Friday, November 20, 2015

1) Fact-Finding Mission Team to Papua Pushed through UN


6) Merauke Burns – but were the plantations to blame?

7) Oil palm plantation development & forest fires in southern Papua, September-October 2015

8) The Release of Filep Karma Upholds the Principle of Human Rights in Papua

New PIF logo – Suplied

Semarang, Jubi – Vice Chairman of Advisory Council of the Union Churches of Indonesia, the Rev. Phil Karel Erari said it will endorse the recommendation of the Pacific Islands Forum to send a fact-finding mission team to Papua could be done under the United Nations.
“Concerning to the fact-finding mission team for West Papua as recommended by the PIF, we will push it to become the UN mandate. Once it was realized, Indonesia could not do anything to intervene it,” Erari told Jubi on last week from Jakarta.
He said if it was done under the United Nations, the Government of Indonesia would conform this mandate and also would be forced by the United Nations Fact Finding Mission. Because if was done under PIF countries, Indonesia would certainly reject it. “So it is expected the UN Fact Finding Mission and PIF Fact Finding Mission could be together to find fact in West Papua. Also it could be conducted through MSG, because Indonesia is also part of it as the Associated Member. This issue also could be pushed by ULMWP through MSG,” he said.
Meanwhile, as earlier reported by Jubi, the Secretary General of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Octovianus Mote said a fact- finding mission team has been established. The leaders of Pacific countries have taken action, and they would send a fact-finding mission team to Papua before September 2016.
‘They will come to Papua to find the fact of human right violations. They come not only to see the graves but also dig it if necessary and at that time Indonesia has not choice except to permit them to do it. In Papua, they (security forces) could burn and close their traces. But they could not close the access of hundred thousands of victims who’ve been submitted to MSG, PIF, UN Human Rights Council,” Mote told Jubi on Tuesday (10/11/2015).
But according to Mote, if later Indonesia does not permit the fact-finding mission tea 
 m coming to Indonesia, it is the right of Indonesia. “No one can force or reject it, so Indonesia could not lie to the world by saying no human right violations occurred because the fact is they do not allow the fact-finding mission team. The Pacific countries leaders would decide the next step if they were rejected,” he said. (Arnold Belau/rom)

Victor Mambor Nov 15, 2015
Jayapura, Jubi – The Papua Education and Culture Office urged both municipal and regional governments to employ teaching faculty graduates from local universities, including from the University of Cenderawasih.
The Head of Papua Education and Culture Office, Elias Wonda said on Sunday (15/11/2015) in Jayapura even though the local governments are responsible for the teachers’ recruitment process in their respective regencies, there’s no harm optimizing the existing manpower in Papua.
“The regents should prioritize the teaching graduates in Papua to be recruited, please consult to the Rector if they need more graduates, so the university could take action to improve the number,” he said.
According to Wonda, each year the University of Cenderawasih produces 500 teaching graduates, so the local governments should look this local potential first before deciding to recruit teachers from outside of Papua. “I am glad if it is realized, but many regents prefer to hire teachers from outside of Papua,” he said.
He further explained according to the Papua Education Office’s data, the number of teachers hired under the ‘Indonesia Cerdas’ program in Papua and West Papua provinces is 800 people, while each year the university produces hundreds of teachers. “For 500 teaching graduates of the University of Cendrawasih, where would they go? Since the local governments do not have intention to recruit them. It needs to be evaluated,” said Wonda.
Earlier, on Wednesday (14/10/2015), the Chairman of Indonesia Cerdas Institute, Shepard Supit told the missionary teachers who so-called the transformation educators in Papua are not merely teaching but also implementing the community development works. “The community development works are including the training and counseling in order to improve the human resources quality in Papua,” said Supit. (Alexander Loen/rom)

