From: Radio Australia - 29/07/2008
The Papua NGOs Forum is calling on Indonesia’s government to stop issuing permits for oil palm plantation in Papua province.
Indonesia’s government is looking to expand its oil palm plantations in its vast easternmost provinces in Papua where it has three to four million hectares of land suitable for plantations.
The Forum is urging both central and provincial governments to consider preserving Papua’s native forests and allowing secondary forests to be cleared for oil palm instead.
The Forum’s executive secretary, Septer Manufandu, says that whatever way you look at it, deforestation has disastrous enviornmental and social impacts on Papuan communities.
"Logging companies or oil palm companies destroy the forest. Papuans respect the forest. Forest is the mother. Forest can give everything they want: food, water, vegetables, everything."