The government is asked to return the rights of indigenous peoples in Sorsel

After the business permits of oil palm plantation companies in South Sorong Regency, West Papua, particularly in Konda, Teminabuan, Moswaren, Saifi and Seremuk Districts, in May 2021, by the Regent of Sorsel, the indigenous peoples requested that the location of the former company be returned.

for them to manage on their own. This is done because the indigenous peoples who own the ulayat want to manage and use the land and forest products in their customary areas based on the local wisdom of the local community.

Indigenous women leaders from Konda District, Sopice Sawor in the Joint Policy Dialogue with Policy Makers in South Sorong, 8-9 November 2021 held by the Pusaka Foundation , Tolak Sawit Youth Volunteers and Care for the Social Environment said that the indigenous peoples of the Afsya and Nakna sub-tribes in Konda District had make maps of customary lands and forests, as well as maps of important places.

“We ask the government to recognize and protect the rights of indigenous peoples,” said Sawor as in a press release received by Jubi in Jayapura, Tuesday (16/11/2021). The dialogue with the theme “Policy of Recognition, Protection and Respect for the Existence and Rights of Indigenous Peoples in South Sorong Regency, West Papua Province” was attended by representatives of indigenous peoples from the Districts of Saifi, Seremuk, Teminabuan, Wayer, Moswaren, Konda, Kais, Kais Darat and Inanwatan. , Indigenous Peoples Institutions (LMA) South Sorong, DPMA Knasaimos, DAP South Sorong, LPHD Sira – Mangroholo, LMA Sorong, AMAN Sorong Raya, Samdhana Institute, Greenpeace Indonesia, Bentara Papua, ECONUSA, PBHKP, PMKRI, GMKI, GAMKI, GMNI and youth volunteers.

The Director of the Pusaka Foundation, Franky Samperante said, a number of parties in the discussion demanded that the substance of the arrangement include and contain the rights of indigenous peoples, among others, the right to control and own, manage and utilize customary land, forests, and other natural resources, the right to organize customary institutions, customary law and customary courts, the right to protect and preserve customs, languages, customary education, sacred places and beliefs, the right to determine development, the right to be free to be elected as people’s representatives, to determine and elect representatives of the people, the rights of indigenous women, the right to obtain and protect a healthy environment, the right to obtain remedies for violations of the rights of indigenous peoples, the rights of indigenous peoples to freely assemble and express opinions.

“The policy of recognizing, protecting and respecting the existence and rights of indigenous peoples is a constitutional right of indigenous peoples, which must be fulfilled by the state,” said Franky. The reason is that the Bapemperda of the South Sorong DPRD has set a regional regulation on the recognition and protection of indigenous peoples’ rights as one of the legislative programs in 2021.

The Head of the Legal Division of the South Sorong Regional Secretariat, Theodorus H. Thesia, said that the DPRD of South Sorong Regency had held a plenary session to discuss the draft regional regulation on the recognition and protection of the rights of the indigenous people of South Sorong. “However, weighting and input of draft regional regulations is still needed,” said Thesia.

The Ranperda concerning the recognition and protection of indigenous peoples’ rights is an initiative of the South Sorong DPRD. The DPRD will seek to immediately enact this regional regulation, socialize it, and promulgate it in the regional gazette in South Sorong. “We are trying to make sure that this Ranperda will be confirmed in December 2021.

The DPRD is preparing the stages of the discussion process and it will be packaged with the main APBD to speed up the discussion,” said Chairman of Bapemperda, Agustinus M. Way. Nicodemus Wamafma, Forest Campaigner for Greenpeace Indonesia, said that this DPRD initiative is something that makes people happy and answers people’s expectations.

“Greenpeace will always work with development partners to back up and write to the DPRD and so on, will be ready to  back up , the letter that DPRD sends to development partners is an important part of the discussion. We will discuss the weighting, including academic manuscripts and legal drafting,” said Nicodemus.

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