Oil Palm Plantations in Nabire Ignore Indigenous Rights

Tabloid Jubi

(Translation by awasmifee: https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=443)

July 30, 2013

The Yerisiam people living in Kampung Sima, Nabire Regency, Papua are still waiting for oil palm plantation companies PT Nabire Baru and PT Sariwana Unggal Mandiri to give clarification and compensation to local indigenous people.

This was the message of a press release written by Simon Petrus Hanebora, a Yerisiam tribal leader, which was received by tabloidjubi.com on Tuesday (30/7) morning.  “Thousands of commercially-valuable trees from 32,000 hectares of the Yerisiam indigenous people’s ancestral land have been logged by the oil palm company,” it reads.

Hanebora continues to explain the various attempts he has taken to resolve this issue.  He wrote to the forestry service on 31st July 2012, to ask for clarification of how many cubic meters of wood were contained on PT Nabire Baru and PT Sariwana Unggal Mandiri’s plantation concession.  He also wrote to the Nabire Regency Environment Agency on 31st July 2012 requesting a deferral of PT Nabire Baru’s plan to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment.

Simon also wrote to the Papuan police chief on 03 June 2013 to complain about the wood and rattan on PT Nabire Baru’s oil palm concession. “The way PT Nabire Baru and PT Sariwana Unggal Mandiri ignore the Yerisiam indigenous peoples rights is not compatible with legal provisions and violates national and international law on indigenous people’s rights”, he said.

According to Simon, the meeting to discuss the Environmental Impact Assessment involved relevant government bodies and the company (PT Nabire Baru) but not one member of the Yerisiam indigenous community from the two affected villages was involved. “None of the Yerisiam people have ever been involved in any of the meetings between the Environmental Impact Assessment commission and PT Nabire Baru. What makes it worse is that the people feel the harassment even more strongly as they have no protection whatsoever,” he explained.

Simon sincerely hopes that all community leaders, NGOs, indigenous and religious leaders, can make a positive contribution through advocacy or investigation of how PT Nabire Baru and PT Sariwana Unggul Mandiri have ignored the Yerisiam indigenous people’s rights. “I hope all competent institutions can give advocacy or investigate this problem,” he said.

{AwasMIFEE note: PT Nabire Baru is owned by Goodhope Holdings, a Singapore-based subsidiary of Sri Lankan company Carson Cumberbatch. A longer investigation (in Indonesian) was published in May 2013 by Mongabay Indonesia:
http://www.mongabay.co.id/2013/05/30/sawit-masuk-nabire-dari-hutan-sagu-sampai-hutan-keramat-dibabat-bagian-2/ }

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