Tag Archives: demographic transformation

Cultural Destruction, Land Conversion Threaten Indigenous Papuans

from Abeth You, at our partners Tabloid Jubi’s West Papua Daily

October 21, 2015

Indigenous peoples of Papua - Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – The destruction of Papuan culture is gradually happening and is threatening the lives of indigenous people, a student group said.

The issue at heart is not the reduced number of Papuans, or rates of birth and mortality, but most importantly is the loss of cultural values, patterns of dispossession (being ignorant of the sacred connection to land), a ban on the use of indigenous languages in some urban schools, as well as the loss of indigenous content education in school, said the Chairman of Papua Highland Student Association in Indonesia (AMPTPI) for Eastern Indonesia Region, Natan Naftali Tebay.

Tebay said the most crucial issue is the loss of customary tenure rights on land, water and the values of life. “The process of land conversion such as sago forest being destroyed for oil palm plantations, is a process of extermination of the values and Papuan planting heritage ,” Tebay said in Jayapura on Monday (19/10/2015).

According to him, once Papua was recognised as the “sago barn” but it is now recognised as the “oil palm barn”.   During this time the levels (of indigenous) population in Papua were politicised (inflated with inaccurate data)  by some bureaucratic elites, with claims the population of Papua grew to more than three million.

“The Papua Provincial Government should be firm and realistic about the population rate of indigenous people. The Regional Parliament, Papuan Representative Council, Papua’s People Assembly and Papuan Provincial Government must not stay still and (just) watch the reality of genocide,” Tebay said.

He added they must establish strategic planning, such as forming a Special Regional Regulation, or establishing particular institutions to manage the transmigrants, and enforce sanctions over them if necessary.

“This is also prohibiting the development process. The Central Government also implements several policies that are not in synergy with the Governor’s policies. The regents and mayors must observe this situation, therefore they shouldn’t necessarily ask the Central Government for support,” he said.

It could be seen that several oil palm plantations, illegal logging and illegal fishing went ahead without any prior communication (or permission) from the Provincial Government.

Further he asked the Papua Governor to immediately issue the regulation about the population restriction and form a special body about the population issue in Papua. He also suggested the requirement of the regulation of local transmigration be extended both to people and government officials.

Earlier, the Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said the transmigration program in Papua initiated by the Minister of Villages, Rural Development and Transmigration Marwan Jafar was a depopulation threat for indigenous Papua.

“We have rejected the transmigration program from the Central Government.  If they still want to realise it, it should be a local (ethnic Papuan) transmigration (within Papua) instead of replacing people from Java or other regions to Papua.  Replacing poor Indonesian people to Papua means taking the problem to Papua. It’s not only related to the economy, employment,  or social problems, but I do worry that the program will reduce the number of indigenous Papua on this land in ten or twenty years; the depopulation of indigenous Papua,” Enembe told Jubi at his official resident on Saturday evening (17/10/2015) in Jayapura.

Furthermore, Enembe said until today no institution has the valid data about the number of indigenous People.  “So how could we protect the indigenous Papua from transmigration is still running without knowing the accurate data on the number of indigenous people?”

Jubi: Governor Warns Native Papuans Could Disappear in 10 – 20 Years

From our partners at Tabloid Jubi’s West Papua Daily

October 17, 2015

Papua Governor, Lukas Enembe - Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – The planed transmigration program in Papua proposed by Minister of Rural, Remote Development Area and Transmigration, Marwan Jafar, is a demographic threat to indigenous Papuans, warned Papua Governor Lukas Enembe.

“We have rejected this Central Government’s program. If they are still put it into their agenda, it should be the local transmigration instead of sending people from Java or other regions to Papua,” Enembe said on last week.

“Replacing poor people to Papua means to bring problems to Papua. It would not only bring the economic, employment of social problems, but I am worried that the transmigration would demolish the population of indigenous Papuans. I am afraid that within ten to twenty years the indigenous Papuans would disappear from this land,” Enembe told Jubi at the Governor’s Official Resident in Jayapura on Saturday evening (17/10/2015).

The governor said until now no party has the accurate data about the number of indigenous Papuans in Papua. So how to protect the indigenous Papuans of the transmigration program is still continued without any data on the population of indigenous Papuans?

