Jayapura, Jubi – Head of the Campus Coalition for Papuan Democracy Marudut Hasugian said his team had conducted field research on politics of natural resource management and the livelihoods of indigenous peoples, especially Papuan women in changing situations. The research is conducted in Kendate Village (Jayapura Regency), Aiwat Village (Boven Digoel Regency) and Rayori Village (Supiori Regency).
The results of the research were written by Cenderawasih University lecturers Elvira Rumkabu, Apriani Anastasia Amenes, Asrida Elisabeth, and I Ngurah Suryawan, and published as books, namely "Hidden Villages Thriving: Livelihood Strategies and Change in Demenggong Bay", "Seizing Control of Life: The Struggle of the Wambon People in Boven Digoel against Massive Investment", and "Facing Vulnerability: The Livelihood Challenges of the Sowek People in Supiori".
During his speech at the book launch held on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, Hasugian said the books highlighted the presence of investors who came to utilize natural resources but in reality, creating problems in the community.
"The community has been committed to upholding natural resources for generations through farming and hunting. Now they must do that in the midst of the rapid investment in the Land of Papua," he said.
The indigenous communities are expected to provide input for the local government on natural resource management, including how to create policies that can protect the rights of indigenous peoples in Supiori, Boven Digoel, and Jayapura regencies.
The research has revealed various efforts of indigenous peoples to strategize in seizing control of their lives in the midst of various policies, investments, migrant influx of non-Papuan people to Papua, as well as exclusion of indigenous peoples and vulnerabilities that continue to emerge due to narrowing livelihood space and other ecological changes.
"We hope the government can provide protection and investors can take a stand to protect the community according to existing local wisdom," said Hasugian.
Meanwhile, secretary of the Campus Coalition for Papuan Democracy Elvira Rumkabu said the findings of the study conducted by her party reinforced the critical reflections published by Benny Giay in his book "Let's Take Control: Fighting for the Recovery of this Country".
"In the book Giyai said that 'changing ourselves to seize the future is very difficult ... We [Papuans] need strength and energy. Therefore, there needs to be internal consolidation efforts in the Papuan community in order to regain control of their lives," he said. (*)