Victor MamborNov 16, 2015
Jayapura, Jubi – For the last six months there have been no health workers at the public health sub-center (Pustu) of Yowong Village located alongside of Abepura Highway in Arso Sub-district of Keerom Regency.
The only nurse who serves at the Pustu is currently on study leave.
“Before he continued his study, we asked him to talk to the Health Office to assign another staffer, but no one was assigned to replace him,” a resident Marten Dyan told at home on sunday (15/11/2015).
He said the residents were struggling to get medical treatment if they were ill or got accident. They must take the patients to Arso Swakarsa in Keerom or Abepura Public Hospital in Jayapura Municipality. “It also depends on their ability to pay. Sometimes we use the motorbikes, or sometimes we use the public transportation,” he said.
The Pustu building looks deserted, while the local residents desperately need the medical staff, especially for emergency. Generally, people who are mostly indigenous Papua have high risk of malaria disease. “Well, it is normal for the farmers to often get malaria disease,” he said.
The similar complain also come from the residents of Baboria Village where Pustu has not established yet. To get medical treatment, people should go to Arso 8, Dukwia Village or Arso I, which the distance between two locations is approximately two kilometers. “People used to go to the nearest location by motorbikes, and for those who have no motorbike, they usually asked their neighbors to drop because no public transportation here,” Roy Kogoya, a resident who has 25 years living in the village. (Mawel Benny/rom)

Victor Mambor Nov 15, 2015
Jayapura, Jubi – Papua’s Head of Manpower and Population Affairs Department, Yan Piet Rawar, defended government policy on population, saying the province is not the only one facing demographic problems.
He said demographic challenges were not only a national issue, but an international one as well. To address this issue, indigenous Papuans should be empowered.
“For example, why the mapping on the number of Papuan population is needed? It is to solve the problem and to find out the root of problem as well as the number of population. But these data couldn’t be applied for discrimination. Data on indigenous Papua and others must be accurate to answer the problem in Papua,” Rawar said on last week.
Regarding to the pressure of Commission IV of Papua Legislative Council over Manpower Office to immediately socialize and implement the Special Regulation on Population No. 15/2008 is the right step, Rawar said. But it should be done through affirmative steps. For example, why the rate of population growth of indigenous Papua is low. It should be connected with the aspect of health. Why the quality of Papua employees is still poor? It should be improved. “It’s needed. But the basic services, education, health are universal. Discrimination is not allowed. The health service at the hospital is universal, it’s about the human rights of everyone,” he said.
He said everyone need health and security services. And it has started; later it would be a mapping. “How many population of Papua, its dissemination and what’s the problem. But up to now we have not conducted a survey, so there’s no accurate data,” he said.
Earlier, the Vice Chairman of Commission IV of the Papua Legislative Council for Population Affairs, Nioulen Kotouki said the commission wants the Papua Manpower and Population Affairs Office to socialize and implement the Special Regulation on Population immediately.
He said this special regulation was the elaboration of the Papua Special Regulation. Its implementation does not to discriminate the non-Papua, but to protect the indigenous Papua instead. He further said the regulation is also to restrict the migrants’ wave to Papua, because more and more migrants come to Papua would increasingly marginalize the indigenous Papuan. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)

Victor MamborNov 16, 2015

Jayapura, Jubi – A Papua legislator, Nason Utti, recognized that public health services in several hospitals in Papua are poor. People often complain of not getting appropriate services as expected. He said he is currently tasked with improving services at hospitals.
“Our recent assignment is health services improvement. I admit the service is still poor. Many doctors think they are not well paid by the public hospitals, so many of them serve in private clinics,” Utti told on sunday (15/11/2015).
According to him, in order to improve the public health services in some regions, the Papua Governor Lukas Enembe made a policy to prompt the establishment of regional public hospitals in five customary areas, namely Saireri, Mamta, Lapago, Meepago and Anim Ha.
“For example, for Saireri customary area, the hospitals are built in Biak and Serui, while for Meepago customary area, the hospital is currently built in Nabire, but another hospitals would be built also in Paniai, Intan Jaya, Mimika, Deiyai and Dogiyai. And for Lapago customary area, Wamena Public Hospital, which is now on B Grade, was accelerated to get C and B Grades. It also applied for its surrounded areas, Merauke and Jayapura as well,” he said.
The hospital whose services are often got people’s complaints is Dok II Public Hospital, from the medical services to the stock of medicines. Some time ago, a patient Esye Karubuy complained of the exhaustion of the stock of medicines for patients at the Chemotherapy unit of this hospital. Due to many issues and complaints against the service of Dok II Public Hospital, the Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said he would restructure the hospital management.
“What has been complained against the Dok II Public Hospital must be a reality, so in the future we will structure it, from the manager to staffs of the hospital,” Enembe said in the mid September. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)


6) Merauke Burns – but were the plantations to blame?

