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Strengthening the Indigenous Peoples With State Laws

By: Teguh Iman Affandi

Learning from the experiences of indigenous peoples in the Klamono District, Indigenous Peoples in Gisim Village, Sorong Regency, increasingly staunchly reject the existence of oil palm estate companies.

Edison Sede, Indigenous Peoples of Gisim Village, Sorong Regency, West Papua Province

“We, as indigenous peoples, also learn from our friends who own ancestral land in other places, such as Modan Pantai and Klamono. In terms of resources, it is unsatisfactory for indigenous peoples,” said Edison Sede, an indigenous resident in Gisim Village, Kabupaten Gisim, Sorong Regency.,/p>

Edison then told how the palm oil company persuaded the people in Gisim Village to give up their ancestral land. What Edison remembered was that he was still in school at that time. Edison was still nineteen years old. He admitted he did not understand what was happening in his village and what the company wanted.

Edison remembers how the palm oil company brought traditional elders to Sorong City. Then someone representing the company visited the location, where oil palms will be planted, for inspecting the land. The person took a soil sample to check whether the nutrients in the soil match the oil palm plants or not.

The fruit of the seduction of the palm oil company, the voices of the indigenous people of Kampung Gisim divided. Some support oil palm plantations some refuse. Edison worried that if these differences were too narrow, there would be a war between the people. “… there will be bloodshed on the ground itself, between us, family and family,” said Edison.

The Consortium for Agrarian Reform (KPA) noted that in 2021 there were 74 cases of agrarian conflicts related to plantations. The 52 cases came to oil palm plantations. KPA realizes that oil palm plantation companies have always been the culprits of massive tenure conflicts and violence.

Now, Edison wants to convey his wishes to the public. He wants a regulation at the national level that can strengthen the ancestral land rights of indigenous peoples. “If there are government regulations in Indonesia that regulate how to protect ancestral land rights, then in the future, the ancestral land rights will be respected,” said Edison.

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