its group.
This policy of controlling multiple forest concessions is in line with the expectations of the timber tycoons. They also extract and procure the contents of timber forest products from forest conversion permits in the development of plantation business.
Based on FWI’s study (2022), entitled Papua’s Forest and Its Rulers, it was reported that there are 6 (six) company groups that possess large-scale concession land in Papua, namely Kayu Lapis Indonesia (KLI) Group with an area of 632,000 hectares; Raja Garuda Mas (RGM) Group with an area of 549,000 hectares; Sinar Wijaya Group with an area of 547,000 hectares; Alamindo Group with an area of 750,150 hectares; Korindo Group with an area of 417,000 hectares, and Masindo Group with an area of 406,000 hectares. The owners of these companies also control and own companies and investments in various commodity businesses and advanced processing industries, such as oil palm plantations and palm oil, property business, livestock and meat industry, and investments in large-scale land development (food estate).
The wealthy businessman Sukanto Tanoto, the concession holder that controls RGM Group, owns businesses in timber, oil palm plantation, palm oil, margarine and biodiesel, spread across various regions, including in Jayapura, Papua.
Another group, Alamindo Lestari Sejahtera Group, owns and controls three timber companies and industries in Papua, namely PT Rimbakayu Arthamas in Teluk Bintuni, PT Prabu Alaska in Fakfak, Kaimana and Boven Digoel, and a wood processing industry, PT Karas Industri Papua in Karas, Fakfak. The owner of the companies is still related to businessmen Kim Johanes Mulia and Juan Mulya. Kim Johanes Mulia, a crony of Suharto, owns several businesses and was once convicted of a financial scandal.
Alamindo Lestari Sejahtera (ALS) Group is claiming and developing a food estate project under the name of Bangun Bumi Papua project for livestock industry and corn plantation in Kebar and Fakfak, through its subsidiary PT Nuansa Lestari Sejahtera (NLS), a controversial project which is rejected by the Mpur tribe in Kebar, Tambrauw Regency.
ALS Group of companies is also planning to develop a carbon business through its subsidiary PT Rimbakayu Arthamas and in partnership with 9 (nine) companies holding Forest Utilization Business Permits (PBPH) for carbon sequestration in seven districts in Asmat, Mappi, Boven Digoel, Sarmi, Mamberamo Raya, Waropen and Kaimana, with a total area of 1,573,705 hectares, through PT Kayu Bumi Papua (199,950 ha); PT Kayu Bumi Persada (198,950 ha); PT Alam Dhiva Sukses (180,740 ha); PT Kayu Indah Perkasa (191,798 ha); PT Hutan Lestari Sejahtera (197,498 ha); PT Karya Hutan Lestari (195,116 ha); PT Wana Bumi Perkasa (136,737 ha); PT Hutan Hijau Perkasa (175,076 ha); PT Perkasa Bumi Hijau (97,840 ha).
Currently, the ruler of the Papuan forests, Alamindo Lestari Sejahtera Group, is expanding the business of timber forest products exploitation in the customary area of the Moi Tribe through a company called PT Hutan Hijau Papua Barat, the company profile of which mentions Adi Gunawan as shareholder and also commissioner, and the other shareholder is Tony Salim.
The Company’s Legality
In the chronological order of the company legality of PT Hutan Hijau Papua Barat (HHPB), it is acknowledged from the information on the plan and investment approval that the timber forest products extractive business has been carried out since May 2022. The Acting Head of the Investment and One Stop Integrated Service Office (DPMPTSP) of West Papua Province, Yan Piet Moso (currently serving as Regent of Sorong), issued a PBPH Technical Consideration Letter to PT HHPB.
On August 2, 2022, the company received a Letter from the Minister of Investment Head of BKPM Number: 02082211119201002, signed by Bahlil Lahadalia, regarding Commitment Approval to Business Forest Utilization Licensing in Production Forests in the name of PT HHPB in Sorong Regency and Sorong City, West Papua Province, which explained that based on the results of administrative and technical verification, the company had complied with the requirements, and for the granting of PBPH Commitment Approval for PT HHPB’s Production Forest, the company is required to complete the commitment fulfillment, among others, to prepare the minutes of the results of stipulation of geographical coordinates for the boundaries of the prospective work area within 20 working days, to prepare environmental documents and settle the PBPH contribution. This PBPH Commitment Approval will be annulled if the company fails to complete the fulfillment of the said commitments.
