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Government Asked to Take Action Against NGOs Hampering Investments

By 6 April 2018September 29th, 2021Industry News5 min read, JAKARTA – The government was asked to take a firm action against non-governmental organizations (NGOs) under the guise of environmental cause, that are preventing investors wanting to invest in Indonesia.

“Regarding the NGO issue, there needs to be a firmness from The Ministry of Home Affairs. For NGOs indicated as interfering investments, there must be reprimand and sanctions,” said an eonomic observer from the Institute for Development of Economic and Finance (Indef), Bima Yudhistira.

He made comments regarding Greenpeace making intervention on forest management in Papua.

According to him, the central government along with the regional government must have the same point of view regarding investments, which means anything hampering the investments needs to be solved between the central government and the regional government.

“Papua has many potentials that could attract investments. Moreover, there is Trans Papua road now,” he said through a written statement.

Therefore, Bhima continued, obstacles on investments caused by the NGOs’ presence need to be solved by the regional government, if we want investments to enter Papua.

“So the obstacles need to be swept away and the regional government has to be the commander-in-chief in doing that. The central government only needs to be doing the marketing, because when there is an investor coming, they will be dealing with the regional government,” he said.

Meanwhile, a professor from the Faculty of Forestry of Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), Yanto Santosa asserted that NGOs can not be allowed to do any interventions against forest management in Indonesia, including the ones in Papua.

“There are no obligations for the government or entrepreneurs to listen to Greenpeace. Because in reality, their reference is the province’s Regional Space Order Plan (RTRW),” said Yanto Santosa.

According to him, since the reference is the province’s RTRW, then the production forest can be converted for other purposes outside the forestry function, yet must be in accordance with the terms set by the legislation.

However, the treatment of the forestry development in Papua is different to that outside of Papua, because in Papua, the community considers the land and forest belong to the indigenous people.

“Even in the past, when the government gave HPH (logging concessions), there needed to be a discussion with the indigenous people. Although the state already gave SK (Decision Letter) for HPH or production forest, there still needed to be discussion with the indigenous community,” he said.

Therefore, Yanto Santosa said, NGOs have no rights at all regarding the forest management in Papua. Everything should be referred back to RTRW. If according to the map, a land is located within the production forest, then they can develop it into HPH (logging concessions), HTI (Industrial Plantation Forest), or anything as long as it is done according to the set requirements.

According to him, if the said NGO tries to hinder investors’s effort to put investments in Papua, the government can just take a legal action.

“If there are parties that prohibit, hinder, and prevent investments, they can just take a legal action. These investments build the country. We are a nation of laws. Especially now when Jokowi government is actively boosting investments to encourage economic growth,” he said.

The Member of Commission IV of DPR (People’s Representative Council), Firman Subagyo argued that the government should act firmly against Greenpeace, that is intervening the forest management in Papua.

“Since a long time ago, I have been saying that the government need to be firm because this tramples our country’s sovereignty. Only the government can govern this country,” he said.

As stated in the Forestry Law, Firman said, the forest can be used for ecological, social, or economic functions. These functions must run in balance.

“Especially if you see that the economy in Papua is still underdeveloped. Therefore there is no harm if forests in Papua are being converted for activities related to the economy. Now for the economy to run, there needs to be investments,” said the Golkar politician.

Previously, the indigenous people of Airu Hulu, Jayapura Regency, Papua, rejected the presence of Greenpeace, that was intervening the forest management in Papua.

“We reject Greenpeace in the management of the indigenous people’s forest,” said the Chief of Wau Tribe, Mathias Wau in a joint action last week.

Mathius said the rejection of Greenpeace’s presence is due to the organization being considered always preventing the investments in Papua.
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