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Indonesians rally behind #AllEyesOnPapua to save customary forests from palm oil

The #AllEyesOnPapua campaign on Indonesian social media supports the Awyu and Moi tribes’ fight against palm oil plantations threatening their customary forests, urging the Supreme Court to protect their ancestral lands and address environmental and cultural impacts.



Social Media Campaign "All Eyes on Papua" Gains Momentum to Protect Customary Forests

INDONESIA: In a surge of social media activism, the hashtag #AllEyesOnPapua is now trending across Indonesian platforms, echoing the previous success of #AllEyesOnRafah.

This campaign has garnered widespread attention as it seeks to support the Papuan people in their fight against the expansion of oil palm plantations on their ancestral lands.

The #AllEyesOnPapua movement has seen significant engagement, with millions of users raising awareness about the issue.

On Instagram alone, the campaign’s template has been reposted more than three million times.

This digital activism aims to draw attention to the plight of the Awyu Tribe in Boven Digoel, South Papua, and the Moi Tribe in Sorong, Southwest Papua, who are currently embroiled in legal battles to protect their customary forests.

The legal struggle has reached the Supreme Court after lower courts rejected the claims of the Awyu Tribe, led by environmental advocate Hendrikus Woro.

The tribe is challenging the environmental permit granted to PT Indo Asiana Lestari (IAL) by the Papua Provincial Government.

The permit covers 36,094 hectares, primarily customary forests belonging to the Woro clan of the Awyu tribe.

Simultaneously, the Moi Sigin sub-tribe is contesting the plans of PT Sorong Agro Sawitindo (SAS) to convert 18,160 hectares of their customary forest into palm oil plantations.

Following the revocation of PT SAS’s business license by the central government in 2022, the company filed a counterclaim.

The Moi Sigin community responded by intervening in the legal proceedings at the Jakarta State Administrative Court and is now appealing to the Supreme Court.

On 27 May 2024, representatives from both tribes gathered in front of the Supreme Court Building in Central Jakarta, performing prayers and rituals in their traditional attire.

“We came from afar, at no small cost, to ask the Supreme Court to restore our rights,” stated Hendrikus Woro.

Fiktor Klafiu, representing the Moi Sigin community, emphasized, “Customary forests are our source of life. If the forests disappear, we lose everything.”

Rikarda Maa, an Awyu traditional woman, highlighted the long-standing impact of palm oil plans, stating, “We have been tormented for quite a long time by the existence of palm oil plans in our traditional territory. We want to raise our children through natural products. Palm oil will destroy our forests; we reject it.”


Hutan adatnya mau dibabat, Suku Awyu dan Suku Moi akan sulit cari makan, emisi karbon yang dilepas juga akan banyak banget 😭 #selamatkanhutanpapua #selamatkanhutanadatpapua #standwithawyu #standwithmoi #wespeakup #wespeakuporg #maribersuara #fyp #fypシ゚viral #fyppppppppppppppppppppppp

♬ suara asli – –

Environmental and human rights organizations rally behind #AllEyesOnPapua campaign

Greenpeace Indonesia Forest Campaigner, Asep Komaruddin, stressed the necessity of returning the forests to their indigenous owners, pointing out the severe consequences of palm oil companies’ activities on the environment and indigenous livelihoods.

Forest and Garden Campaign Manager of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment, Uli Arta Siagian, criticized the lack of Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) in the permitting process, highlighting the government’s failure to respect indigenous rights.

“We hope that this campaign can change court decisions or government policies at both the national and regional levels,” she said.

Iwan Misthohizzaman, Executive Director of the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID), labeled the forest seizures as “ecocide,” a severe violation against nature and human rights.

He urged the Supreme Court to revoke the permits and restore the forests to their rightful indigenous stewards.

Efforts to protect the Papuan people’s customary forests are also being supported through a petition titled “Forest as big as half of Jakarta will disappear. Supreme Court, Revoke PT IAL’s Palm Oil Permit,” which has garnered 214,160 signatures to date.

The ongoing digital campaign, #AllEyesOnPapua, continues to amplify the voices of the Awyu and Moi tribes, calling for the Supreme Court to deliver a verdict that safeguards their ancestral forests and livelihoods from the encroachment of palm oil companies.

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Human GREED and STUPIDITY on display AGAIN. They don’t even KNOW what they are destroying just so they can make more “profits” from palm oil.

From the river to the sea. West Papua will be free.