In January 2023, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Director General of Forestry Planology and Environmental Administration, Directorate of Prevention of Environmental Impacts of Businesses and Activities, issued a letter regarding Environmental Approval Instruction of PT HHPB, which requires the company to prepare an environmental impacts analysis (AMDAL).
PT HHPB’s logging concession is located between by the logging concessions of PT Mancaraya Agro Mandiri, located in Sayosa, Sayosa Timur, Klayili, Maudus, Wernak Districts, Sorong Regency; and Salkma District, South Sorong Regency, with a total area of 92,148 ha. We have checked the company’s address stated in the document, the company is domiciled at Jalan Sawo, Neighborhood Ward 001, Neighborhood Block 003, Malawili Sub-District, Aimas District, Sorong Regency, Southwest Papua Province, however, the office in question has not been found along Jalan Sawo and from the residents’ testimonies, they have never heard of the company’s name. The company’s credibility is doubtful.
Kofok Protection Forest
Earlier this week (17/7/2023) at the Drei Kinder Multipurpose Building, Sorong City, dozens of youths and members of the Moi tribe staged a protest to reject the plan of the government and a timber company, PT Hutan Hijau Papua Barat (HHPB), for Forest Utilization Business Permit (PBPH) in a forest area of 92,148 hectares.
In a statement read out in front of an official, namely the Head of Environment, Forestry and Land (LHKP) Service Office of Southwest Papua Province and the executives of PT HHPB, they stated among others the following: rejecting PT Hutan Hijau Papua Barat’s plan to operate on customary land and urging the local government and the Minister of Environment and Forestry to revoke the Forest Utilization Business Permit of PT Hutan Hijau Papua Barat for an area of 92,148 hectares located in customary territory.
Yordan Malamuk, a leading figure of the Moi Salkma Tribe Indigenous Youth, stated the following reason for the refusal “The company’s operations will destroy and eliminate forests, leading to loss of livelihoods and food sources, and occurrence of global warming. The community has also experienced the evidence that the presence of HPH companies and oil palm plantations destroys forests and does not provide welfare,” said Yordan, a native of Sayosa Timur, Sorong District.
The unequal relation of production and distribution is witnessed in the logging business in Papua. Company workers ranging from tree loggers to administrative officers who work in extreme environments in the forest with economic pressure, are forced to receive inadequate wages, discrimination and poor social security. This is also the case in the compensation received by the Tuan Dusun, owner of the customary forest, who is being paid Rp. 1 million per cubic meter of merbau wood, compared to the risk of loss of environmental services, forest destruction and the threat of ecological disasters. Meanwhile, timber entrepreneurs enjoy multiple profits from the commercial timber business.
The position of opposing corporations and exploitation of natural resources in the midst of unfavorable social patterns and poor business governance will prevent poverty and injustice, and save the earth from the effects of climate change. This stance is embedded in the discussions and actions by the people of the Moi Tribe.
They peacefully left the activity of public consultation room for the preparation of the Environmental Impact Analysis (AMDAL) for Forest Utilization Business Permit (PBPH) of PT Hutan Hijau Papua Barat (HHPB), which was organized by the company and the government of Southwest Papua Province, without any consensus. There has been no response and reporting on the position of the regional government and the company regarding such position.
Based on a quick analysis of the company’s concession map, most of the forest areas targeted by PT HHPB’s timber business are within customary forest areas, including the forbidden forest area and are protected by the indigenous people called Kofok, in Inei valley.
Ank, Jul 2023
Promoting and Actualizing the Respect and Protection of the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Papua
The state acknowledges that the administration of government and the implementation of development in Papua Province have not completely fulfilled the sense of justice, they have not fully enabled the achievement of people’s welfare, nor have they fully supported the realization of law enforcement, nor fully indicated the respect for human rights (HAM) in Papua Province, particularly of the Papuan people. This acknowledgment is contained in the consideration provisions in Law Number 21 Year 2001 regarding Special Autonomy for the Papua Province, letter f.
The state as a human rights duty bearer is required to guarantee the implementation, promotion and fulfillment of human rights in the Land of Papua and other regions. The state is obligated to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples.
