Indigenous Land and Forest Landscape in Papua Could be Damaged

Indigenous Land and Forest Landscape in Papua Could be Damaged

PalmOilMagazine, JAKARTA – Greenpeace International in Stop Baku Tipu: Sisi Gelap Perizinan di Tanah Papua reported the violation assumption about plantation license and forest release system in Papua Province in 2011-2019. It nearly reached one million hectares of forests in the province released since 2000 or almost twice more than Bali Island. Most of the release is about to develop palm oil plantations. By 2019 based on Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), there have been 168.471 hectares of natural forest in Papua Province conversed to be palm oil plantations. The numbers would be more as same as forest release and plantation license increase.

Peat and forest protection program, including forest and palm oil moratorium do not have the good results yet. It happens for many gaps in the policy and weak law enforcement. Though the deforestation occurs, but there is no strong evidence that it is from the regulations published by the government.

Meanwhile the indigenous people as one vulnerable and the most threatened group in palm oil expansion were never recognized on their rights and cultivation access. In the reverse, in last year, the government and Legislators officially inaugurated Undang-Undang Cipta Kerja which was planned for the oligarchy interests. The protection for the environment and the indigenous people is threatened by the Law.

The study of Greenpeace International to 32 companies in Papua indicated that the land projects namely in the southern Papua are mostly assumed by breaking the laws.

Chairman Team of Forest Campaign Greenpeace, Arie Rompas told, his side found some assumptions of violation since the process of location license publication and others, such as, in the forest release phase, or the change of peat moratorium maps which are good to some companies.

He thought that 25 of 32 companies got the forest release license in 2011 – 2019. It may break the regulation of minister about the forest area release. It happened when Zulkifli was as the Minister of Forestry in 2009 – 2014 and in the era of Siti Nurbaya when being Minister of Environment and Forestry.

“We knew from our investigation that some politicians are involved in the companies getting the plantation and forest release license since in the beginning of license publication. Some of them are still becoming the members of Indonesian Legislators, the former Chief of Indonesian Police, the general police, former ministers, and the coordinators or members of parties. They have different kinds of position in the companies – some were the shareholders, or managers in the companies,” Arie said, as in the official statement to PalmOilMagazine.

The politicians are potential to raise conflicts of interests. They could be influencing the making of laws and policies in plantation and forestry sectors which have something to do with their business. One example of legislation product which is full of oligarchy interest or politicians is Undang-Undang Cipta Kerja. It weakens the indigenous people, labors, and environmental protection. (T2)

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