The rains have finally arrived, putting out the forest fires that raged across Indonesia through the last few months. Forest burning takes place every dry season, but this year an especially strong El Nino phenomenon meant that the dry season was longer and dryer, and the fires were especially bad.
The worst crises were, as in other years, on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, where human pressure on the forest is high, and deep peat soils mean that fires can burn for months. However this dry season there were also significantly more fires than usual in southern Papua, in Merauke and Mappi regencies. Timika, nearly 600 kilometres away, suffered from smoke haze as a result.
Merauke has become in recent years the main focus for the growth of industrial agriculture in Papua, due to various incarnations of  a central government project, the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate, and associated oil palm plantations. But is there a link between these development plans and the fires? awasMIFEE presents two articles to address this question. The first is an analysis of satellite photographs in two of Korindo’s plantations where clear evidence of fire on is found on newly-deforested land, by Sam Lawson of Earthsight. This article aims to complement that research by looking at the link between fire and deforestation in other plantations over the last four years, and the wider situation in Merauke.

Many fires outside plantation areas.

Fire hotspot data shows that the fires were found throughout the southern part of Merauke, where the vegetation is made up of mixed forest and grassland. Some of these fires were within plantation concession boundaries (unsurprisingly, since undeveloped plantation concessions cover well over a million hectares, more than a quarter of Merauke’s land area). There were a few concentrations of hotspots in areas where plantation companies are known to be active (Medco’s timber plantation in Zanegi village and woodchip factory in Boepe, Rajawali’s sugar cane plantation near Domande, PT Agriprima Cipta Persada and PT Agrinusa Persada Mulia’s oil palm plantations in Muting). However, as there were also many, many other fires away from these areas, there is insufficient evidence to conclude in these cases that fires were started by the companies.
Another important point is that some of the highest concentrations of fires were in areas where there are no plantations planned – such as Dolok Island, and the western part of Mappi Regency. It’s also worth pointing out that there were also a lot of fires across the border in Papua New Guinea, especially along the Fly River which flows close to the border.
The conclusion is: while it is certainly possible that some of the fires were connected with agricultural development, the high number of hotspots outside areas earmarked for plantations means it is likely that many of them were started for other reasons.

The big exception: Korindo.

In the more densely forested north-eastern part of Merauke, there were less fires. However when you look at where those fires were, you see a very strong pattern – many of them were clustered within oil palm concessions. What’s more, the hotspots (marked in orange) show a very strong correlation with data on areas deforested in 2015.1
Three of those concessions are owned by the Korindo Group. PT Tunas Sawa Erma (which has been operating since 1998 but has not developed the whole concession) PT Dongin Prabhawa (which started land clearance in 2011) and PT Papua Agro Lestari (which appears to have just started clearing land in the last few months). Another is PT Bio Inti Agrindo (operating since 2012), which is owned by Daewoo International Corporation, but known to have a close relationship to Korindo.
Here’s a closer look at two of them: PT Dongin Prabhawa and PT Bio Inti Agrindo:

This is quite strong evidence to indicate that these companies may have been using fire to clear land, a practice which is illegal in Indonesia. This evidence is further reinforced if we look at fire data for previous years.  It appears that there have been fires in the concessions each year, and the fire locations closely follow each successive year’s cutting plans. The implication is that Korindo and Daewoo International companies appear to have been regularly using fire to clear land since 2012.
The following maps use a different source of deforestation data – tree cover loss data from the University of Maryland – which gives an indication of which bits of forest were cut each year, and this is overlaid with the hotspots detected by NASA MODIS satellites the same year. Both sets of data are available to browse on the website, but due to the way that site is structured you can’t see them simultaneously like this.
Here’s some views of PT Dongin Prabhawa’s concession in 2012,2013 and 2014. The purple areas were the areas deforested that year. The orange dots are the hotspots recorded in the same year. You can see that in 2012, there were several fires in the area cleared, in 2013 fires burned in areas cleared that year and the year before, and then in 2014 fires broke out in more newly cleared blocks.