Yayasan Pusaka Bentala Rakyat believes that the lawsuit by Hendrikus Woro, a Defender of Indigenous Peoples’ and Environmental rights from the Awyu indigenous people in Boven Digoel, against a Decision of the Head of the Investment and One-Stop Services Office (DPMPTSP) of Papua Province, who issued Decision Number 82 Year 2021 regarding Environmental Feasibility of the Planned Development of Oil Palm Plantation covering an area of 36,094.4 hectares for PT Indo Asiana Lestari in Mandobo District and Fofi District, Boven Digoel Regency, Papua Province, is part of an endeavor to demand restoration of the rights upon the state’s failure to respect, protect and fulfill the rights of indigenous peoples.
In connection with the examination of such environmental lawsuit, in case Number 6/G/LH/2023/PTUN.JPR at the State Administrative District Court (PTUN) of Jayapura, Yayasan Pusaka Bentala Rakyat filed an application for intervention as a third party, with the panel of judges of Jayapura State Administrative District Court on Wednesday, 12 April 2023, accompanied by a team of attorneys from the Save Papua’s Indigenous Forests Coalition.
The Intervention Applicant, Yayasan Pusaka Bentala Rakyat, is applying to become a third party or intervener at their own will to retain or defend its rights and interests in order that the Intervention Applicant is not impaired by a court decision, this has been regulated in Article 83 of the Law on State Administrative Court. The Intervention Applicant is a non-governmental organization that has full concern for Human Rights, particularly those related to the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Papua and the Environmental Preservation in Papua.
The Director of Yayasan Pusaka Bentala Rakyat, Franky Samperante, stated that “This intervention application is based upon a mission of interest and purpose to endeavor and fight for the fulfillment of the basic rights of the people; the right to land and other natural resources, the right to the environment; recognition and protection of the existence and rights of Indigenous Peoples and poor community groups; existence of a guarantee for fair and sustainable management and utilization of natural resources,” said Franky Samperante.
One of the Attorneys from the Save Papua’s Indigenous Forests Coalition, Emanuel Gobay, S.H, M.H., explained that in the context of implementation of environmental protection and management responsibilities, the position of an environmental organization to file a lawsuit in the interest of preserving environmental functions is regulated in Article 92 paragraphs 2 and 3 of Law Number 32 Year 2009 Regarding Environmental Protection and Management.
“In the context of implementation of environmental protection and management responsibilities, whereby environmental organizations are entitled to file a lawsuit in the interest of preserving environmental functions,” Emanuel Gobay, S.H, M.H, who is also the Director of LBH Papua, explained.
With regard to intervention applications filed by environmental organizations, there has been a precedent in Case Decision Number 75 /G.TUN/2003/PTUN-JKT/INTV, in which 4 (four) environmental organizations, WALHI, ICEL, APHI, and PBHI were accepted as interveners in the case of reclamation and revitalization of the Jakarta North Coast.
Yayasan Pusaka Bentala Rakyat has been assisting the Awyu indigenous people in Yare Village, Fofi District, Boven Digoel Regency, in the advocacy for protecting, safeguarding and managing indigenous forests in a fair and sustainable manner, among others by documenting the tenure knowledge and the mapping of customary areas, as well as planning the efforts towards recognition of the right to indigenous land and forest by local clans. The Awyu indigenous people have demonstrated their ability and knowledge to manage their indigenous forest in a sustainable manner.
The issuance of PT Indo Asiana Lestari’s environmental feasibility permit will violate the right to life and the right to environment, in that important and sacred sites and biodiversity are threatened with disappearance due to the existence of the permit. This would impair the interest of the intervention applicant which, together with the plaintiff and other indigenous peoples, is currently preparing the requirements for recognition of customary forest for the protection of resources and the environment.
Yayasan Pusaka Bentala Rakyat requests that the Panel of Judges of the Jayapura State Administrative Court examining and hearing this case would grant the following Decisions: (1) To accept and grant the intervention application filed by the Intervention Applicant in its entirety; (2) To legally declare that the Intervention Applicant is a third party that has a legal interest in Case Number 6/G/LH/2023/PTUN.JPR at the State Administrative District Court (PTUN) of Jayapura; (3) To accept the Intervention Applicant as an Intervening Plaintiff in Case Number 6/G/LH/2023/PTUN.JPR at the State Administrative Court (PTUN) of Jayapura.
