Merauke, Jubi – About 17 Merauke indigenous clans will report palm oil company PT Dongin Prabawa to the National Human Rights Commission over deforestation related to its oil palm plantation.
Approximately 42,000 hectares of community forest area including sacred places and sago forest have been cleared since 2009, they said.
A Merauke indigenous woman, Elizabeth Ndiwaen-Mahuze, told Jubi on Saturday (4/4/2015) the company has also reneged on its promises to build public housing, and provide cars and scholarships for their children.
She revealed 17 indigenous clans of several villages in Ngguti Sub-district agreed to appoint her representing them to bring some documents and report the deforestation case to the National Human Right Commission. “But I will consult to some NGOs in Jakarta first before meeting with the commission,” she said.
According to her, the deforestation of thousands hectares of community forest is a severe human right violation. “I hope the commissioners will immediately response my report. We want and expect them to come to Merauke and see the condition of community forest that already cleared and planted with the oil palm,” she said.
When asked about compensation claim, she admitted according to the agreement, the company should pay Rp 30 billion for compensation. But they only paid Rp 5 billion in the early year and Rp 1.7 billion in 2014 and they have not paid the rest amount yet meanwhile they still continue their activity and begin harvesting the oil palm and bring it out of plantation area.
She further said the representative of 17 clans has come to the town and directly addressed their demand but had no response from the company. So they decided to report PT Dongin Prabawa to the National Human Right Commission in Jakarta.
“We are the landowner and ask for what they have been exploited from our forest including the sacred places for the sake of oil palm plantation. Frankly, the community have come to meet with the company for several times but they didn’t give a good response,” he said.
On every occasion the Merauke Regent when he met with the community, he always said the government would not too intervene the company related to their investment if community supported it. “I always told the investors to pay attention and protect the community sacred places and sago forest. In addition they also must allocate a special area to the landowners to develop their farming,” the regent said. (Frans L Kobun/rom)