Senin, 12 September 2011

PAPUA: Papua Forest Is Threatened?

Writing I: Environmental Impacts on Orang Asli Papua Customary
PAPUA: Papua Forest Is Threatened?
(By Santon Tekege)

The phenomenon of forest destruction are rife in Papua. Various cases of illegal logging and forest conversion in Papua with oil palm plantations and agricultural land is being aggressively promoted food. Papua's forests contain a variety of flora and fauna become the target of the investors in the areas of logging, oil palm and food agriculture.

Forests meaning for Papuans
Papuans as a society gatherers and farmers fields utilize the natural wealth as a source of livelihood. They take food directly from nature, sago, fish, game in the form of a deer, kangaroos, wild pigs, possum, and various kinds of vegetables. This situation is slowly changing, the Papuans began having trouble finding a sago and game animals because many forests have been cleared.
Generally Papuans have a strong bond with nature. Everything in the forest is always seen as an integral part of human life. That is why the Papuans really appreciate the forest and all its contents. Forest is seen as the abode of the ancestors. When forests are destroyed, then the existence of the Papuans would loose and wobbly. Consequently, when the people cleared the forest can be interpreted as an effort to undermine the integrity of the Papuans.
Currently there are several oil palm plantation companies who glanced Papua as a place of investment. Papua's forests will be converted to oil palm plantations. In a variety of propaganda, the company promises a grandiose thing to the customary owners of the community that they will receive plasma land plantations. The company will pay attention to education, and health all of which lead to greater prosperity. But reality shows instead of indigenous people increasingly suffer.
Edy Rosariyanto (SKPKC Jayapura), researchers palm oil plantations in Keerom found that indigenous people who have actually oil mengontrakkannya land to migrants because they always lose. High operational costs while the price of oil is uncertain. This suggests that the welfare of Papuans propaganda through forest conversion to oil palm is not true.
Papuans who have experienced the closeness to nature that they are in a dilemma situation. Dismantled their forests depleted, resulting in foraging, hunting and clean water sources disappear. Meanwhile, they benefit from oil palm plantations.

Stop Forest Conversion Papua
Papua is rich in natural resources and minerals is an opportunity for the welfare of Papuans. Here the needed policy in managing and utilizing natural resources in a balanced way. No need to replace the forests with oil palm plantations. There are still many business opportunities that improve the life of the Papuans. It is unethical, we sacrifice the forest has intrinsic value to things that are instant and momentary. The integrity of the Papuans as human beings with nature must be preserved and passed on to future generations.
There are several oil palm plantation companies which have opened the head of Palm plantations in Papua, for example PT PN II in Arso, Keerom District. In addition, there is a new company, PT Munitions Sawita Papua in the East Arso who plans to open 26 300 ha. PT Rajawali and PT Sinar Mas in Kaureh, Sentani district; Asiki, District Bouven Digoel; Bade, Merauke Regency and Regency Mappi.
Another thing that is emerging is the conversion of forests to agricultural land Papua food. The place chosen was the beginning of Merauke District with an area of 500,000 acres of 3 million hectares that have been planned (Reuters, 23/10). This land will be opened by several investors, among others, Medco, Sinar Mas, Wilmar and PT Bangun Cipta Sarana.
All this is bad for forest conservation efforts in Papua. If forest conversion to oil palm plantations in Papua and farmland food enforced, there will be deforestation and forest degradation. Use of pesticides, and the resulting decline of domestic waste environmental resources. Therefore, forest conversion in Papua must be stopped immediately.
Facts have shown that palm oil does not help improve the life of the Papuans, but why is oil palm plantations in Papua would continue to open? Oil palm plantation instead bring new problems in the middle of the Papuan people because they will lose a variety of food sources, medicinal plants were destroyed and sacred places is lost. Who has an interest in behind the opening of oil palm plantations in Papua?
In addition to oil palm plantations, agricultural land clearing food which is controlled by investor impact on forests and the little people. The little people will lose jobs as farmers being unable to compete with investors.
Papua forest conservation must be placed within the framework of human rescue Papua. Papua's forests are not seen as a jungle in itself, but has a correlation with the identity of the Papuans. So thinking, the forest is no longer seen as objects of exploitation but rather an integral part of Papua humankind that must be protected and conserved.

Writer: Activist-STFT Fajar Timur, Papua Abepura.

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