A Growing Movement Against Plantations in West Papua
“We, the indigenous people of Yowied Village reject corporations coming on to our land in Tubang District for the following reasons:
there is not so much land around Yowied Village.
Our lives are dependent on what our environment can provide.
Where will the future generations go?”
The sign is tied with coconut leaves, a signal that it is a ‘sasih’ marker, a traditional means to forbid passage. Similar signs can be seen in almost all villages in the area. They are backed up by an agreement between all villages in the area that no-one should give up their land, under pain of death. It’s a desperate first act of defiance to a modern world they know has no place for them. A plantations mega-project has been imposed on Merauke, West Papua, and 2.5 million hectares of forest, grassland and swamps – the ancestral lands of the Malind people – are being targeted for oil palm, industrial timber and sugar cane. Continue reading “West Papua: a growing movement against plantations”