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Government assures no harm to local communities in Papua development

Jakarta Globe - June 5, 2024

Antara, Bekasi – Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning/Head of the National Land Agency (ATR/BPN), Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, has assured that the government will not harm local communities in Papua's development projects.

This includes plans for the conversion of traditional forest lands of the Awyu tribe in South Papua and the Moi tribe in Sorong, West Papua.

According to Agus, President Joko Widodo consistently emphasizes prioritizing local communities in every development initiative to ensure their comfort and well-being.

"We must not allow development to compromise environmental sustainability," said Yudhoyono in Bekasi, West Java, on Wednesday.

He said that land conversion in Papua is about maintaining a balance between economic development needs and the aspirations of local communities.

"We must ensure that no one is displaced from their own land. We hope that no community or region is left behind, as this issue is not only about economics but also social justice," Yudhoyono added.

Recently, the hashtag #AllEyesOnPapua went viral on social media. A viral poster on Instagram claimed that "36,000 hectares of forest in Papua, specifically in Boven Digoel, more than half the size of Jakarta, will be converted into palm oil plantations."

On May 27, indigenous communities from the Awyu tribe in Boven Digoel, South Papua, and the Moi tribe in Sorong, West Papua, protested in front of the Supreme Court. They opposed the deforestation as these forests are traditional lands that have been their source of livelihood, food, culture, and water for generations.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/government-assures-no-harm-to-local-communities-in-papua-developmen