Category Archives: Around West Papua

Were cement company interests behind change of forest land classification?

The Radar Sorong newspaper, on 19th April 2017, published a story about the Environment and Forestry Minister signing an agreement to change the land use designation an area of protected forest in Gunung Botak (bald mountain), Momiwaren sub-district, South Manokwari Regency, West Papua province. According to the head of the Papua Barat Province Forestry Agency, […]

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Moi indigenous people block the road in opposition to oil palm

The sky was blue that morning and the sun’s intense heat would burn your skin. Hundreds of people from the Moi indigenous community in Sorong Regency, West Papua arrived at the crossroads at the entrance to the administrative centre of Klaso sub-district, blocking the street while they unfurled banners stating their opposition to oil palm […]

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The commercialisation of ancestral forest

In late 2016, President Joko Widodo signed a decree to officially grant legal status to the customarily-owned forest of nine indigenous communities in different parts of Indonesia, covering a total area of 13,100 hectares. This amount of land is insignificant in comparison to the millions of hectares of forest and other land which Jokowi had […]

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Freeport: Student solidarity for change.

[awasMIFEE note: after a month where the giant Freeport mine became a topic for national debate across Indonesia once again, focussed as always on whether or not the US company should be obliged to hand over a controlling stake to the Indonesian Government,  Papuan students have been asking why no-one ever talks about the mine’s […]

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Malalilis oh Malalilis, what fate has befallen you?

Malalilis is a village belonging to the Moi people in Sorong Regency, Papua Barat Province. The village is located quite far from the main road and with few inhabitants, but with an immense forest. What is it like now? Maybe it was because the forest was so vast and the inhabitants sparse that outsiders considered […]

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Three Clans in Yang Village Oppose new Plantation Companies

[awasMIFEE note: The letter below, from members of the Auyu ethnic group living near the Kia River, is in reaction to pressure to accept a new investor on their land. An Auyu man, vested with some authority from the local government, has been acting as a broker, in this case reportedly pushing people to reject […]

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The traps and manipulations that place control in the hands of capital

Oil palm companies in Papua refer to themselves as a pioneer industry, opening up the interior, trailblazers for new investment and stimulators of local economies. The government has prepared various pieces of legislation to facilitate investment, permits and economic incentives to smooth the way for this pioneer industry, even providing security through the use of […]

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The Auyu people strategise to defend their rights.

The problems around local objections to oil palm companies menacing the territory of the Auyu people around the Digoel and Ki rivers in Boven Digoel regency are not over yet. Now, local government has issued location permits to three new palm oil companies. The three companies are PT Perkebunan Boven Digoel Abadi, which has been […]

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Declaration of Indigenous Papuans affected by Forestry, Plantations and Mining.

A conference of indigenous Papuans affected by the forestry, plantation and mining industries was held in Sorong on 2nd and 3rd December 2014,  a follow-up to a similar conference held in Waena, Jayapura in 2014. This is the joint statement agreed by participants in that meeting. Joint Declaration We, as representatives of indigenous peoples from […]

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The Menara Group* has not carried out its obligations.

Between 2011 and 2014, the Forestry Minister issued decrees releasing state forest land to twelve oil palm plantation companies in and around Jair sub-district of Boven Digoel Regency. Five of those companies are owned by or still have connections with a Malaysian company, the Menara Group*: PT. Usaha Nabati Terpadu (37.918 ha), PT. Megakarya Jaya […]

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