PT Selaras Inti Semesta has cleared important sites for the Malind People

The Malind people possess traditional wisdom to protect sites they consider important. These important sites have historical, social, cultural and economic value, such as routes travelled by their ancestors, sacred relics, ancestral burial sites, historic villages and sago groves.

In a participative mapping exercise in Kampung Wayau, District Animha, Merauke on 21/10/2013, the head of WWF Merauke Lienke Rahawarin conveyed the results of a similar mapping of Malind important sites that had taken place in Kampung Zanegi.

According to Amandus Gebze, a figure of the Zanegi community, important sago groves had been cleared by the industrial forestry company PT Selaras Inti Semesta (PT SIS) which is operating in Kampung Zanegi.

Over the course of 2012 and 2013, PT SIS has cut down the forest and cleared sago groves in the vicinity of the Watkind river swamps. The names of some of these sago groves, amongst others, are:

Clearing these areas is in contradiction of the Papuan Governor’s recommendation to protect important sites as well as areas of high conservation value. It also means that the company is not respecting the community’s economic, social and cultural rights and knowledge. The community hopes that government has the will to uphold the law in this regard.

Source: Berita Pusaka, Edisi IV Oktober 2013

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