“We are still struggling with some issues of education, health, infrastructure and empowerment of indigenous Papuans. The transmigration would add the problem faced by the local government. Moreover if those who brought in are people without expertise thus it would not give benefit to the development in this land,” said Enembe.

In the early September, the Minister Marwan Jafar demonstrated his attitude to opposite the statement of the President Indonesia, Joko Widodo about to stop the transmigration program in Papua. Instead of support the president’s statement; he made his statement to expand the transmigration program in Papua. He said the program of sending poor people from the crowd area to less population area who also provided with cash and land has been proven to be “success” in Merauke.

“Merauke could be regarded as the border area that has been successful in implementing the transmigration and agricultural development program in the eastern Indonesia,” Marwan told reporters in Jakarta. He added Merauke is “the heaven for transmigrants”. He predicted that 275 thousand people have been moved to Merauke since Indonesia’s annexation towards West Papua in 1969.

He said the transmigration program would increase the production as well as support the government’s plan to develop 1.2 million hectares of paddy fields in Merauke under the Merauke Integrated Rice Estate (MIRE) Project. (Victor Mambor/rom)

PT Selaras Inti Semesta’s Unkept Promises to Senegi Villagers

Tabloid Jubi

by Ans K @ Tabloid Jubi

January 4, 2013

The leader of the Merauke District Legislative Council (DPRD), Leonardus Mahuze, says that PT Selaras Inti Semesta, a company logging forest owned by the people of Senegi village in Okaba district, has not fulfilled the promises it made when it started its operations there.

Chairman DPRD Merauke, Leonardus Mahuze (Jubi/Ans)

That was how Leo described the situation to tabloidjubi.com, on Thursday (3/1).  He said that the company’s promise to provide education for Senegi village’s children, including providing college places, has still not happened.  Similarly the company has not provided new houses, electricity supplies or clean water either. As a result, the local people who are the customary landowners in the area, feel they have been exploited.

Until now, Leo related, the only thing which PT Selaras Inti Semesta has completed building has been a church. In the meantime they are logging the forest every day. “Yes, of course the local people are the victims in this situation. The council has received many complaints”, he said.

Leo added that in the near future he will summon PT Selaras Inti Semesta and local people to a meeting at the District Legislative Council, and draw up a memorandum of understanding between the two parties, witnessed by representatives of the people. This is in order to uphold the people’s rights.

(English translation: https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=308)

The Impact of MIFEE presence at Bian River and Maro River, West Papua

http://tabloidjubi.com/?p=7575

Press Release from Indigenous Peoples Organization of Bian Enim

Extent of MIFEE estate (via Tabloid Jubi)

Jayapura, (21/12)—“The Lord Allah has given new land to create human-being, they  (human-beings) are given legs and hands to cultivate the land. We do not refuse any development and companies on our land, but we  want to get fully involved in it (development)”

The presence of company and investment development on our customary land has caused several impacts, which we face direct and indirectly. One of the impact that clearly occurs is water contamination which is followed with phenomenon of dead fishes,  turtles and other water animals, which people believes that these are affected by company’s waste where is located on the edge of Bian River. Moreover, the water from river and swamp that we have been using and consuming for our daily needs, e.g drinking, cooking, bathing, and others, can no longer be used by us anymore. The kids who baths in the river and swamp has got health problems on the skin, digest problems, coughs and other health problems. In compensation, we have to walk miles and miles to get fresh and clean water.

The company’s activities, which we see by ourselves, has demolished our customary land that we have been protecting, nurturing, and taking care of. The deforestation of our customary forest has also deprived any of traditional medicines that we have been using for all this time. It is harder for us to look for Sago, hunted animals, traditional clothes materials, and customary equipment which are only available in the forest. For us, customary forest that is destroyed equals to damaged and the loss of our culture.

The company came to the village without any detail, clear, and proved information given. The company does not involve indigenous peoples and land owners since the first time of investment plan on our land. As well as things related to policy and permits was not informed openly, clearly, and detail to us, including the potential impact of the land permits that might occurs on our land.