A similar pattern can be seen in PT Bio Inti Agrindo’s concession. Forest clearance started in the north-western corner of the concession, and moved eastward, including in 2014 clearing the corridor that eventually connects the larger eastern block of the concession. There were concentrations of hotspots in 2012 and 2013 in the western block, at the same time that deforestation was taking place there.

Just to the north of PT Bio Inti Agrindo is PT Berkat Cipta Abadi, another Korindo subsidiary which started clearing in 2012. Here too, the fires closely mirrored the deforestation pattern, with a particularly high concentration in 2014

  1. Deforestation data is from Sam Lawson’s analysis of Landsat satellites, tracing the difference between images dated late January 2015 to late October 2015.  
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7) Oil palm plantation development & forest fires in southern Papua, September-October 2015

by Sam Lawson, Earthsight


Analysis of satellite data clearly demonstrates forest fires burning in areas undergoing conversion for oil palm in two locations in southern Papua. One of these areas is intact primary forest, while part of the other is on peat soil. The concessions concerned are both owned by the large Korean conglomerate Korindo.
It is illegal in Indonesia for companies to clear land using fire, and oil palm concession holders are also legally required to have in place appropriate fire prevention and fire-fighting measures. Though on its own the evidence below does not prove any wrongdoing by the company or its subsidiaries or contractors, it should justify further investigation by the Indonesian authorities.

Figure 1: Southern Papua, showing boundaries of oil palm conversion concessions (yellow), forest clearance for oil palm during September-October 2015 (red) and location of case studies below.

Case Study 1: PT Papua Agro Lestari (Korindo group)1

Between 1st September and 9th November 2015, more than 230 fire hotspots were detected by the NASA MODIS satellite within an area of intact primary forest undergoing plantation development near the PNG border in PT Papua Agro Lestari, Merauke district (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Fire hotspots 1st Sept – 9th Nov 2015 in PT Papua Agro Lestari (yellow boundary). Red boundary shows area of forest cleared for plantation development up to 24th October 2015. Green background shows that the area was previously intact primary forest.2
Landsat images confirm the existence of fires within this area, and clearly show how they are related to oil palm plantation development.
On 6th September 2015, a fire is clearly visible burning in the plantation (see Figure 4). The next cloud-free image, from 24th October 2015, also shows a fire burning, in an area which was still primary forest 7 weeks earlier (Figure 3).
In just 7 weeks between during Sept-October 2015, 1000 hectares of primary forest were cleared, a much faster rate than could plausibly have been achieved by other means.

Figures 3 & 4: Fires visible in oil palm plantation under development in PT PAL, September & October 2015

Case Study 2: PT Tunas Sawaerma (Korindo)

During the same period, more than 100 fire hotspots were recorded by the NASA satellite in an area currently being cleared of degraded primary forest for oil palm in PT Tunas Sawaerma, a concession in Boven Digoel district which is also owned by Korean conglomerate Korindo (see Figure 5).

Figure 5: Fire hotspots 1st Sept-9th Nov 2015 inside Korindo’s PT Tunas Sawaerma oil palm concession (yellow). Red/orange boundary shows area of forest cleared for plantation development up to 24th October 2015. Blue line indicates peat soils. The orange boundary shows the areas cleared between 6th September and 24th October 2015 (( Sources: Peat soils – Wetlands International, 2004. For all other data see reference for Figure 2 ))
Again, Landsat satellite images confirm the existence of fires within this area of recent development. An image from 24th October clearly shows a large fire within the area under development. Comparison with an image from the beginning of September shows that the area concerned remained forested previously, though new plantation roads had been cut (see Figures 6 and 7).
Many of the fire hotspots in the Korindo concession are on peat soils, as is some of the area newly cleared by fire during September/October 2015 (see Figure 5).

