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They stole Merbau timber before oil palm plantations investment (part 2)

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Confiscated Merbau timber auctioned by Papua Province Forestry Office – Dok. Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – Another impact of oil palm plantations has caused the river became shallow and polluted; trees and plants hardly grow anymore.

“Papuan people eat sago, tubers, or bananas, we do not eat palm oil,” said Mgr John Philip Saklil Pr as quoted by Antara news agency.

Bishop Saklil believes there are many examples of failure of oil palm plantations such as in Kalimantan and Keerom, Papua Province. It only caused local residents lost their land for sago and tubers to grow.

“The closest example is in Keerom. Is it now the Keerom locals have become rich with oil palms? So please do not force the Papuan people to turn their livelihood to plant things that are not customary,” Bishop Saklil said.

Researchers from University of Riau T. Ariful Amri explained the negative impacts of oil palm plantation activities especially on water. Oil palm is nutrients greed monoculture and absorbs at least 12 liters water into its tree trunk a day.

Read They stole Merbau timber before oil palm plantations investment (part 1)

The growth of oil palm is also depend and should be stimulated by various kinds of fertilizer substances like pesticides and other chemicals.

New migrant pests also appear very fierce because this new pest species will seek new habitat due to harsh competition with other fauna. This is due to the limited land and types of plants caused by monoculture cultivation.

Henderite Ohee, researcher and lecturer of FMIPA UNCEN in his article entitled Human Threats to Biodiversity in Papua said destruction of habitat becomes a real threat to sustainability of ecology and biodiversity in Papua. This is also caused by human activities.

According to Law No. 32 of 2009 Article 1, paragraph 17 on the management and protection of environment the damage is a direct and/or indirect change to the physical, chemical and/or biological nature of environment that exceeds the standard criteria of environmental damage.

Damage to ecosystems in Indonesia has occurred in various places and various types of ecosystems. Damage in agricultural or plantation ecosystems is one of them. Wildlife extinction has been direct impact on the management of oil palm plantations on forest land.

Palm oil ‘invasion’ to Papua and Merbau timber

Palm oil plantation companies entered Papua in 1980s, especially large state-owned plantations (BUMN-PTP2) which later changed their name into PTPPN II. This state-owned company began to reach Sorong, Manokwari and Jayapura, along with the transmigration program.

“From 1990s until now, private plantations began to flood the land of Papua like mushrooms grow in the rainy season. Because the potential lands for plantations in Sumatra and Kalimantan have been discharged by conglomerates nationwide and world class,” said Simon Rumaropen former employee of PTPN Palm Oil in Arso in a written statement received by Jubi.

Furthermore, Rumaropen said potential oil palm investors are targeting the land of Papua as a potential field to invest.

“They race to enter Papua since no land left in Sumatra and Kalimantan. They come to Papua with various background interests,” he said, quoting the word of God in Matthew’s gospel is the thief will come to steal, kill and destroy.

Rumaropen suspects that the reason behind many new companies eager to invest in oil palm sector in Papua is Merbau wood.

“If the company has obtained a location permit and a plantation business permit but has not been operating for more than three years, and the company has no plantations in other areas, it can be assumed that the company has become wood mafia, “he said in a written statement.

Responding to the statement of the Coalition for Palm Oil Victims in Papua related to oil palm industries profit potential, Rumaropen asserted that they are actually very profitable, both for large companies and local communities/farmers.

Rumaropen warned that the granting of permits to companies that come to Papua, with work program and pledge of promises, might be “work and land mafia”.

“The palm oil investors come to Papua with various aims, some will actually open large plantations and some are just passing through,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ais Rumbekwan, environmental activists and environmentalists from the Friends of the Earth Indonesia (Walhi) – Papua and West Papua said that on the ground the case of land grabbing for oil palm plantations without reasonable compensation to indigenous people become very common case.

Palm oil was imported to Indonesia by the Dutch East Indies government in 1848. Some of the seeds were planted in Bogor Botanical Gardens, while the remaining seeds were planted on the side of the road as ornamental plants in Deli, North Sumatra in the 1870s.(tabloidjubi.com)

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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Environment

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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Environment

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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