Jayapura, Jubi – Indigenous Papuans' traditional rights have been safeguarded through a Special Regional Regulation or Perdasus, as mandated by special autonomy. However, the application of these regulations faces numerous challenges, notably a lack of public awareness on the part of the Papua Provincial Government.
Yonas Alfons Nusi, the spokesperson for the Special Group of the Papua Legislative Council, shared during an interview in Jayapura City on Thursday (12/12/2023) that his party has been working to understand the current challenges faced by the Papuan people, particularly concerning the protection of indigenous customary rights.
Nusi emphasized that the implementation of Perdasus doesn't happen instantly; it requires a comprehensive process. This process involves the government taking the lead in educating the public about Perdasus. He stressed the need for the government to be actively providing information related to these regulations.
Nusi added that Perdasus encompasses more than just land-related matters.
Earlier, Mamta Tabi and Piter Kwano, members of the Special Group, shared similar concerns in a conversation with Jubi on Monday (9/10/2023). Kwano highlighted that while regulations concerning lakes, rivers, or other aspects of daily life might receive a positive response from the Central Government, those related to land, often entangled with politics, are more likely to be rejected.
Kwano concluded by urging fellow Papuans not to sell their land, as it often results in migrants purchasing and developing it, leading to the loss of their own identity and resources.
In late July 2023, the Special Group of the Papua Legislative Council, representing five customary areas, conducted public campaigns for three Provincial Regulations (Perdasi) related to indigenous peoples. These regulations covered topics such as the protection and development of local food, recognition and protection of indigenous peoples in Papua Province, and the protection and empowerment of fish farmers among indigenous peoples. (*)