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Hundreds of students rallied to Merauke parliamentary office

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A number of banners were taken during a demonstration at the
Merauke DPRD Office – Jubi / Frans L Kobun

Merauke, Jubi – Hundreds of students and youth who are members of the Alliance of Students of the South Papua ‘invaded’ Regional
Representative Office (DPRD) of Merauke Regency. The demonstration was to commemorate the World Day of Human Rights (human rights) every December 10.

On Monday (December 11), before heading to the office of the council, hundreds of students held speech in the Brawijaya Circle (Libra). They
then rallied headed to Merauke parliament.

Various banners were carried contained condemnation to the TNI/Polri who committed acts of persecution against Papuan people, also
the indigenous land grabbed for investment activities.

At the office yard, alternately a number of students made speech. They demanded the completion of number of human rights cases that occurred in Merauke Regency.

In their statement, there are number of important points read out by Frans Wanima, the rally coordinator. Some of these issues urging the government to restore the sovereignty of the land and forests of the people of South Papua.

Another thing is to close PT Korindo Group, since after 25 years of their operation, did not bring development impact and prosperity for people in the South Papua.

“We also demand to stop the custom of money penalty to the victims which despises law and make the TNI/ Police officers become accustomed
and legal to conduct violence and killing in South Papua,” said Frans.

The Student Alliance of South Papua also strongly rejected the efforts of Menkopolhukam, Wiranto, which encouraged the settlement of various
human rights cases in the Council of National Harmony (DKN). Because, they said, it will not provide justice to indigenous Papuans who were the victims.

In response to a number of statements, Chairman at Commission A of Merauke Regency House of Representatives, Moses Kaibu, said they would follow up various aspirations in consultation with the chairman of the board.

“I cannot make decision now. Of course, the aspirations set forth in the demands will be submitted to the speaker of Merauke Parliament,
Francis Sirfefa, and we will have to discuss for scheduled hearing together,” he said.

On MIFEE Program in Merauke

At the same occasion, MRP member, John Wob, when speaking in front of the rally at Merauke DPRD Office claimed that he once
submitted a letter of rejection to the Secretary General of the United Nations related to Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE)
program in Merauke Regency since 2010.

He was also written to the then President of the Republic of Indonesia (RI), Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

He said at the time, the impact of MIFEE program will make Marind people extinct, especially because it increasingly cleared community
forest for investment activities.

“Frankly, there is no positive impact that Marind people can feel with the existence of MIFEE in Merauke,” he said. John Wob promised to continue to speak loudly at the MRP and urged the central government to immediately revoke the MIFEE program, as it would gradually ‘wipe out’ the indigenous Marind-Papuans.

Three districts in South Papua are cautioned to limit investment

Separately, in the same day, three Regency in South Papua, such as Merauke, Boven Digoel and Mappi, are reminded to limit investments
leading to large-scale forest clearance.

This was conveyed by Director of the Secretariat of Justice and Peace (SKP) Archdiocese of Merauke, Father Anselmus Amo, to Jubi.

At least, he said, the governments of the three regencies should oversee the implementation of investment so as not to create conflicts
among indigenous peoples and environmental degradation on a wide scale.

Father Anselmus also asks government to develop local food that ensures the cultural sustainability of indigenous peoples.

In addition, he said, it is necessary to mapping customary territory of the clan boundaries so there would be certainty and protection of administration of customary territory among the people themselves.

Father Anselmus added that the three regencies need to have firm stance to ensure access to education and health for communities in
their respective villages.

Previously, Pastor Pius Manu also highlighted investments made in Merauke Regency, where most indigenous peoples’ forests are cleared
only for palm oil development.

As more forest is cleared for the sake of investment, the habitats within it are gradually extinct, he said.(tabloidjubi.com/Zely)

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Environment

Agus Mahuze: I wrote ‘SOS Our Earth’ using wood charcoal

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Merauke, Jubi – Agustinus Mahuze, Marind native who is a member of the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) of Merauke Regency, had become public attention when the Indonesian President Jojo Widodo arrived in Merauke on Friday, 16 November 2018.

Mahuze who is also known as an environmentalist raised a paper with SoS Our Earth written on it when the president and his contingents passed the junction Lepro heading to Sota sub-district.

“I have planned it since President Jokowi visited Merauke for a couple of times but never done. So this is the first time that I can complete my plan. Moreover, it coincides with the president’s itinerary to attend the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea,” he said on Monday (11/19/2018).

Furthermore, Mahuze explained that he wrote the phrase using wood charcoal, not marker or ballpoint because he did it spontaneously. According to him, the phrase ‘SOS our Earth’ has no other meaning but to save the earth and human soul.

“What I expressed in the writing does not only in the context of Merauke but the worldwide. So when the APEC Summit takes place, it should be a boost for the world leaders,” he said.

“I also hope that President Jokowi can read it and raise this global issues related to drought and forest fires that often occurred,” he said.

The point is, he continued, the message that I want to express is about the climate change. It’s only about the environment and has no connection with the political issue.

He also mentioned that it has no connection to his position as a member of the Election Supervisory Agency of Merauke Regency. “I brought the writing paper from home and stopped at the junction Lepro. When the presidential convoy passed, I immediately took it from my pocket and lifted it. People can see it, and the convoy ran slowly. But I don’t know whether the president read it or not,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Election Supervisory Agency of Merauke Agency Oktavina Amtop said the agency had heard the news that Agustinus Mahuze held a poster.

