Jayapura, Jubi – Sorong regent Johny Kamuru has delivered to the people of Moi Decree No.593.2/KEP.345/IX/2021 on land rights recognition of the Gelek Malak Kalawilis Pasa, one of the Moi Tribe’s clans. The handover was carried out at the Keik Malamoi Building on Friday, October 15, 2021.
Head of the Papua Indigenous People Institution Silas Kalami appreciated the regent’s decree as it had been long anticipated by the people ever since the issuance of Sorong Regional Regulation No.10/2017 on Recognition and Protection of Indigenous People in Sorong Regency.
“The Sorong regent’s decree is the first [to recognize land rights of Indigenous People in Sorong]. Through the recognition of rights, the community will protect forests and customary lands stronger,” Kalami said in a press release on Friday.
Indigenous People, Kalami said, must protect their land and forest for the sustainability of their lives. Any kind of development must adapt to the needs of Indigenous People. “Do not sacrifice Indigenous People,” he said.
“The forest and land are part of Indigenous People’s identity. Without them, there are no longer Indigenous People,” he added.
Meanwhile, Gelek Malak Kalawilis Pasa tribal chief Herman Malak said that his party never wanted the presence of oil palm plantations in their area from the very start. The people are now making maps and gathering support to defend their customary lands and forests.
“We, the Gelek Malak, have proven that we can protect our customary lands and forests, setting an example for other clans to join our cause,” said Malak. He invited Indigenous People from other clans to support the regent of Sorong, Johny Kamuru, to reject oil palm plantations in Sorong. (*)
Reporter: Arjuna Pademme
Editor: Edho Sinaga