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'Papua is not empty land': Respect the rights of West Papuan peoples (CSO Joint Statement))

we, the indigenous peoples, traditional villagers and forest people, and the places where we are living are under pressure and face sustained injustice and social tension due to large-scale “development’ activities conducted by plantation and commercial logging companies. 
11 November 2018

Joint Statement

11 November 2018

We are indigenous leaders and owners of the traditional lands and forests from the Mandobo tribe in Kali Kao, Boven Digoel regency; Malind tribe in Muting, Merauke regency; Mpur tribe in Kebar, Tambrauw regency; Moi tribe in Klasouw and Klayili, Sorong regency; Maybrat tribe in Ikana, South Sorong regency; along with civil society and religious organisations.

Currently, we, the indigenous peoples, traditional villagers and forest people, and the places where we are living are under pressure and face sustained injustice and social tension due to large-scale “development’ activities conducted by plantation and commercial logging companies.

Our customary lands and the forests of West Papua have been seized and taken without our free, prior, and informed consent. This process occurs with direct involvement of the government as policy maker, license issuer, and security provider.

Company activities have both caused damage to, and threaten further loss of, forests and villages that serve as the food source of local people. We have lost forest resources including timber, rattan, animals, medicinal plants, clean water and other natural resources that are the sources local peoples’ lives and livelihoods. We are threatened with the loss of sovereignty and autonomy over invaluable traditional knowledge and management systems.

We are guardians of the lands and forests, and defenders of human rights and the environment, yet we suffer from intimidation, violence and imprisonment. Our basic rights to freedom of expression, association and free speech are attacked, limited and suppressed.

Policies and activities of the companies are in violation with the constitution and laws, as well as our customary laws and practices. These policies are not in line with the mission of the government today to realise the sovereignty and autonomy of the people.

Against this background, we declare that we oppose any policies and activities that threaten the sustainability of our lives, harm the people, or destroy the environment.

We demand, request and urge:

  1. The government to immediately recognize and respect the sovereignty and rights of West Papuan peoples over our traditional lands and forests, to determine the policies, laws, and programs in our traditional territories.
  2. The central and local governments to review and revoke agreements, rights of use, permits on land and forest products operating in our customary territories, which are given unilaterally to companies and ignore our customary rights, harm the people and destroy the environment, and are contrary to laws and regulations;
  3. The government to conduct environmental audits covering performance of all large-scale plantation companies and associated environmental, social, and economic impacts; and to provide sanctions, namely, to not extend environmental permits and ensure enforcement of the law against the companies;
  4. The government and companies to be responsible for rehabilitation of destroyed and/or damaged forest and local sago resources, and to provide incentive programs to compensate peoples’ losses.
  5. The government and companies to cease stationing of security forces such as Brimob, Polri and TNI in plantation areas and company offices, to stop utilising a security approach and its’ tactics of intimidation, discrimination and physical violence in resolving disputes, protest and complaints by the people;
  6. The government and companies to resolve any disputes by using the formal legal system, as well as customary justice systems and legal institutions that exist in society and used wisely, justly, and peacefully;
  7. The government to protect human rights defenders and environmental defenders across the Land of Papua, and to ensure that all criminals are tried in court;
  8. We affirm that “Papua is not empty land”, we demand the government and companies to respect our basic rights in conducting various activities relating to development and utilization of the land and natural resources in Papua, by developing efforts based on knowledge and resources owned by West Papuan peoples, and to involve the indigenous peoples as widely as possible.

In conclusion, we wish that our requests are implemented in earnest.

Jakarta, 11 November 2018

This joint statement is signed by:

  1. Bernadus Gilik, Moi Tribe, Kampung Malalilis, Sorong, West Papua province 

  2. Simon Malak, Moi Tribe, Klasouw, Sorong, West Papua province 

  3. Petrus Kinggo, Mandobo Tribe, Kali Kao, Boven Digoel, Papua province 

  4. Sem Vani Ulimpa, Moi Youth, Klasouw, Sorong, West Papua province 

  5. Yakob Sowe, Maybrat Tribe, Ikana, Kais Darat, Sorong Selatan, West Papua province 

  6. Gerfasius Mahuze, Malind Tribe, Muting, Kab. Merauke, Papua province 

  7. Nicodemus Rumbayan, MSC, Muting Priest, Kab. Merauke, Papua province 

  8. Lidya Monalisa Upuya, KPKC GKI in the Land of Papua, Papua province 

  9. Bargerita Malak, Moi Tribe, Llasouw, Sorong District, West Papua province 

  10. Yohanes Akwan, Director GSBI Papua Barat, Manokwari, West Papua province 
  11. George Dedaida, Secretary LMA Papua Barat, Manokwari, West Papua province 
  12. Veronika Manimbu, Mpur Tribe, Kebar, Tambrauw Regency, West Papua 