“Before becoming a member of the Election Supervisory Agency, he was an activist and environmentalist. Then what he’s done does not reflect him as a member of the Election Supervisory Agency, “said Amtop. (*)

 

Reporter: Ans K

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Environment

Moratorium to save natural forest from palm oil invasion

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Indigenous Papuan in Muting, Merauke conducted customary blockade symbol against palm oil company of PT. BIA – Jubi/John Wob

The Head of Campaign Division of Sawit Watch Maryo Saputra Sanuddin said that they had proposed the government to conduct a moratorium and overall evaluation on palm oil for a long time.

“In our term, it’s called a plantation audit to monitor whether the plantation size is the same as reflected in existing permits or not,” he said.

When companies break the permits, he continued, there is a potential for loss of income to the state.

“We can say there is an indication of corruption which also included as an important note in the moratorium so that the improvement of governance over palm oil plantation is truly beneficial to the community,” he said.

Up to now, the state has earned revenue of Rp 200 trillion from palm oil plantations which is the highest income in addition to the oil and gas sectors. To increase the state revenue, he suggests the government does not need to expand palm oil plantations but increases its productivity and conduct identification and good governance.

From the start, Sawit Watch has supported President Widodo’s statement in 2016 about the palm oil and mining moratorium. After the moratorium issued, Sawit Watch even keeps continuing to advocate and persuade the government to immediately stipulates this regulation (Inpres – President’s Instruction).

If there is no moratorium on the palm oil industry in Indonesia, forests in Indonesia then will turn into palm oil forests –no more primary forests and natural forests.

“Based on our data, there are approximately 20 million hectares of palm oil plantation throughout Indonesia in which1.8 million hectares located in Papua,” he said.

Palm oil plantations in Papua stretch from Merauke, Boven Digoel, Jayapura Regency, Keerom, Sarmi, Nabire and the mountainous area. “That’s amazed us. Why is there such palm oil plantation in the mountainous area? ”

However, Sanuddin said he doesn’t have an idea why the local government did not discuss the revenue from palm oil plantations with the central government. The local government solely get income from land and building taxes that only a few percents of the national income.

Furthermore, according to him, many Indonesian regions face the same problems in the palm oil sector, that are including the conflicts of land, plasma scheme and income received by landowners, especially on the disagreement the land use for palm oil plantations.

Meanwhile, the Head of Investment and Integrated Business Service (DPMPTSP) of Papua Province Jamal Tawarutubun said before issuing a business permit; a plantation company must fulfil a primary licence and other licenses such as a land-use permit from landowners, environmental impact assessment, and consent from indigenous people.

“If all done, we’ll issue the plantation business permit. It means all technical and administrative process is complete,” said Jamal.

He continued that these measures are taken to avoid such plantation inside of the forest area. For instance, in Boven Digoel, his office revoked a business permit from a company after conducting field monitoring and evaluation.

“We have done through the bottom-up stages,” he said.

According to him, the most important factor related to the permit is indigenous peoples. His office only issues a permit for the company based on indigenous peoples’ consent.

The permit for palm oil plantation applies for 35 years. The government do not intervene the company and landowners if they agree to extend the operating permit. However, he doesn’t know the specific size of palm oil plantations in Papua.

Meanwhile, the Director of Walhi Papua Aesh Rumbekwan said the palm oil moratorium is crucial. Good governance is not a new issue but a problem from the past. Moreover, he said now many major issues are arising as a result of oil palm plantations. When people lose their natural resource, it becomes a dilemma because people then only have the last option to be plasma farmers.

He continued that the community has their local wisdom and the government should look at it and develop it. The company comes offering job opportunities, yet develop many conflicts such as environmental problems, human rights violations, and land issues.

Therefore, he hopes, through the palm oil moratorium, the government would open access to the community to manage timber or non-timber resources for their welfare. (*)

Reporter: David Sobolim
Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Environment

Garbage problem, local community cannot consume water from Lake Sentani

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Community houses nearby the banks of Lake Sentani – Jubi / Yance Wenda

Sentani, Jubi – Thousands of cubic meters of the city waste recently found throwing into Lake Sentani that contaminating the quality of lake water. People living nearby the banks of the lake consumed the water for drinking and other daily activities.

“Waste goes into the lake through the river streams from the surrounding areas. In the past, the quality of lake water was good. We used to consume the water directly for our drinking water and use it for cleaning and our daily activities as well. But, now we cannot,” a native of Lake Sentani Elvis Ibo told Jubi on Sunday (28/10/2018) in Sentani.

As a result, Ibo and other lake residents use a water pump machine to get water from the well. Therefore, he hopes that people in Sentani City will not throw their garbage straight into the rivers around Sentani City, because it’s currents will flow the trash into Lake Sentani. “We have trash bins everywhere, so people shouldn’t throw the garbage into the river,” said Ibo.

Separately, a visitor of Kalkhote pier Olance said Lake Sentani changes a lot. “In the past, we only found the moss, water hyacinth and plants on the water surface, but now there are many colourful things on this water,” he said.

So, he hopes that people living in Sentani City and surrounds can maintain the city cleanliness and increase their awareness of disposal waste management.

“Don’t throw the garbage in the river, because it streams into the lake. The impact is if people surround the lake uses the water for bathing, it’s harmful to their skin.,” he said. (*)

 

Reporter: Yance Wenda

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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