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Retired Police General Protects Illegal Mining Operation in Degeuwo



Ilegal mining area in Degeuwo river - Jubi

Ilegal mining area in Degeuwo river – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – Paniai Regional Customary Council, John NR Gobai, said one of mining companies operated along the Degeuwo River, Paniai Regency, namely PT. Madinah Qurrata’ain, has appointed retired Police Inspector General RT as its chief executive.

The local people found out about it after a report said a police general who had been allowing the company to continue its operation employed a number of Mobile Brigade personnel of Papua Police.

“In Degeuwo, a retired police officer, a former Inspector General has been came up, while he was known involving with humanity issue. In our record, he held many important positions in the Indonesian Police Headquarters, including as the Coordinator of the Social Economy Experts of the former Indonesian Police Chief, General (retired) Sutarman in 2013,” Gobai told Jubi on Sunday (25/10/2015).

For that reason, he asked the Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw to immediately withdraw the Mobile Brigade personnel who guard around the illegal mining area located in the customary territorial of three tribes, Wolani, Mee and Moni. “The Police officers and Mobile Brigade personnel were actors behind the shooting incident over Melianus Kegepe, Mathias Tenouye and Selpius Kegepe. The bullets were belong to Brimob,” he said.

He further said the Papua entrepreneurs and traders would ready to lead the gold companies in Papua, such as PT. Salomo Mining. While PT. Madinah also less contribute to the local government and indigenous people in providing economic benefit.
“A good resolution for Degeuwo is the Paniai Local Government coordinates with the Papua Provincial Government to determine the people’s mining area as proposed some times ago. The Papua Governor has approved that WPR could accommodate the entire group as well as to assure all interest. Then, the People Mining Permit (IPR) would be issued on behalf of the land tenure owner to ensure the indigenous people to become the landowner or permit holder. So the mining workers work under the supervision of indigenous people and LPMA SWAMEMO would become their coach,” he said.

The Chairman of LPMA SWAMEMO (Walane, Mee and Moni Community Development Institution), Thobias Bagubau said LPMA will collect the aspiration of people living surrounded the illegal mining area along the Degeuwo River, Paniai Regency. The socialization to collect the people’s aspiration was held on 21 – 30 September 2015 in the illegal mining areas, from block 45, 81, 99, Baya Biru to Gunung Botak.
“At that time we held a meeting with the indigenous people involving the tribes of Wolani, Mee and Moni and other tribes such as Dani, Sengir Talaud, Buton and Makassar to listen their testimonies,” Thobias Bagubai told Jubi in Abepura, Jayapura City on Thursday (22/10/2015). On that occasion, Bagubau said, he revealed his vision and mission in order to maintain or protect the environment, community and to reduce the conflict in there. (Abeth You/rom)


The story of illegal logging from the forests of Papua



Illegal timbers – an illustration.

Jayapura, Jubi – Tempo journalist Avit Hidayat shared his experience in doing an investigation about the circulation of illegal timbers from Papua’s forest as a resource person for the discussion about “ Papua’s Forest and Logging Disputes”.

Auriga Nusantara, Eyes on the Forest, Tempo Institute, Free Press Unlimited, and Tempo Media Grup held this forum in Jakarta, Monday, 28 January 2019 and attended by other resource persons, such as Laode M. Syarif (KPK commissionaire), Rasio Ridho Sani (Gakkum-KLHK), Hilman Nugroho (PHPL-KLHK) Muhamad Kosar (JPIK), Timotius Murib (Majelis Rakyat Papua) and Papuan stakeholders from indigenous peoples, Papuan Parliament and Papua Provincial Forestry Office.

In the discussion, Avit said it is essential for the public to know about the situation in Papua. “The tropical forests in Papua are the last (forests) in Indonesia, while the Merbau wood which is the Papuan endemic trees have been becoming the target of the international market,” he said. 

Furthermore, Avid said he conducted the investigation in many different places and interviewed many resource persons; and in Papua, the Tempo team went further to the logging sites. There, they witnessed how the workers who come from other regions carried out the illegal logging activity. They also met transporters, woodmasters, drivers, and logging company staffs.

“And the most important thing is we met the supplier. The supplier is a mediator of the logging companies who play a role to bargain with ‘ondo’—the tribal chief–for compensation. For example, if in a village there are common indigenous lands, the supplier comes to measuring the areas, and give payment to indigenous peoples.”

In their investigation, the Tempo team also met the owners of a logging company who later admitted about the illegal logging activity.  However, they called it the unregistered community logging.

