The Regent of Bintuni Bay Regency in West Papua Province, Petrus Kasihiw, has officially recognized the ancestral lands of three clans within the Moskona tribe: Masakoda, Yen, and Yec clans, totaling 6,262 hectares. This decision was made following the issuance of a Decree during a meeting on Saturday, September 9, 2023 in Waraitama Village, Manimeri District.
Kasihiw expressed his satisfaction and pride in recognizing these indigenous communities, particularly the customary law communities of the Masakoda, Yen, and Yec clans.
"Since the establishment of Bintuni Bay Regency until 2019, we have witnessed the presence of the Regional Regulation on the Recognition and Protection of Indigenous Peoples of 7 Tribes," said the regent on Sunday.
He highlighted the significance of this recognition as a concrete step in safeguarding the cultural heritage and traditional values that these communities have held for centuries in the Sisarmatiti area.
Kasihiw emphasized the importance of this achievement, portraying Bintuni Bay Regency as a forward-looking region in acknowledging the rights of indigenous peoples. He also stressed the need to continue documenting such decrees for future reference.
This recognition resulted from an extensive study and collaboration among the indigenous people's committee and the NGO Panah Papua.
Piter Masakoda, a youth representative from the Masakoda clan's indigenous community, expressed gratitude for the decree's issuance. According to the decree, approximately 6,262 hectares of land have been officially designated as the territory of the Masakoda, Yen, and Yec clans' indigenous communities.;
Furthermore, the Masakoda clan intends to request customary forest management rights from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF). This would potentially change the status of forests claimed by the state in their area to customary forests.
They also plan to promote local commodities, such as sweet Masyeta pineapples and traditional red fruits, to generate income and foster self-sufficiency within their community. (*)