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Indigenous People of Papua: Revoke Palm Oil Permits in Papua

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Indigenous People of Papua: Revoke Palm Oil Permits in Papua

InfoSAWIT, PAPUA – Indigenous people of Kiyura and Iwaka District of Mimika, Central Papua Province are struggling for their indigenous land rights where they have been living for centuries. But in the past 13 years, their land has been mastered by palm oil plantation company, PT Pusaka Agro Lestari (PAL). Thousand hectares of indigenous forests have been cut off. The forests where natural diversity grew such as, kayu besi merbau, lenggua motoa, and other vegetations, now turn to be palm oil plantations.

An indigenous figure of Kiyura and Iwaka, Ratna Kameyauw said that many people live in misery because their indigenous forests that became the sources of living, are now gone with the wind. “We are colonized on our own land,” Ratna said, as InfoSAWIT quoted from the official page of Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara, Wednesday (25/10/2023).

Not only the indigenous people of Kiyura and Iwaka complained about, but also the indigenous people of Aywu in District of Boven Digul, South Papua, and The Wate in District of Nabire. Mining and palm oil plantations that raised issues, triggered protests from many parties, including Koalisi Peduli Masyarakat Sipil.

in responding to the complaint, Papua Legislators did meet with Papua Province on 18 October 2023. In the meeting, they also urged the officials in Papua Province to revoke some palm oil plantation and mining permits that raised issue in indigenous land of Papua. One sample in the meeting was PT PAL. Its plantation permit was issued by Papua Province though the company is stated bankrupt by commercial court.

Chairman of Commission II Papua Legislators, Mega Nikijuluw said that every troubled investment in Papua should be revoked. Mega also told human rights violation, including intimidation and document fraud that delivered loss for indigenous people.

But Head of Investment Agency and One Stop Service Papua Province, Solaiyen Murib Tabuni admitted that there are issues in the province but needed some time to coordinate with other agencies. He delivered uncertainty for indigenous people and left over. (T2)