In the process of socialization, consultation, verification of clan owners, and negotiation which was conducted by companies, they never get the clan owners fully involved. The companies only engaged the head of clan, the community leaders, including local government to get involved on the land that is grabbed and destroyed. The involvement mentioned is related to involvement in EIA Preparation Process, consultation, and EIA assessment. The indigenous community’s organization which represents the indigenous peoples was not even involved in this process. Meanhile, on the side of community, the land owners whose land is not grabbed and destroyed were not engaged to get involved. This matter resulted to today’s situation where our demands and aspirations are not expressed well.

We feel that government who shall has duty and obligation to protect, respect, and bring forward our rights as indigenous community, has clearly become the company’s men as they are on the company’s side, and not on the side of the indigenous community and the land owners.

When the companies came to our land, they and the government mentioned that the land was only borrowed or contracted for 35 years and afterward the land will be returned to the customary land owners, and we believe that we will get our land back. Nowadays, we got information that one of the palm oil companies, PT Bio Inti Agroindo (BIA) who conducting operation on ou land and customary area has got their Land Use Rights / HGU. We realize that the end of land use rights would refer to the land be returned to the state, after 35 years been used by the companies. For us, this situation means that the companies has failed to protect our indigenous rights as the real land owners. This also means that the company has intentionally committed fraud, negligence and removal of our indigenous rights without our approval on the concession. For that matter, we urge that if the company wish to continue using our customary land, thus the company is obliged to seek for our approval as land owners and we also have make sure that the land will be returned to us, the clan owners, after the usage.

Demands and Aspiration
Based on the circumstances and the facts above, we are very aware that many losses that we have experienced will be sustained and the impact on the loss of life, dignity and our rights as indigenous peoples as well as our constitutional rights. Therefore we demand and urged the government to take actions to:
1. Revoke and cancel location permits off of our customary land
2. The Land use rights must be removed from the land and customary land and  clan’s land, and also to ensure the lands will be returned to our customary land owners
3. The Company shall be responsible to, and conduct recovery as well as to give compensation to the communities who lived along the coast of Bian River up to Kaptel
4. The government should take action and control of disruption and environmental pollution caused by gold mining company’s activities in the border between Indonesia and PNG, which has threatened communities in Maro River – Bian River
5. The government shall conduct an investigation, field observations and research on the situation in the Coastal Mandob-Bian-Mill and should involve communities and civil society organizations.

Merauke, 18 December 2012
Sincerely Yours,

No. Name, Village, Position
1.    David Kabaljai, Baidub, Clan Member
2.    Bertila Mahuze, Boha, Clan Member
3.    Willem Mahuze, Boha, Head of Village
4.    Markus Dambujai, Bupul, Clan Member
5.    Petrus Mekiuw, Bupul, Clan Member
6.    Bibiana Kodaip, Erambu, Clan Member
7.    Elvas Kabujai, Erambu, Clan Member
8.    Polikarpa Basik-Basik, Kindiki, Clan Member
9.    Sebastianus Ndiken, Kindiki, Leader of BianEnim Indigenous Peoples Organization
10.    Simon Mahuze, Kindiki, Village Officer
11.    Chriz Ungkujai, Kweel, Clan Mekiuw Leader
12.    Klemes Mahuze, Muting, Clan Member
13.    Maurits A. Mahuze, Muting, Clan Member
14.    Paustinus Ndiken, Muting, Secretary of Indigenous Peoples Organization
15.    Silvester Ndiken, Muting, Clan Leader
16.    Yanuarius Wotos, Muting, Clan Member
17.    Melkias Basik-Basik, Pachas, Clan Member
18.    Simson A. Basik – Basik, Pachas, Clan Member
19.    Susana Mahuze, Pachas, Clan Member
20.    David Dagijai, Poo, Leader of Yeinan  Organization
21.    Siprianus Kodaip, Poo, Clan Member
22.    Abner Mugujai, Tanas, Leader of Tanas Organization
23.    Carolina Mandowen, Tanas, Clan Member

 

