The Papuan Traditional Council (DAP) has formed the Papuan People Mining Association as part of the council’s supervision of mining activities, the fruits of which it the DAP says often bypass Papua province's indigenous people.
“The Papuan people as the rightful owners of the province are often only treated as spectators, watching their natural resources taken somewhere else by investors,” head of the Paniai Traditional Council John Gobay, one of the association's founders, said on Saturday.
Baliem Traditional Council head Lemock Mabel said that indigenous people should be involved in mining activities regardless of their poor mastery of current technology or access to capital.
“We also urge investors to pay attention to preserving nature as part of their activities here. Don’t just pursue fortunes but then forget about preserving nature,” he said.
He said the association would push the government to insert a clause in the regional regulation that ruled out mining activities in the province. He expected the new regulation would put the Papuan people in a better position so they could prosper more from their province. (dic)