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Amungme Tribe appeals to Jokowi for reevaluation of Freeport's AMDAL, citing environmental and social injustice

Tabloid Jubi - January 26, 2024

Jayapura, Jubi – Jhon Magal, the Director of the Indigenous People's Institution of the Amungme Tribe (LEMASA), has requested President Joko Widodo to conduct a reevaluation of the second Environmental Impact Assessment (AMDAL) concerning underground mining and tailings of PT Freeport Indonesia. It is worth noting that the reassessment did not involve the indigenous people in the vicinity of the mining area and those affected.

In a brief message to Jubi on January 24, 2024, Magal conveyed the aspirations of the Amungme Tribe, particularly those in the Nemangkawi Region, specifically in the Waa, Tsinga, and Arwanop valleys. He highlighted the direct impact of Freeport's operations, expressing a sense of injustice, deception, poverty, and powerlessness experienced by the local community.

Magal stated that ever since Freeport entered the ancestral land of Bumi Amungsa Nemangkawi through the First Contract of Work signed by the Indonesian government and Freeport on April 7, 1967, based on Law No. 1/1967 on Foreign Capital Investment, the sacred land of the Amungme Tribe was then destroyed, contaminated, and their sacred mountain has suffered damage.

"The damage, ranging from the highest peak to the sea, has had a significant impact on our environment as a result of mining activities," he said.

He pointed out that since the presence of Freeport, the lives of the Amungme Tribe have been significantly affected. Though in 2018, the 51% share divestment made the Indonesian government the majority shareholder, the implications for justice and the welfare of the community remain concerning.

From 2018 to 2021, PT Freeport Indonesia conducted an AMDAL study without the participation of the directly affected community in the company's activities. Magal criticized the management of Freeport for choosing to interact with community groups that support their business sustainability but do not represent the comprehensive layers directly impacted.

Magal emphasized that since the company's presence in their ancestral land, the basic rights of the indigenous people have been ignored. He called on President Joko Widodo to intervene in the Freeport's AMDAL process, ensuring a transparent reevaluation involving those directly affected.

Furthermore, Magal requested the President to consider the aspirations of the Amungme Tribe in light of the recent changes in the law regarding Special Autonomy for the Province of Papua. He urged that the social department's aspirations of Freeport be handed over to the indigenous landowners directly affected.

In the third and final request, Magal highlighted the economic significance of the ancestral land and sacred mountain of the Amungme Tribe, which has contributed significantly to the national economy. (*)

Source: https://en.jubi.id/amungme-tribe-appeals-to-jokowi-for-reevaluation-of-freeports-amdal-citing-environmental-and-social-injustice