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Mahuze clan seals location of palm oil factory in Muting, Merauke

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A resident is tying a mark in the land prepared for the construction of a palm oil plant by PT BIA. – Jubi / Frans L Kobun

Merauke, Jubi – Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) support the local people to ban the construction of a palm oil factory by PT Bia Indo Agrindo in Muting, Merauke. MRP representative John Wob came to the scene in Muting on Monday (08/27/2018) to support the Mahuze clan and the local people. His participation was to respond the letter of complaint signed by Yohanes Jefri Mahuze, the Mahuze clan member.

“Referring to that letter, I was assigned to go to Muting sub-district before people carried out the protest,” he said by phone on Tuesday (08/28/2018).

He continued that based on the Declaration 2016, MRP obliges to save people and the land of Papua. Wob then joined the local people in some traditional rituals before they sealed the location of oil palm factory.

The location of oil palm factory was initially the sago forest where located in the upstream of the Kouw River. “How could it be? It is the drinking water source for the local community as well as the source of their food. Once the factory is constructed and ready to operate, its waste will discharge through the river. So the water will be polluted,” he said.

At the moment the location has been cleared out, and the installation of poles is underway. However, the community had a quick act by sealing and pushing the company to stop this activity.

Wob further said MRP would follow up the people’s actions. He said God created the Mahuze clan accompanying with the sago totem. Other Marind family clans such as Kaize or Basik-Basik also own totems as their symbol. Totems are the symbols of the kindness of God.

“What is the totem for palm oil? There is no palm oil totem for the land and people of Papua. Thus, we should eliminate those who have not connected with the nature and the people of Papua from this land,” he said.

Moreover, he said he would report some findings during his field visit to the chairman to facilitate the plenary meeting at MRP. At the same time, MRP would urge the local government of Merauke as well as the provincial and central governments to stop all projects that harm the people and land of Papua.

“For instance, palm oil plantation. It has no connection with Papuans. We will ask the government to close the oil palm plantations, including one in Muting that initiated by PT BIA,” he said.

Furthermore, he claimed that the clearing of land activity for oil palm plantations in Muting has reached thousands of hectares and killed many native habitats including sago forests. This activity has never taken the indigenous customary law into account, whereas it occurred in a structured, systematic and massive manner. “These people just never understand that the land and whatever live on it is belong to the clan, not the state,” he said.

On that occasion, John Wob also regretted that the company officials were not willing to have a dialogue with the customary people on the scene. They only sent their public relation representative to talk to the local people.

Meanwhile, PT BIA staff in Merauke Lili, who asked for his comments, was reluctant to speak because he did not know exactly the real problem. “I cannot give comments to journalists, because I don’t know what occurred in Muting,” he said. (*)

 

Reporter: Frans L Kobun

Editor: Pipit Maizier

Arts & Culture

Taparu in Kamoro socioculture

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Kamoro women when sorting out sago caterpillars. – Jubi / Doc

Mimika, Jubi – Each clan in Kamoro has ‘taparu’ or a specific location as a place to find food sources when they encircle rivers and mangroves in the lowland estuary of Mimika District.

A Dutch anthropologist J Power states ‘taparu’ is a local terminology emphasizing the relations of land and its inhabitants. “There are also the names of surrounding neighborhoods taken from the ancestral names,” as written in a book “Taparu Fratri of Mimika-Kamoro ethnic groups in Hiripau Village, East Mimika District, Mimika Regency”, by Dessy Pola Usmany et al. from the Ministry Education and Culture Directorate General of Culture Papua Cultural Value Conservation Center, 2013.

‘Taparu’ itself is more related to groups who inhabit within this region or surrounding environment as Kamoro people always encircle the river and sago forest for catching fish or gathering food. Everyone knows their own ‘taparu’.

‘Taparu’ in Kamoro language means the land, while Sempan people call it ‘se iwake’. If someone wants to mark the land he passes in gathering food, he solely adds the prefix ‘we’ such as tumamero-we and efato-we in Omawka village.

Similarly, people in Nawaripi village also do the same. Their areas are including Tumukamiro-we, Viriao-we, and Iwiri-we. All of these names reflect the relationship between the land and inhabitants.

Meanwhile, like the majority of Kamoro people, Ojibwa people believe in the power of their late patrilineal clan that depicted in the symbols of animals. The anthropologists call these symbols with totems which mean a belief that embodies a symbolic representation of society.

Unfortunately, today taparu also face the severest challenges of sedimentation due to tailings of mining activity that cause the silting of river and discolouration of Mollusca habitat in the estuary of Mimika District. (*)

 

Reporter: Dominggus Mampioper

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Avoiding conflicts of interest on indigenous land mapping

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The finalization of the formation of task force team for indigenous areas mapping in Jayapura District. -Jubi/Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – The indigenous land mapping in Jayapura District is very important, but it should be noted that it might have a tendency of contestation or conflict of interest among communities.

According to an anthropologist at the University of Papua I Ngurah Suryawan, the claim of land has a long history of dynamic and inconsistent movements. It needs a thorough study of the form of the indigenous land mapping, as it is inherent in the rights of indigenous people.

“Speaking of this, the indigenous people’s land’s right is currently facing a strong onslaught of change. “People are busy talking about land rights, but then they just see how their land was taken by companies, their relatives or other clans of family,” said Ngurah on Thursday (9/6/2018).

Meanwhile, Jayapura Regent Mathius Awoitauw has also formed a task force to do mapping on the indigenous territories. The task force chaired the Regional Secretary of Jayapura District which members are including the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), NGOs and indigenous communities.

“The task force was launched on Friday (5/9/2018) after many consultation and finalization among members and communities.” (*)

 

Reporter: Timoteus Marten

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Two hectares of forest area burned in Wasur National Park

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Forest fires in Wasur National Park area, Merauke Regency. – Jubi / Frans L Kobun

Merauke, Jubi – Eleven firefighters of the Firefighter Brigade of Forest and Land Control of Merauke was trying to put out of the fire on Wasur National Park area following the forest fires in the past few days.

Sukamto, the Head of Firefighter Brigade told reporters on Friday (7/9/2018) that the forest fires in Wasur National Park were identified yesterday so that his team went to the fire spot immediately.

He explained that approximately two hectares of forest area in Wasur National Park burned, although the firefighter team tried to blackouts of fire using both manual and semi-mechanics water pumps. “We don’t know yet what caused the fire. However, it is more likely the human’s factor,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sota Police Chief the Adjunct Police Commissionaire Ma’ruf states the police have provided an understanding to local communities in villages to encourage people not to burn the forest in dry season.

“If this habit still continues, it might give a negative impact on the forest ecosystems,” he said. (*)

 

Reporter: Frans L Kobun

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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