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Changes to the Moratorium Map and Medco’s Sugar Plans

Changes to the Moratorium Map and Medco’s Sugar Plans

The forestry ministry recently released decision (SK) 2796 of 2013, concerning the Indicative Map for the Moratorium on New Forest Use Licences (PIPIB). This provision sets out the fourth revision of Indonesia’s moratorium map. In various parts of Merauke Regency, Papua Province, there have been several important changes to the moratorium map since the original map was published in 2011. These changes have tended to accommodate the permits of investor companies in the MIFEE framework, who want to develop food and energy businesses.

Comparing sheet 3407 of the moratorium map’s fourth revision (2013), to the corresponding map from 2012 shows that the forest land has been reduced around Kampung Sermayam Indah. This change can be identified as a way to accommodate the permits of two sugar cane plantation companies: PT Papua Daya Bio Energy and PT Tebu Wahana Kreasi, which are believed to be owned by the Medco Agro Group.

The Merauke local government issued location permits in 2010 for the two companies. PT Papua Daya Bio Energi was awarded 13,396 hectares while PT Tebu Wahana Kreasi got 20,282 hectares. During 2012, the companies presented their plans to the public at the Tanah Miring district office, where they spoke about compensation and made promises, as well as handing out t-shirts.

“The company has only spoken of its plans that one time, after that I don’t know. They want to use forest land from SP9 here in Kampung Hidup Baru up to the Senayu area. Maybe they have already surveyed the land but we don’t know”, said Bonefasius Kaize, a customary landowner from Kampung Hidup Baru, Tanah Miring district.

Marind people living around the companies’ concessions in Tanah Miring know very little about the two companies plans or activities. They have also never met with government officials from the Forestry and Plantation Service who have conducted their own survey on the use of forest lands in the area.

“We don’t have any information, many people come and claim they have rights over this land, without sitting down and talking to local landowners, such as a cocoa plantation in Tanah Miring”, said Natalis Ndiken, a traditional leader in Kampung Tambat, Tanah Miring district.

The people do not know, and have never been given information about, changes to the moratorium map. They don’t know which people or institutions have been giving out permits to use the forests grasslands and swamps owned by local people between Kampung Hidup Baru and Senayu.

This claim of the local people conflicts with the contents of decision SK 2796/2013, that changes to the moratorium map were based on community input. This provision is based on nothing more that companies’ claims and permits. It ignores the rights of the people to their land and the Papuan people’s local knowledge and systems of managing natural resources.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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