JAKARTA, SAWIT INDONESIA – The Regent of Merauke, Frederikus Gebze urged NGO Mighty Earth to no longer interfere in the affairs of land rights owned by the indigenous people of Papua. This plea was delivered to the United States government through its Embassy in Jakarta.
At the moment, the regencies of Merauke and Bovel Digoel are facing the pressure from foreign NGOs such as Mighty Earth, which caused disturbance to the investors and brought concerns among the community.
“The two regions have become popular locations for investors to invest and we have been open to the investors, though must be in accordance with the regulations applied,” said the regent of Merauke, Papua, Frederikus Gebze while giving a press statement after being received by the United States Embassy in Jakarta, Friday (29/9/17).
Regent Frederikus explained that everything does not go smoothly according to the Papuans’ wish itself. Since 2016, foreign NGOs, such as Mighty Earth, are aggresively spreading negative campaign against the development of oil palm plantation in customary lands located in regencies of Merauke and Boven Digoel.
“They (the NGOs) talk by using secondary data only or merely received information or hearsay from a few parties that delivered the information to the executives of the companies that have been partnered with us,” he explained.
There are already agreements with 7 companies and there are 4 cooperatives formed due to cooperations with the companies.
Through the Embassy of the United States, Regent Frederikus asked the support of the U.S. Ambassador, Joseph R. Donovan, Jr. to warn a foreign NGO, Mighty Earth, to no longer conduct a negative campaign and interfere in the development of oil palm plantations in our regions, because they are already in accordance with the Indonesian government’s regulations and have been approved by the customary rights owners.
During the visit, Regent Frederikus was accompanied by the local indigenous people. The head of Customary Community Council Chairman (LMA), Sebastianus Ndiken added that the negative campaign is so harmful to the community as customary rights owners, because it attacked oil palm companies that have been partners with the community, so the companies have halted land clearing for oil palm plantation development. Therefore, the development of plasma plantation for the local communities has not been implemented till this date.
“We want the plasma plantation for the community to be built so it can improve the welfare of the customary rights owners. Because we, the people of Papua, also want to progress, gain prosperity, and be equal with our brothers in other regions outside of Papua,” he said.
Similar to what the Regent did, Sebastianus also made time to visit the Embassy of South Korea on Wednesday (27/9). Sebastian along with 8 other customary rights owners expressed a gratitude for South Korea’s assistance, which has been actively involved in developing Papua. The opportunity was taken by the people of Papua to deliver a petition to the embassy to urge an NGO from Korea called the Korean Federation for Environment Movement (KFEM) to not interfere in the affairs of customary land development owned by the indigenous people of Papua.
“If there are any parties who want to help us, including Mighty Earth, KFEM, and other foreign NGOs, we would like to invite them to come to our regions in Merauke and Boven Digoel. Then coordinate with the local government to actively involved in the development to improve the welfare of the community,” he said.
Source : sawitindonesia.com