Take Care of Our Rivers and Give Us Back our Land

Sawit Watch / SKP KAMe

Press Release

December 20, 2012

West Papua’s natural resources are being exploited by extractive industries, especially around Merauke. When it was launched in August 2010, the MIFEE mega-project was described as an initiative to meet the world’s food needs, a response to the world food crisis. As well as this, there are the current global concerns that the diminishing reserves of fossil fuel globally are bringing about a energy crisis.

https://i0.wp.com/sawitwatch.or.id/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Sawit-Papua.jpg

With an area of over 1.2 million hectare earmarked for the project, the Merauke Regency Government hoped to turn Merauke into a centre of urban agriculture, agribusiness and agrotourism. Many companies welcomed the government’s offer and saw it as a great opportunity to expand their operations in eastern Indonesia. Merauke Regency’s Investment Planning Board (Badan Perencanaan Investasi Daerah or BAPINDA) has recorded that 46 companes have obtained permits, and some of which have already commenced operations. (data from Bapinda, September 2012).

The extent of concessions for large-scale oil-palm plantations in Indonesia currently exceeds 11.5 million hectares (Sawit Watch, 2011), stretching over all of Indonesia’s island groups both large and small, from Sabang at the westernmost tip of Aceh, to Merauke in South-East Papua.  The first palm-oil plantation in Merauke was started in 1997 by Pt Tunas Sawa Erma, a subsidiary of the Korindo Group. There are currently six oil palm plantation companies which have begun operations on Malind Anim land in Merauke: PT Dongin Prabhawa (Korindo Group), PT Bio Inti Agrindo (Korindo Group) [awasMIFEE note: PT Bio Inti Agrindo was actually bought by Daewoo International in 2011, and still belongs
to that company as far as we know], PT Central Cipta Murdaya (CCM), PT Agriprima Cipta Persada, PT Hardaya Sawit Papua and PT Berkat Citra Abadi (Korindo Group). Hundreds of thousands of hectares of indigenous people’s land will be appropriated, the forest destroyed and replaced with large-scale oil palm plantations.

Oil-palm plantations along the shores of the Bian and Maro Rivers have already brought serious problems for the indigenous people and clans that live in the area and own the land.  Oil-palm companies have been clearing land by burning, which has polluted water in the rivers and swamps, damaged and wiped out cultural sites and caused irreplaceable damage to the natural environment.  This is aggravated by a lack of information about companies’ status and plans, wrongful identification
of which clans own or have rights over which land, insufficient payment of compensation and deception and manipulation of data.  As a result the clans and tribes living along the Maro and Bian rivers have been dispossessed of their customary lands.

On the 31st July2011, 13 civil society organisations signed and delivered a letter to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discriminaton (CERD), accusing the MIFEE Mega-Project of bringing about the destruction of indigenous societies in Papua and in Merauke in particular.  A response to this letter was received from Anwar Kemal, Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimnation of Racial Discrimination, on the 2nd September 2011.  It requested that the Indonesian Government, which became a party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 1965 when it ratified Law number 29 of 1999, to give a swift response and clarification before 31st January 2012.   Until now, the government has still not given its response. The government is showing neglect and disregard and it’s not for the first time – previously in 2007 they had planned to fell the forest along the whole Indonesia-Malaysia border for oil palm plantations.

Seeing the conditions that indigenous communities in the villages along the Bian and Maro rivers are currently facing, with their land already allocated to large scale oil palm plantation concessions, we strongly advocate the following:

1. Companies must be responsible and make restorations, as well as giving compensation to people living along the Bian River as far as Kaptel and the Maro River for the environmental damage and pollution caused by oil palm plantation operations.

2. The government must carry out a review and evaluation of the permits which have been given to oil palm plantations on indigenous land belonging to the clans and tribes which live in Merauke Regency, revoke and cancel location permits and withdraw all commercial cultivation rights from customary lands in Merauke Regency.

3. The government must stop issuing new permits in Merauke Regency before all current problems are resolved, as well as repairing the damage that has already been done to the various communities.

4. As a party which has ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 1965 through Law number 29 of 1999, the government must immediately respond to the Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Anwar Kemal’s letter dated 2nd  September 2011 (which was a response to the concerns raised to the UN CERD on 31st July 2011).

Source: Sawit Watch http://sawitwatch.or.id/2012/12/1047/
Translated and posted on awasMIFEE: https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=302