Indigenous people in Merauke refuse palm oil plantation on their lands – SKP Merauke
Jayapura, Jubi – Papua legislator Laurenzus Kadepa said he would refuse the Palm Oil Plantation bill currently being deliberated at the House of Representatives.
He said the government and the House agreed to complete it in 2016 under the pretext of protecting and preventing foreign intervention in the sector.
“Who will get benefit from this law? To whom the opportunities will open? It’s apparently favoring and benefiting investors more. It favors the capitalists. This national policy is not pro-people. If it was passed, I refused it to be applied in Papua,” Kadepa told Jubi on Monday (22/8/2016).
The Central Government issued the moratorium on oil palm plantation some time ago, but it was just talk without being materialized.
“As it’s already happened, people affected by oil palm plantations would be more victimized. It’s an overlapped policy. Resolve the problem with the oil palm investors with the customary people first,” he said.
He added the Indonesian House of Representative could ratify the bill, but he would continue to refuse it to be implemented in Papua for good. It’s not the time for investment to harm the people. It is now the time for the government to resolve the dispute on oil palm plantation with people who continue to complain and ask for their rights.
“For example, Yerisiam Tribe in Nabire. Until now people are still rejecting the oil palm plantation. It is similar with other regions in Papua, such as Merauke and Manokwari. I think it would be the same in other Indonesian regions to refuse the implementation of Oil Palm Plantation Law. I pay attention more to the condition of the victims of oil palm plantation in Papua and the landowners,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Coordinator of Coalition for Oil Palm Plantation Victims in Papua, John Gobay said the reason behind the oil palm plantation law was to protect the oil palm farmers. But in Indonesia, the oil palm farmers are only existed in Sumatera, Sulawesi and other regions but not in Papua. Now what was happened is the customary people are becoming the victims of the oil palm company.
“Given not the bill of the protection of oil palm plantation is currently included in the National Legislation Program, it needs to refuse it for some reasons,” said John Gobay.
Among the reasons are it’s simply a guile of plantation investors who hiding behind the farmers to get their intention to take the forest and the land increasing the burden of huge deforestation. Another reason, especially in Papua there are no oil palm farmers. Therefore the parliament should not arbitrarily formulate the legal product. Because it only increases the problem instead of resolve it. The law would crash with the Presidential Decree on oil palm plantation and mining moratorium by Jokowi Administration.
“The state should be focus on the protection of the customary people through the bill on customary people protection after the decision 35 by Constitutional Court. The entire customary people and the victims of oil pal plantation in Papua strongly reject this particular bill,” he said.
He said the Indonesian House of Representative should make the legal product that not harms the victims of oil palm plantation especially in Papua. “We need recognition from the State for the sake of the customary people not the oil palm market,” he said. (*/rom)