Jakarta – The Indigenous People of Merauke and Boven Digoel expressed complaints regarding foreign NGOs to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Accompanied by the Chairman of Committee II of DPD RI, Parlindungan Purba and a senator from Papua, Charles Simaremare, the customary leaders of Merauke and Boven Digoel visited the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MOEF) to deliver aspirations from the people in Boven Digoel and Merauke. The complaints are related to the land clearing for oil palm smallholder plantations, which is still obstructed due to the charges brought by foreign NGOs.

The group was welcomed by Yuyu Rahayu (Acting Director General of Environment and Forestry Planning) and Muhammad Said (Director of Legitimization and Governance of Forest Estate from the Directorate General of the Environment and Forestry Planning) in the office of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, at Gatot Subroto Street, Jakarta, Monday (04/10).

Parlindungan Purba explained that the community could not cultivate the smallholders’ land of 20% concession from Korindo Group due to the moratorium on the company’s forest. The obstacles faced by company to clear lands—including plasma—are caused by the negative campaign conducted by foreign non-governmental organizations (NGO), which released a report on deforestation in Korindo’s concession.

“Companies, such as Korindo, feel disturbed by the presence of black campaign conducted by a foreign NGO, which brought up false allegations to Korindo’s supply chain and market. After conducting a check, It turns out that the NGO never came or communicated,” said the North Sumateran senator.

Moreover, Parlindungan said they will form a team and visit Merauke and Boven Digoel. He will also send a letter to President Joko Widodo and related agencies to provide input regarding this issue.

Meanwhile, the senator from Papua Province, Charles Simaremare responded by saying that the truth is it is the foreign party that is trying to interfere with the economic stability in Papua. Charles also hoped that the government can improve the welfare of the people of Papua.

“The central government’s action to give the Right to Cultivate (Hak Guna Usaha/HGU) for investors to build smallholder plantation for the community is already the right step, but the black campaign from the NGO is very damaging to the business owned by investors that have put investments in Papua, because their business is not only in oil palm,” he explained.

Charles hoped the Indonesian government could give a firm statement stating that there are no problems with the investments made by Korindo, so that people can obtain plasma oil palm plantations from the 20% of HGU given by our government.(Dn)


Source : Jakarta Forum

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