PT Permata Putera Mandiri facing community opposition

Warga-Saga-Palang-PT.-PMPAustindo Nusantara Jaya Group is facing community resistance on two fronts by residents upset by the company’s recent forest clearance for its oil palm and sago operations in South Sorong Regency. On the ground a dispute has broken out with villagers from Saga village claiming that the company has used their land, but without negotiating with them – it only gave compensation to their neighbours in Puragi village. Meanwhile in the city, students from the area have also been blocking the company’s office. Amongst their demands is that the company stop using state security forces to guard their operations.

Not only that, but last month research by NGO Greenomics, published by, also highlighted that the same company was clearing forest, but was a supplier to two palm oil trading companies which have made zero deforestation pledges.

Two articles about the community opposition are translated below, taken from Yayasan Pusaka’s website. The ANJ Agri group operates a forest concession to harvest sago palms, as well as two oil palm companies (PT Permata Putera Mandiri and PT Putera Manunggal Perkasa) which have been operating for about a year, and a third oil palm company (PT Pusaka Agro Makmur), which has yet to start land clearing:

The People of Saga Village are still blocking access for PT Permata Putera Mandiri

Five clans from Saga village, Metamani District, South Sorong (the Rariaro, Sinauriago, Korerago, Bawey and Werisaru clans), who claim to be customary landowners, are still blocking aqccess to oil palm company PT Permata Putera Mandiri (PPM) which is operating on the land even though those landowning clans have not sat down together to discuss the plans nor given their agreement.

Since last year, PT PPM has been clearing forest and local people’s food crops in the Benawa area, Kais District and Jamarema, Puragi Village, Metamani District in South Sorong Regency, West Papua. PT PPM never conducted and studies with the local people or conducted any wider consultation.

Landowners in Jamarema from Saga village are shocked that their forest has been cleared to become an oil palm plantation. “PT PPM never told us anything in advance, the people just found out when the land and forest was already cleared”, Adam Rariaro explained.

A large stretch of forest and other land has already been cleared, reaching from Benawa to Jamarema. Adam Rariaro related that PT PPM twice gave “knock on the door money”, or a ‘token of their appreciation’ to seven of the clans in Puragi village, to a value of 25 million Rupiah per clan the first time around and then a second installment of 20 million Rupiah per clan.

Five clans from Saga village, who never gave their permission nor received this money, protested after they heard their forest and customary land around Jamarema was being cleared without their agreement. They accused the company of have asked the wrong people for agreement and then given them the money.

In January 2015, the five clans from Saga village protested and blocked the company’s road at a place called Ureko. In mid-February 2015, the five clans sent a letter with their demands to PT PPM’s leadership, requesting compensation of 15 billion Rupiah for the land cleared for the road and preparations for the plantation, an area about 12 metres wide and 20 kilometres long.

PT PPM, which is owned by the Austindo Nusantara Jaya Group, has yet to give a response to the community’s demands. The blockade, a traditional symbol stopping all work at PT PPM’s site has also not yet been lifted. “The South Sorong police chief is planning to arrange a meeting between customary landowners in Saga and Puragi villages and the company to find a solution to the problem, but this meeting has not yet happened”, said Adam Rariaro.


IPPMI reports two companies to the Papuan People’s Assembly

The chair of the Central Leadership Council of the Union of Iwaro Youth and Students (IPPMI), Simon Korie, has said that PT ANJ Papua and PT Permata Putera Mandiri (PPM) have still not responded to students’ demands for the two companies, who operate sago and oil palm businesses, to withdraw the organic troops (military and police) who are guarding their operations.

Simon claims to have already passed this complaint on to the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) for West Papua Province. When hearing of the matter, the MRP responded positively, and will incorporate the case into their work programme, to watch over what is happening in the area the two companies are exploiting

“We have already met with the Sorong Naval Base commander to ask them to prevent illegally-felled logs being transported out of South Sorong through the area of his juristiction”, said Simon to journalists on March 3rd. Simon added that the people of South Sorong fully support the resolution of this case.

A similar point was made by the IPPMI’s public relations spokesperson, Ferry Onim. According to Onim, the two companies are illegal and operating without official permits, since, he says, the two companies cannot show any proof, or even their operational permits.

“Since these two companies were set up, the people have been deceived and tricked. We will not back down, we will take them to court. The company is extracting wood – they said they would just take the sago palms but the wood is also being taken, now the forest is destroyed”, said Onim.

Meanwhile, the chair of the Papuan People’s Assembly, Vitalis Yumte confirmed the matter to journalists, saying that the body had already scheduled the matter to be followed up as soon as possible.

If as a result of their review there are found to be any irregularities, they will study the situation further and take legal steps. That did not only mean in South Sorong Regency, Yumte said, the MRP would also visit other companies.

Source: Harian Cetak Teropong News, Wednesday 4th March 2015.

via Pusaka:

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