Indigenous people in Merauke refuse palm oil plantation on their lands - SKP Merauke

PT ACP Insists on Oil Palm Investment at Muting

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Indigenous people in Merauke refuse palm oil plantation on their lands - SKP Merauke
Indigenous people in Merauke refuse palm oil plantation on their lands – SKP Merauke

Merauke, Jubi – PT ACP continued to persuade the landowners Mahuze Besar clan to be allowed clear land to make way for an oil palm plantation, despite repeated rejections by local people.

Director of Peace and Justice Secretariat (SKP) of Merauke ArcQuhdiocese Father Anselmus Amo, MSC said on Wednesday (24/8/2016) that a year ago, a company owned by Martinus Kurniawan cleared the land belonging to Mahuze Besar clan after signing an agreement with PT. ACP.

“That clearing was the result of a mutual agreement between the Chief of Mahuze Besar clan, Lunus Mahuze with PT ACP for oil palm plantation. But people didn’t know about it. It then triggered angry reactions among the people,” said Father Amo. Some time ago, Linus Mahuze passed away.

Then, people agreed to appoint Agus Mahuze as new Chief of Mahuze Besar clan. They made a cultural ritual to reject the oil palm investment. In the mean time, PT ACP that actually cooperated with Cooperation of Military District Command 1707 sent a letter to the chief asking for land clearing. But the local people still refuse because most of their land has been handed for settlement in Muting Sub-district.

Most of their land was also given for transmigration program at Alwasera and Bupul Atas villages. “So, with the forest left, the tenure landowners do not want to give it, because it is the place where they earn for living everyday,” he said.

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He added people have prepared some case to be returned to PT. ACP. The money is ready. Even their delegation has come to the company to return the money, but the director simply refused it.

A landowner at Muting Sub-district, Klemens Mahuze said the rejection over PT ACP’s investment is merely to protect the ecosystem from damage. “We don’t want the forest and sago forest to be cleared for the investment only. So the rejection over the company will be continues although they gave us so many promises,” he said. (*/rom)

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