The story of those whose forest got robbed

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Jayapura, Jubi– Addressing the commemoration of the World Human Rights day, Walhi (the Indonesian Forum for Environment) Papua, Yayasan Pusaka, SOS Tanah Papua, KPCK GKI Tanah Papua, LBH Papua and PAHAM invited a number of victims from several regencies in Papua Province whose lands exploited by logging, palm oil and mining companies to share their stories. 

Linus Omba from Boven Digoel Regency told how Korindo Group Company came to meet a person, then cut down the trees and took it away from this region.

“Our custom taught us to deliberate before taking a consensus for the public interest, but PT. Korindo Group only met one person and paid the tenure right concession to take woods from our forest,” Omba said on Monday (10/12/2018) in Jayapura.

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Meanwhile, Bonefius Basik-basik, the chief of Basik-basik and Kamijari clans, added that the palm oil and logging companies have operated in this region from 2012 to 2018. He and his community have applied for payment for communal land ownership since 2017, but there’s no answer from those companies until now.

People then prohibited those companies to take the cutting woods and let those woods got rotten in the forest. “Finally, PT. ACP and PT. APF paid the community for Christmas preparation,” said Basik-basik.

However, according to him, due to logging and land clearing for new plantation area, it has an impact on the local community. Water that used to be used directly for drinking water currently polluted with the company waste.

Meanwhile, an activist from Timika Adolfina Kuum explained how the life of Kamoro and Amungme tribes have changed due to the presence of PT. Freeport Indonesia. The environmental damage caused by PT. Freeport still has an impact on the local people.

In the meantime, Aish Rumbekwan from Walhi Papua added that the private companies in that region didn’t give protection to indigenous people. The state seems not to protect to its citizens.

“And the expansion of Papua forest on a large scale has provided huge profits of state’s revenues, but this country has not provided welfare for the community,” he said. (*)

Reporter: David Sobolim

Editor: Pipit Maizier

 

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