PT Papua Agro Lestari presents its Environmental Impact Assessment to Residents of Muting.

Oil Palm company PT Papua Agro Lestari, a subsidiary of the Daewoo International Group from South Korea, has once again visited the indigenous people of Muting to present the results of its Environmental Impact Assessment at the Muting District Office on Thursday, 13th February 2014.

PT Papua Agro Lestari presented its environmental impact assessment together with that of another oil palm company, PT. Internusa Jaya Sejahtera. The communities around Muting and Kindiki attended the meeting, in particular the clans which own the land rights in the two companies’ concession areas.

PT Papua Agro Lestari had previously presented its plans in 2007 but the community had not made an agreement to accept the company’s plans. Currently one issue is that the company is working with PT Berkat Cipta Abadi (owned by Korindo Group, another South Korean company using foreign capital for its investment) to develop oil palm in Ulilin District in Merauke.

The head of the Environmental Impact Assessment sub-agency of the Papuan Provincial Investment Board, Ir. Emmy Mandosir, and regency-level officials present in the meeting, explained that the Environmental Impact Assessment procedure was in accordance with legal regulations and asked for input from the community.

Community members tended to be passive during the presentation, Silvester Ndiken related, because the community had no information and were not given the opportunity to study the environmental impact assessment document. “How are we supposed to respond?” asked Silvester, notably annoyed with the way government and company officials had approached the EIA process.

The community’s only response was to express their worries about the environmental impact of releasing waste into the Bian River and the effect of clearing forest that will damage and limit the community’s sources of livelihood. In the meeting, the community did not express an opinion about whether they should give their agreement or oppose the plans of PT Papua Agro Lestari and PT Internusa Jaya Sejahtera.

Source: Pusaka

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