Thursday, 19 August 2010

SORPATOM Statement on MIFEE - August 2010

This month, despite numerous reports of journalists receiving death threats for reporting on environmental problems in Indonesia, and the suspicious death of a journalist in Merauke, campaigners in Merauke, Papua province have been brave enough to publicly reject MIFEE. The statement below was issued by SORPATOM this month. While some of the data seems to be wrong, and some of the political analysis is difficult to qualify, the wider concerns raised are legitimate. 

For more information on SORPATOM, visit their website:  Here is the Statement.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Tales Timber Traders Tell about Papua's Log Controls

The traders who admit (in EIA and Telapak's latest film and report, "Rogue Traders") smuggling large volumes of merbau wood out of Papua and Indonesia give some valuable insight into the realities of the timber trade in Papua. Three major lessons include:
  • Papua province's log shipment controls are not being implemented;
  • Criminal traders bribe the military to act as security when buying logs to be shipped out of Papua;
  • Forestry, customs and other officials in Makassar, including members of the security apparatus must be systematically bribed with $15,000 for each barge of logs arriving from Papua province.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Tifa TV

A film by Tifa TV: Bencana dan Harapan (Disaster and Hope) about exploitation of forests and local people by the logging company PT Wana Irian Perkasa, is available at this link

Friday, 30 July 2010

Noble Savages Papua's Forests

The Noble Group is to savage 32,000 hectares of forests on the Mooi people's land in Sorong, West Papua province, following its June 2010 purchase of 51% of shares in PT Henrison Inti Persada, an oil palm subsidiary of the notoriously criminal Kayu Lapis Indonesia Group (KLI). What made these Noble executives enter such an ignoble deal with such crooks?

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Polititians Plan to Pulp Papua

Politicians and bureaucrats in Jakarta are planning to pulp Papua for paper because of the large area of forests available there, according to recent press reports. According to a Jakarta Post article, following a 20th July paper industry event in Riau, Industry minister MS Hidayat said: “In future, we plan to expand the development of the pulp and paper industry to eastern Indonesia." Papua was on his mind.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Returning the Forests to the Corporates – Boardrooms Carve up Papua

Corporate news in recent weeks demonstrates the extent to which Papua’s forests have not been “returned to the people” as Governor Suebu’s pronouncements have promised. Instead, very rich investors, including Wilmar International, Rajawali Group, and the Noble Group, are carving it up.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Norway's $ 1 Billion REDD Cash Must Prioritize Preservation of Papua's Forests

Norway has just pledged $ 1 billion to Indonesia to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) in the country, under a new climate change Partnership announced today. The partnership is part of the Government of Norway's International Climate and Forests Initiative.

Papua and West Papua must be prioritized under the implementation phase if REDD, and this partnership, are to prevent Indonesia's deforestation emissions crisis shifting from the West to the East of the country in the coming years. Indonesia needs to allow that to happen, despite its reticence to open Papua up to outside scrutiny of any kind (as highlighted again by the recent arrest of French Journalists working in Jayapura).

It's not just Papua Forest Eye that is worried Papua will be left out in favour of already degraded lands in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Life is No Good in Medco's and LG's Merauke Biofuel Plantation

Medco Group's 170,000 hectare industrial timber plantation (HTI) in Muting, Merauke, Papua province, is already doing what it was always going to do - destroying the environment and livelihoods of local Papuans in the name of "green energy" and "development".

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Deforestation for MIFEE would generate $13.1 billion of timber for powerful companies

It seems the allocation of forest land for the MIFEE project is going to involve massive deforestation and billions of dollars of timber revenues for those lucky companies likely to get the concessions.

The recent article from the Jakarta Post, below, cited Greenpomics data that suggested the MIFEE project will result in 1.45 million hectares being declassified form the forest estate and released for conversion, resulting in a harvestable volume of 410 million cubic metres of timber worth US$ 13 billion. Nice work if you can get it. But who is getting it?

Well, so far, comanies such as Medco Group (Arifin Panigoro), and companies linked to senior political actors under the Suharto regime are getting permits for MIFEE. These include:

Statement to UN on Human Rights and Merauke MIFEE Project

On the 29th April 2010, AMAN, (Alliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara - the Indigenous Peoples' Alliance of the Archipelago) - Indoneisna's main indigenous peoples organisation, delivered a statement of concern about human rights in Merauke's MIFEE project to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, in New York.

The statement, endorsed by 24 indigenous peoples organisations around the world, raised serious concerns over the demographic consequences of the MIFEE (Merauke Integrated Food and Energey Estate), as projected migration for the project indicate local Papuans will become a tiny minority in their ownland. AMAN's statement categorised the MIFEE project as "structural and systematic genocide".

Saving 70% of Papua's Forests - when 25% are already lost

In late March, Governor Suebu of Papua province told local journalists that he had pledged to save 70% of Papua's forests from the scourge of plantations, destructive and illegal logging, and the other drivers of deforestation threatening Papua's forests.

"Recently I spoke in a seminar in London on climate change. I made it clear we in Papua will protect 70% of the existing forest area for the future of humanity," he said. (Source: Antara, 16 March 2010)

Papua Forest Eye is on YouTube

For Videos about Papua's forests, see Papua Forest Eye's YouTube channel -