  13. Semuel Ariks, Mpur Tribe, Kebar, Tambrauw Regency, West Papua province 

  14. Paulus Ajombuani, Mpur Tribe, Kebar, Tambrauw Regency, West Papua 

  15. Hugo Asrouw, Mpur Tribe, Kebar, Tambrauw Regency, West Papua province 

  16. Januarius Sedik, Student, Mpur Tribe, Kebar, Tambrauw Tribe, West Papua 

  17. Franky Samperante, Yayasan Pusaka, Jakarta 

  18. Maurits Aiesh Rumbekwan, WALHI Papua, Jayapura 

  19. Yuliana Langgowuyo, SKP KC Fransiskan, Jayapura 

  20. Wahyu Wagiman, ELSAM, Jakarta 

  21. Dewi Kartika, KPA, Jakarta 

  22. Nur Hidayati, Eksekutif Nasional WALHI 

  23. Adriana, TAPOL, UK 

  24. Wirya Supriyadi, SOS untuk Tanah Papua 

  25. Ismail Keikyera, Solidaritas Indigenous People of West Papua 

  26. Ira Rumkabu, Solidaritas Indigenous People of West Papua 

  27. Yason Ngelia, GempaR Papua 

  28. Naomi Marasian, PT. PPMA Papua 

  29. Ronald Manufandu, JERAT Papua 

  30. Jimmy Charlos Biay, JERAT Papua 

  31. Benediktus Bame, Ketua PMKRI Santus Efrem Jayapura 

  32. Andi Saragih, Perkumpulan Mnukwar Papua 

  33. Bernard Koten, Perkumpulan Papuan Voices 

  34. Anum Siregar, Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua (ALDP) 

  35. Emma Malaseme, Papua Forest Watch. 

  36. Simon Patiradjawane. LBH Papua 

  37. Florianus Geong, Yayasan Teratai Hati Papua 

  38. Decler Yesnat, Gempha, Papua 

  39. Veronika Asso, JW Noken, Wamena 

  40. Sulfianto, Perkumpulan Panah Papua, Manokwari 

  41. Ruland Kabak, JW Sagu, Yahukimo 

  42. Sirzet Gwas-gwas, Dewan Adat Mbaham Matta, Fak-fak 

  43. Fecky Mobalen, AMAN Sorong Raya. 

  44. Macx Binur, Perkumpulan Belantara Papua, Sorong. 

  45. Kartini Samon, GRAIN, Jakarta. 

  46. Edi Sutrisno, TUK Indonesia, Jakarta. 

  47. Sarah Agustiorini, Kaoem Telapak, Bogor 

  48. Teguh Surya, Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan, Jakarta 

  49. Syamsul Alam Agus, Yayasan Satu Keadilan, Jakarta 

  50. Damairia Pakpahan, Yayasan Perlindungan Insani Indonesia, Jakarta 

  51. Yati Andriyani, Kontras, Jakarta 

  52. Inda Fatinaware, Sawit Watch, Bogor

  53. Rio Rompas, Greenpeace Indonesia, Jakarta 

  54. Rudi HB Daman, DPP GSBI, Jakarta 

  55. Hendry Subagio, ICEL, Jakarta 

  56. Pius Ginting, AEER, Jakarta. 

  57. Sorang Saragih, AJAR, Jakarta. 

  58. Symphati Dimas, PP FMN, Jakarta 

  59. Raden Deden Fajarullan, KE SDMN, Jakarta 

  60. Yogi Lesmana, Jaringan Aksi Perubahan Indonesia, Jakarta 

  61. Sujak Supriyadi, Front Perjuangan Rakyat (FOR) Jakarta 

  62. Catur Widi, KN Pembaru Indonesia, Jakarta 

  63. Mohammad Ali, Aliansi Gerakan Reforma Agraria, Jakarta 

  64. Triana Kurnia, SERUNI, Jakarta