A coalition of NGOs in the Sorong Regency demand local government and law enforcement institutions to immediately investigate allegations of illegal logging which have reportedly been committed by the company PT. Multi Wijaya Wahana (PT. MWW) in the regency of Tambrauw. According to Charles Tawaru, the director of Papua Forest Watch (PFW), the NGOs found illegal logging practices during investigations between 2018 and 2019, which the company uses until today. The NGOs demand that PT. MWW’s logging concessions shall immediately be withdrawn if investigations confirm the allegations of illegal logging practices. PT. MWW’s logging concession had been extended twice in 2013 and 2018 ignoring strong indications for the violation of multiple laws and local regulations.
PT. MWW holds legal logging permits, but cooperates with mafia-like timber entrepreneurs who frequently use illegal logging practices and do not hold legal permits. They fob-off local communities with low compensation payments and bribe the police and the military.
Moreover, the NGOs reported that the company has cleared forest in protected conservation forest areas and later manipulated the documents for the production and transportation of the illegal timber. PFW conducted research which came to the result that about 3,000 hectares of conservation forest were affected by the company’s illegal logging activities. Besides, the activists discovered hundreds of timber logs inside the concession area which were rotting in midst the forest without being transported to a timber storage (see photo on top, source: Suara Papua).
The compensation payments which the company paid to the indigenous land rights holders were reportedly far below the minimum rate set by Governor Regulation No. 5/2014 on the Standard of Compensation for Indigenous Communities for Timber in Customary Land Areas in Papua Barat Province. The regulation mentions a minimum compensation payment of IDR 100,000/m³ for Merbau wood. Indigenous community representatives stated that the company had given them compensation payments between IDR 50,000/m³ and IDR 70,000/m³. The NGOs on behalf of the affected indigenous communities demand PT. MWW to pay the outstanding compensation payments which have accumulated since the Governor regulation No. 5/2014 entered into force.
The coalition consists of the following NGOs:
1. Papua Forest Watch
2. PBHKP Sorong
4. Belantara Papua
5. Aka Wuon Tambrauw
6. Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara
7. Greenpeace Indonesia
9. Pusaka Bentala Rakyat
10. Auriga Nusantara