1) Sago Forest in Papua Needs Preservation
TEMPO.CO, Sorong, West Papua - Sago forest in Papua needs to be preserved in a sustainable manner because it is a food reserve for the local community, according to West Papua environmentalist Benny Yesnat.
"Sago is the staple food of the indigenous people of Papua since time immemorial. Even without rice, the Papuan people can consume sago for survival," said Benny Yesnat in Sorong on Sunday.
Therefore, he called on the people of Papua to preserve sago forest, and do not destroy it for agriculture and other development interests.
"Sago forests should not be burned to clear land for plantations, especially oil palm plantations which can only damage the humus, the substance made from dead leaves and plants for soil fertility," Yesnat noted.
According to him, sago plants not only serve as food reserve, but also protect the water source for the life of Papuan community in general.
Therefore, he added that the indigenous people of Papua and West Papua must maintain this local wisdom for generations in the future.He affirmed that sago many benefits to peoples lives. Besides serving as food reserve, sago leaves can be used as the roof of traditional houses.Further, he expressed hope that the indigenous people of Papua can unite to reject irresponsible parties who want to turn sago forests into oil palm plantation.
2) Indonesia spying on West Papua advocates in Australia
Updated at 1:56 pm on 1 February 2016
Indonesia's state intelligence agency is reportedly spying on West Papua activists in Australia.
Australian media reported that the Indonesian government was using a decoy server in Sydney to house information
gathered through intelligence operations.
The ABC reported that one Indonesian intelligence report from last year listed a number of West Papuan human rights or independence
activists who were monitored, and their personal weaknesses noted.
Among these individuals are students and church leaders.
The report's purported aim was to suppress and divide the movement.
3) Government introduces a maritime toll, but who is it for?
24th January 2016
When Ir. H.Joko Widodo took over the presidency of Indonesia last year, he said that he would introduce a maritime toll for use in the
trade between the provinces of West Papua and Papua in order to reduce the price of goods which are currently very expensive. These
goods are ‘imported' from places outside Papua, such as Surabaya and Jakarta in Java and Makassar in South Sulawesi.
He said that this toll would be used to finance the cost of ships in their operations to transport commodities and passengers. It was
referred to as a subsidy from the Central Government.
This meant that when these commodities arrived, merchants in the provinces of Papua and West Papua would be able to buy and sell
essential goods such as sugar, rice, flour and other commodities at a rather lower price.
This would be because when such commodities were transported, all the cost of transportation and storage and other goods. would be
subsidised by the government through this toll. This would also include fuel and other goods which are subsidised by the government
which had already by reduced by the government since the beginning of January 2016.
This should also mean that there should not be a situation where the price of basic necessities in Manokwari or throughout West Papua
would not continue to so expensive in the shops and supermarkets.
This meant that the Trade and Services and Co-operatives (Disperindagkop) throughout West Papua should inform to the general
public what these tolls were for and explain the benefits that this would bring for people and businesses in general in the Land of Papua.
What this should have meant was that we here in Manikwari and the Land of Papua would not have to pay the higher prices in the shops and
In implementing this policy that has now been introduced by President Jokowi, people here should feel that would they would
benefit from this policy. The agency referred to above as well as the security forces and
other agencies should do everything possible to ensure that these tolls would beneficial for the people here.
In consideration of the fact that this is very closely related to protecting the rights of the consumers in the Land of Papua, we called
on various community organisations to set up a consumers agency to promote and protect the basic rights of the people living throughout
the Land of Papua.
[Translated by Carmel Budiardjo, Recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, 1995]