30 May 2002

Papua environmental groups lobbying for a logging moratorium

4:46 pm on 30 May 2002

Environmental groups in the Indonesian province of Papua are calling for a moratorium on logging to protect tribes facing extinction.

Robert Mandosir, the Land Director for the NGO group, Yali, says pressure is on the Papuan Provincial government to implement a moratorium to protect tribes living in the Mamberamo Forest.

This follows a report from Indonesia's social welfare agency saying that 51 tribes living in Papua's forests are vanishing because of excessive logging by foreign owned companies.

Mr Mandosir says the logging forces tribes to move to land owned by rival tribes causing violent clashes.

The Indonesian government drafted and approved a Special autonomy law which allows Papua to keep up to 80 percent of the revenue generated from local natural resource use.

Mr Mandosir says since then logging activity in Papua has increased

"The governor have the strategy to increase the economy in the province, so they try to promote to the overseas investor to invest in the West Papua. We're aware that international public really needs timber but at the same time they don't know that when they need timber many people in the villages could be destroyed, land, life and everything that they have."

Robert Mandosir in Papua