Jayapura, 13 April 2023
Franky Samperante, Yayasan Pusaka Bentala Rakyat: +62 813 1728 6019
Legal Team of Save Papua’s Indigenous Forests Coalition
Emanuel Gobay, S.H., M.H.: +62 821-9950-7613
Tigor G Hutapea, S.H.: +62 812-8729-6684
Pressemitteilung der Koalition zur Rettung des Grime-Nawa-Tals bei Jayapura, Provinz Papua, Indonesien
Pressemitteilung der Koalition zur Rettung des Grime-Nawa-Tals bei Jayapura, Provinz Papua, Indonesien
“Der Regent des Bezirks Jayapura hat sein Versprechen gebrochen, die Genehmigung für die Firma Permata Nusa Mandiri zu widerrufen, die gegen Gesetze verstößt.
Das Unternehmen PT Permata Nusa Mandiri (PNM) betreibt weiterhin Ölpalmenplantagen im Grime-Nawa-Tal in den Distrikten Nimbokran und Unurumguay, Regierungsbezirk Jayapura , Provinz Papua. Die Bezirksregierung von Jayapura hat das Unternehmen aufgefordert, die Rodungsarbeiten vorläufig einzustellen (Februar 2022), ein Warnschreiben verschickt und verlangt, dass die Plantage nicht weiter betrieben wird (September 2022 und November 2022).
Wir, die Koalition zur Rettung des Grime-Nawa-Tals, haben zahlreiche Gespräche mit der Regierung des Bezirks Jayapura geführt. An dem heutigen Dialog, Freitag, 9. Dezember 2022, nahmen die Assistentin I, Elphyna Situmorang, die Assistentin II, Delila Giay, und der Leiter der Rechtsabteilung, Timothy Taime, teil.
Wir fordern die Regierung auf, ihr Versprechen einzulösen und PT PNM die Genehmigungen zu entziehen. Bisher hat die Regierung des Bezirks Jayapura weder die Geschäftsgenehmigung noch die Standortgenehmigung, die Umweltgenehmigung, die Betriebsgenehmigung und die Lizenz für die Plantage widerrufen, obwohl das Unternehmen offensichtlich nicht in der Lage ist, die Bestimmungen zu erfüllen, und die Abmahnung und die Aufforderung zur Einstellung der Tätigkeiten nicht beachtet hat.
Wir müssen feststellen, dass die Regierung des Bezirks Jayapura die Rechte der Indigenen und die Umwelt nicht respektiert und schützt. „Der Regent hat sein Versprechen nicht gehalten, die Genehmigungen von PT Permata Nusa Mandiri zu widerrufen, obwohl die Firma Gesetze bricht, die Rechte der Indigenen verletzt und ihnen Schaden zufügt und die Wälder weiter abholzt. Die Regierung scheint die bestehenden Probleme absichtlich zuzulassen. Das Unternehmen handelt arrogant und willkürlich, die Indigenen aber sind beunruhigt, weil es keine Rechtssicherheit gibt und Misstrauen gegenüber der Regierung entsteht”, sagte Yustus Yekusamun, ein Vertreter der Indigenen und Sprecher der Koalition Grime-Nawa-Tal.
Die Indigenen-Aktivistin Rosita Tecuari wies auf die Verpflichtungen des Regenten von Jayapura und des Ministeriums für Umwelt und Forstwirtschaft hin, die Rechte indigener Völker und ihre Landrechte zu achten und zu schützen. Entsprechende Schutzprogramme aber böten den Indigenen im Grima-Nawa-Tal keine echte Absicherung. „Indigene Dörfer werden zwar anerkannt, doch haben die Indigenen nicht die Autorität und Macht über ihr Land und ihren Wald, denn diese werden von Unternehmen kontrolliert und verwaltet.“
„Wie aber sollen die Indigenen ohne jegliche Macht und Autorität ihre Rechte auf ihr Land und ihren Wald umsetzen”, fragte Rosita Tecuari. Wir, die Koalition zur Rettung des Grime-Nawa-Tals, vermuten, dass die Politik die Genehmigungen nicht entzogen hat, weil politische und wirtschaftliche Interessen und die Macht bestimmter Gruppen dahinterstecken. Damit verbunden ist die Gefahr von Gesetzesbruch und Korruption. Daher fordert die Koalition die KPK (Kommission zur Bekämpfung der Korruption) und das PPATK (Zentrum für Berichte und Analysen von Finanztransaktionen) auf, Beamte und Akteure mit geschäftlichen Interessen sowie den Fluss von Finanztransaktionen zu überwachen.
