Indonesia ‘recognises communal rights’ of 9 indigenous groups in Papua

Nine indigenous communities in Papua were noted in the address. Image: Andika Wahyu/Antara

By Yeremia Sukoyo in Jakarta

Indonesia’s Minister of Land and Spatial Planning Ferry Mursyidan Baldan has declared the government’s recognition of communal rights of nine indigenous communities in Papua.

The declaration was held at the closing of the  9th Sentani Lake Festival at the province’s Khalkhote region in East Sentani last week.

“We want to affirm how Jayapura becomes the living space for indigenous communities. No more actions against the living and cultural spaces of indigenous communities,” Ferry said.

The state had supported available space for Papua’s indigenous communities so no more people are evicted or forced from their native land, Ferry said.

“On behalf of the country, we affirm that in all Papuan regions, the entire space, mountain, beaches and others are owned by Papua’s indigenous communities. Whoever wishes to take benefits, to develop, should recognise the presence of indigenous communities within.”

“There should no longer be the elimination of indigenous communities’ rights,” Ferry said.

Daniel Toto, head of Jayapura’s indigenous communities, has called on the central government to strengthen the practical presence of indigenous communities.

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