Mama Mariode

Mariode Malak and Kefas Gisim are the last standing block between the forest and a plantation corporation that is expanding operations on the banks of the Klasafet river. Their neighbours have sold their land to the corporation, but Mariode does not want to sell her land. She has put up signposts all over her land, and is trying to protect the remaining forest around her land by demarcating their customary rights to the forests. Forest is their life, Mariode says, and she wants to save it for the next generation, just as her ancestors did for her.

The corporation she has been standing up to is PT Henrison Inti Persada, which has been operating in the Sorong area for several years. Now owned by the Noble Group, and ultimately controlled by Chinese agribusinesss giant COFCO, it was the first plantation to start operating in the Sorong area, but many more companies are hoping to move into the land of the Moi people.

‘Mama Mariode’ is one of the new batch of Papuan Voices films, short portraits which give an insight into everyday struggles in Papua, looking beyond the conflict surrounding the independence struggle to draw attention other issues which rarely make the headlines. The new selection were made in Sorong and Wamena by Belantara Papua and Yayasan Teratai Hati Papua together with Engage Media. Check out the other films at


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