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
The story of illegal logging from the forests of Papua
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
Indonesian military to complete Trans-Papua Highway
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. (*)
Indonesian soldier dead after attack at Papua airport
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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