  1. The Linked-In page of the Assistant Manager of Plasma (Smallholder) plantation development at PT PAL identifies the company as being part of the Korindo group –  [awasMIFEE note: previously on this site it had been thought that ownership of PT Papua Agro Lestari had been transferred to the Daewoo International Corporation. Although the situation is confusing, and there appears to be close cooperation between the two companies, several pieces of evidence indicate that the company is still part of  the Korindo Group]  
  2. Sources: Background – Degraded (light green) and intact (dark green) primary forest, from Margono, B. Primary forest cover loss in Indonesia over 2000–2012. Nature Climate Change,doi:10.1038/nclimate2277; spots – NASA MODIS fire hotspots, “NASA Active Fires.” NASA FIRMS. Accessed through Global Forest Watch on 15th November 2015; concession boundary – Ministry of Forestry GIS portal map of Forestland releases, accessed 9th November 2015; extent of new oil palm development (red/orange line) – based on analysis of Landsat satellite images from 25/1/15, 6/9/15, 24/10/15.  
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8) The Release of Filep Karma Upholds the Principle of Human Rights in Papua
Statement by the Executive Director of the LP3BH
20 November 2015

  On behalf of the Institute of Research, Analysis and Development of Legal Aid  - Manokwari [LP3BH], I welcome the release of one of the
pro-Papua Merdeka political prisoners, Filep Karma on 19 November 2015.   Bapak [Father] Filep Karma is now a former political prisoner.  He
was arrested on 1  December 2004 and was sentenced to fifteen years at his trial at the District Court of Jayapura on 26 May, 2005.

  Karma was charged for an action under Article 106 and Article 110 of the Criminal Code [KUHP].

   He has spent more than ten years in prison for activities that he was involved in in accordance with the principles of the freedom of
expression and the freedom of assembly.   On that occasion, he made a speech and raised the Morning Star
Flag on 1 December 2004. He refrained from any actions of violence nor was he armed with any weapons.

  Despite all that, he was one of a number of people who were arrested, imprisoned and charged in a Court of Law by a State that
simply ignored his basic rights as a free citizen, entitled to protection under Article 28 of the 1945 Constitution of Indonesia.

   During his imprisonment, he was treated in ways that are in violation of humanitarianism and basic human rights that are
universally recognised.  The only thing he was doing was to give expression to his opinions
that are in conflict with the views of the State. His actions on that occasion did not in any way  destabilise anything politically or
disrupt law and order.  The LP3BH calls on the Government of Indonesia and the Head of
State, President Ir H. Joko Widodo to take the opportunity of release of Filip Karma  to launching  a series of actions to release  all the
political prisoners, including those who have been tried (napol), who
are serving sentences in a number of prisons in towns and cities throughout the Land of West Papua.

   Take for example the cases of three activists  of the KNPB [National Committee of West Papua], Alexander Nekenem, Maikel Aso aka
Yoram Magai and Narko Murib aka Nopinus Humawak who were tried in the District Court in Manokwari. They too, like Filep Karma, were accused
of inciting  other people to get involved in activities violating the law  and charged under Article 160 of the KUHP, together with Article
55 of the Criminal Code.

   At a subsequent hearing in their trial, on 19 November, the Prosecutor  called for the three men to be sentenced to two years
each, with deduction for the time already spent in prison.   These charges were extremely severe for the three  accused who had refrained from perpetrating any acts of violence nor did they incite others to engage in any unlawful activities. Nothing that they did resulted in anyone else being killed or injured or cause any material
damage on that day, 20 May, 2015 in Amban-Manokwari, Province of West Papua.
Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive Director of the LP3BH.
[Translated by Carmel Budiardjo, Recipent of the Right Livelihod Award, 1995]

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