Communion of Churches in Indonesia calls for MIFEE to be Stopped!

a-Sekertaris-Umum-PGI-Gomar-Gultom-didampingi-seorang-pengurus-saat-memberikan-keteranagnThe Communion of Churches in Indonesia (Pesekutuan Gereja-Gereja Indonesia or PGI) has asked the Indonesian Government to call a halt to the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) project, because it will mean the indigenous Marind people’s local wisdom will be lost.

According to Fr. Gomar Gultom, the PGI’s General Secretary, this request is based on a recommendation of the PGI’s 2 Full Working Council (Majelis Pekerja Lengkap), which recently held it’s 2014 session in Merauke Regency.

The PGI’s request echoed a similar call from the Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua (GKI).

Several problems facing Papua were discussed during the course of the MPL PGI’s session, including poverty, and the population of indigenous Papuans which continues to diminish over time,

“Addressing this population problem in particular, the MPL session recommended that the PGI follow up the issue by carrying out studies to discover the causes and then make recommendations to the government of how to overcome the problem,” Gultom said in Merauke, Monday (20/1/2014)

If the government didn’t heed the MPL’s recommendation, it was suggested that it should still pay attention to local wisdom.

According to Gultom, the concept of local wisdom promotes the rights of the community as customary land owners and the preservation of the ecological balance.

It was also mentioned that studies had shown that several MIFEE-related developments already in progress were ignoring local people’s rights.

“So, those were some of the recommendations concerning the problems of Papua which were produced by the Communion of Churches in Indonesia’s nationwide Full Working Council which took place in Merauke in 2014. There were other recommendations, but without final decisions as they are still being discussed,” said Gultom.


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