Press release of the Papuan customary forest protection solidarity movement
Pusaka| 2 November 2023

Press release of the Papuan customary forest rotection solidarity ovement

The Panel of Judges to Adhere Firmly to In Dubio Pro-NaturaPrinciple in Deciding the Case for the Sustainability of Papuan Forests, the Source of Life for Papua’s Indigenous Peoples
For seven months (13 March-November 2023), the leader of the Awyu Tribe indigenous people, Hendrikus Woro, underwent a trial process at the Jayapura State Administrative Court under lawsuit Case Number 6/G/LH/2023/PTUN.JPR in relation to Decision of the Head of One Stop Investment and Integrated Services Office (DPMPTSP) of Papua Province Number 82 Year 2021 regarding Environmental Feasibility of the Oil Palm Plantation Development Plan in an area of 36,096.4 hectares owned by PT Indo Asiana Lestari (PT IAL), which is located in the customary territory of the Awyu Tribe, Boven Digoel Regency, (now) South Papua Province.

It is not a swift process to seek justice for the indigenous peoples, land and forests, in the midst of extractive development policies which are yet to favor the indigenous peoples and the environment. The choice of pursuing Environmental and Climate Change Lawsuit is not an easy and inexpensive endeavor to reach judicial institutions with the poor access to justice. One of the reasons for this lawsuit is because the local government has closed the information about company permits and disregarded the meaningful participation of indigenous people in preparing the EIA (Environmental Impact Analysis).

The Papuan Customary Forest Solidarity Movement, with its concern for justice, indigenous peoples’ rights, environmental sustainability and climate change actions, which follows and monitors the legal process, is of the view that the environmental feasibility permit issued by DPMPTSP of Papua Province for PT IAL is in violation of the law, it is based upon AMDAL that has issues, disregarded the indigenous people’s rights, is substantively flawed and also disregarded the environmental protection conservation and climate change analysis.
Anastasya Manong, Spokesperson for the Papuan Customary Forest Protection Solidarity Movement, said that this case has attracted the attention of the national and international public, therefore, the judges must use this social aspiration as the people’s legal awareness which is important as a basis for deciding the case.

The Papuan Customary Forest Protection Solidarity Movement, which is supported by 258 civil society organizations, academics and individuals from various regions and countries, including solidarity from the indigenous people of Ka'apor, Amazon, Brazil, has written an Open Letter (attached) and submitted it to the Panel of Judges of the Jayapura State Administrative Court in Jayapura, the Chairperson of the Judicial Commission, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the National Human Rights Commission in Jakarta, by demanding and requesting that the Panel of Judges examining and hearing the case adheres firmly to the principle of In Dubio Pro-Natura, for the sake of sustainability of the Papuan Forest as a source of life for Papua’s Indigenous Peoples. Therefore, the Panel of Judges should order the revocation of PT IAL's environmental feasibility permit.

Spokesperson for the Papuan Customary Forest Protection Solidarity Movement, Wirya Supriadi, said, "The decision on the future of the Papuan indigenous people and environment now rests with the Panel of Judges hearing this case, whether the judges will think and decide like a mouthpiece for the law, deciding the law with justice for the earth by granting this environmental and climate lawsuit, or siding with the authorities (palm oil corporations) that will destroy Papua's forests and drive out the indigenous peoples”.
Papua and Jakarta, 01 November 2023
Contact Persons:
Wirya Supriadi: +62 812-1858-508
Anastasya Manong: +62 821-9786-1181
Amelia Puhili: +62 822-9897-2694

Read the Open Letter to the panel of judges
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Pusaka Bentala Rakyat

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