Jayapura, 09. Dezember 2022
Yustus Yekusamun : +62 822-3441-5750
Rosita Tecuari : +62 823-1150-8559
Franky Samperante: +62 813 1728 6019
Asep Komarudin: +62 813-1072-8770
This year’s general assembly of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which begins on 1 December 2022 in Malaysia, marks the alliance’s 19th anniversary. For nearly two decades now, the RSPO has failed in its mission to make the industrial palm oil sector “sustainable”. Instead, it has been used by the palm oil industry to greenwash environmental destruction, labour and human rights abuses and land grabbing.
We, and other organisations working with communities affected by industrial oil palm plantations, have repeatedly denounced the RSPO for its failure to address the grievances of communities whose lands were taken by palm oil companies. The fundamental problems with the institution and its certification scheme are described in detail in international statements signed by organisations from around the world in 2008 and in 2018, and recently in reports published in 2021 on the failure of RSPO to prevent deforestation, consult affected communities and address their grievances (here and here).
Today, we find that nothing has changed. While the area of land under RSPO-certified oil palm plantations has continued to grow, the RSPO has continued to be a great deception.
Since 2020, the RSPO certified several industrial oil palm concessions in Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Sao Tome, Ghana, DRC, Nigeria and Ivory Coast belonging to the Luxembourg-based company Socfin. The certifications were provided in complete disregard of community grievances related to lack of living space, land conflicts, deforestation, pollution, labour rights, harassment and violence. Communities in Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Ivory Coast have demanded the suspension of these certificates. After articles appeared in the media about Socfin’s Cameroon plantations, the RSPO secretariat sent a verification mission to assess the allegations made. Whilecommunity leaders say the RSPO assessment team avoided talking with people critical of the company, and ignored evidence provided by community leaders, the verification assessment still documented numerous violations of RSPO standards at the Cameroon plantations. Despite these findings, the RSPO continues to issue certifications to more plantations of the Socfin group.
In Sierra Leone, 1,475 local community members affected by Socfin’s plantation signed a petition denouncing the RSPO’s certification decision in January 2022. They claimed the RSPO process was flawed and had failed to consider issues related to land grabbing, human rights violations and violent repression. As noted in an international press release signed by numerous organisations: “The RSPO consultation process was riddled with missteps. Relevant stakeholders, including affected landowners, were not consulted. A crucial government report that orders revocation of the principal lease and a participative process to solve the current land disputes was rejected as evidence. The audits were not independent from the company and a safe space for consultation was not provided despite the huge risks of reprisals for people.”
The recent certification of Socfin in Africa shows how the RSPO not only fails to help communities but can undermine their defence of life. Communities and their NGO allies have to waste valuable time and resources engaging with multiple and complex RSPO processes. Leaders who speak out during these processes are vulnerable to intimidation and harassment.
In another recent case, members of the Commune of Barranquilla de San Javier in Ecuador held a peaceful protest in 2019 to demand that the RSPO member company Energy & Palma withdraw from their lands, stop polluting their water sources and stop deforestation. The protests were violently crushed by the police and then, in a clear act of intimidation, the company took seven community leaders to court, seeking US$320,000 in damages. The court already issued one of two rulings and sentenced the community members to pay US$151,000, which the defenders appealed. The company also appealed and insisted on the payment of US$320,000. The second ruling is still pending. As of today, the RSPO has taken no action to sanction Energy & Palma.
Meanwhile, communities in Liberia are still waiting for a solution to a complaint they lodged with the RSPO over a decade ago against member company Golden Agri-Resources. Their experience and others show how the RSPO complaint system is in tatters and has never been effective.
We now have 19 years of ongoing evidence that the RSPO is not a credible instrument for holding companies in the palm oil industry to account for environmental, social and labour violations. This means that RSPO fails to uphold its own principles and criteria towards its members. It has proved to not be a trusted venue for communities to address their complaints against palm oil companies. Instead, it undermines communities’ efforts and enables palm oil companies to grab more lands.
At a moment when the area of land under RSPO certification is growing and when the RSPO is being promoted as a standard for sustainability within national, regional and international regulations and policies, we reiterate our denunciation of the RSPO and our commitment to actions that can truly serve the interests of communities and put an end to the colonialist model of industrial oil palm plantations.