Meanwhile, in Aroba Sub-district of Teluk Bintuni, Papua Barat, the team went to the forest areas of the company who received the Business License for the Utilization of Natural Forest and Timber Product (IUPHHK-HA) that formerly known as a Forest Concession Permit (HPH). There, the team found the manipulation of a wood barcode. For instance, the barcode for ketapang wood is used for Merbau wood.

Moreover, the team also investigated the primary industry in Papua, Surabaya, Lumajang, Gresik by tracing the distribution of logs. Here, they found another finding, namely the fake transport data and officials’ involvement, whereas the illegal retribution practice has also become their another concern.

In their journey from Sarmi to Jayapura Municipality, the team discovered 25 retribution posts that consist of the indigenous institution, police (military) and Forestry Office. “This is the fact that we found, but I couldn’t capture it because it was too risky. We even witness a military truck used to transport the logs.”

Furthermore, the Tempo team met the export logging companies and found those companies able to export up to 6,000-meter cubic annually, while based on the Forest Product Information Management System (SIPUH), they only allowed to export around 100-meter cubic.

“In Surabaya, we went to a barge and talked with an officer. He said not all logs are given barcode. A few logging companies intentionally inserted non-barcode logs or illegal logs in there. They are mostly the HPH holders, and they even put the timbers between the logs.”

However, all these findings did not include in the audit industry report registered in the Timber Legality and Verification System Legality and Verification System (SVLK) which consist of the Assessment Agency for Sustainable Forest Production Management (LP-PHPL) and Timber Verification Agency (LV-LK). Both agencies are responsible for assessing the sustainable forest product management and verify the legality aspect of timber based on the system and standards set by the government.

“We also got the information about the involvement of LV-LK and LP-PHPL, which means they play around with such companies and culprits from the forestry office. I think the KPK has identified these cases.”

In the meantime, a resource person from the National Accreditation Committee (KAN) acknowledged that there were bribery practices in the LV-LK. The audit report had often finished before the field assessment.

Meanwhile, the participants appreciated the findings of Tempo’s investigation. They expected the government to find a solution immediately, whether it’s a regulation or supervision and law enforcement.

On the other hand, a representative of LV-LK objected this report regarding the bribery practices in his institution. But Avit said until now none of the resource persons withdrew their statements and opposed the result of the team’s investigation.

Meanwhile, Agung Wijaya, Avit’s editor for this covered story, said he was worried about Avit’s safety during the investigation. But finally, this report was completed and published.

He further said Tempo had traced the case of illegal logging since 2017. Thus, publishing the investigation report becomes a moral burden for Tempo. Therefore Tempo will continue to monitor this issue and welcome other stakeholders who attended this forum for further discussion.

Through this coverage, Tempo attempted to look the case thoroughly even though it might not give a solution because the solution is actually in the hand of all of you (who come to this forum).” (*)


Reporter: Timoteus Marten

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Indonesian military to complete Trans-Papua Highway



Indonesian soldiers participate in a major military jungle warfare exercise in Poso, in central Sulawesi island, on March 31, 2015. -Photo: AFP

Papua, Jubi – Officials working on a troubled road project in Papua say Indonesia’s military will complete the job this year.

In December, at least 16 Indonesians working on the Trans-Papua Highway in Nduga province were massacred by fighters from the West Papua Liberation Army.

The project was put on hold with the military saying it would take over work on the 4000 kilometre highway.

Combat engineers will reportedly carry out the construction, with hundreds of extra security personnel deployed to the area.

Detik News reports a military battalion has been assigned to the building of the project’s remaining 16 bridges.

Indonesian army engineers had already been working on the Trans-Papua Highway project for a number of years.

Military involvement in the project was cited by the Liberation Army as a central reason for killing the road workers, who were suspected of being soldiers. (*)



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Indonesian soldier dead after attack at Papua airport



Members of the Indonesian Army in Papua. -Photo: AFP

Papua, Jubi – Indonesia’s military has evacuated the body of a soldier killed at an airport in Papua’s Highlands on Monday.

Xinhua reported that gunmen shot at an arriving aircraft carrying soldiers at Mapenduma airport of Nduga district, leaving one soldier dead.

Military spokesman Colonel Muhammad Aidi said when the plane was about to land, it was shot at, and soldiers who were guarding the airport shot back, triggering gunfire exchange.

He said the gunmen retreated and escaped to the forest and the plane landed.

Tempo reported that two soldiers were shot, and hospitalised, with one dying later.

The soldier’s body has been evacuated to Papua’s provincial capital Jayapura,

He is the latest apparent victim in the Highlands conflict between guerilla forces of the West Papua Liberation Army and Indonesian security forces that intensified last year. (*)



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