(1) Greenpeace Africa, (2) Down to Earth Consult, (3) Forum Ökologie & Papier, (4) Rettet den Regenwald e.V. (Allemagne), (5) Red Latinoamericana contra los monocultivos de árboles (RECOMA), (6) Labour Resource Center (LRC), (7) Entraide et Fraternité, (8) Fern, (9) FIAN Belgium, (10) MIJARC Europe, (11) Solsoc, (12) RADD, (13) Struggle to Economize Future Environment (SEFE), (14) SYNAPARCAM, (15) JVE Côte d’Ivoire, (16) REFEB ci, (17) NOAH – Friends of the Earth Denmark, (18) Fundación pro Defensa de la Naturaleza y sus Derechos, (19) Red Ecuatoriana de Alternativas a la Palma Aceitera, (20) Salva la Selva, (21) A Growing Culture, (22) Friends of the Earth United States, (23) The Oakland Institute, (24) European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC), (25) Association Française d’Amitié et de Solidarité avec les Peuples d’Afrique, (26) ReAct Transnational, (27) Sherpa, (28) Confédération paysanne, (29) Muyissi Environnement, (30) Red Mesoamericana contra la Palma de Aceite, (31) Indigenous Perspectives, (32) Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch (MAKAAM), (33) Palm Oil Concerns, (34) REACH-M, (35) Sustainable Development Forum Nagaland, (36) Aceh Wetland Foundation, (37) Betang Bagawi, (38) FBTPI, (39) FNPF, (40) Forum Penjaga Hutan dan Sungai Harimau Pining, (41) Gabungan Serikat Buruh Indonesia (DPP. GSBI), (42) Greenpeace Indonesia, (43) Jaringan Advokasi Tambang Sulawesi Tengah, (44) JASOIL TANAH PAPUA, (45) Kaoem Telapak, (46) KRuHA (People’s Coalition for the Right to Water), (47) Lingkungan hidup URAI UNI, (48) LITORAL, (49) Pantau Gambut, (50) Save Our Borneo, (51) SBPI, (52) Selamatkan Hutan Hujan Indonesia, (53) Transnational Palm Oil Labour Solidarity Network, (54) Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI)/Friends of the Earth Indonesia, (55) WALHI East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesian, (56) WALHI Kalimantan Barat, (57) WALHI Sulawesi Selatan, (58) Yayasan Pusaka Bentala Rakyat, (69) CADTM, (60) Friends of the Earth International, (61) GRAIN, (62) World Rainforest Movement, (63) Alliance for Rural Democracy (ARD), (64) Green Advocates International, (65) Natural Resource Women Platform (NRWP), (66) Malaysian Food Sovereignty Forum (FKMM), (67) Tenaganita’, (68) Otros Mundos Chiapas, (69) Reentramados para la vida, Defendiendo Territorios, (70) Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, (71) Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee – PKRC, (72) Milieudefensie – Friends of the Earth Netherlands, (73) Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF), (74) Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA), (75) asa-cadecvim coops, (76) Association Paysannes des Jeunes Entrepreneurs Agricoles, (77) Confédération Paysanne du Congo -Principal Regroupement Paysan COPACO -PRP/ASBL, (78), Coopérative des Paysans de Lonzo, COPACLO en sigle, (79) Alliance Paysanne pour la Souveraineté Alimentaire, ASA/OP, (80) Consortium Asa-CADECVIM, (81) COPACO-PRP, (82) Réseau d’information et d’appui aux ONG en République Démocratique du Congo, (83) Réseau National des Organisations des femmes Paysanne, (84) Réseau d’Information et d’Appui aux ONG en République Démocratique du Congo, (85) Earthsight, (86) Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), (87) Friends of the Earth England, Wales & Northern Ireland, (88) Biofuelwatch, (89) GREEN SCENERY, (90) Women’s Network Against Rural Plantations Injustice (WoNARPI), (91) agrarinfo.ch, (92) Bruno Manser Fonds, (93) Agroecological Transitions Research Group, (94) GREEN BOOTS, (95) HEKS Swiss Church Aid, (96) Pro Natura / Friends of the Earth Switzerland, (97) Public Eye, (98) Solidar Suisse, (99) SOLIFONDS, (100) Uniterre.