MERAUKE - Merauke Regent, Frederikus Gebze has called on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) both at home and abroad to stop interrupting investment in Merauke.
Gebze saw the presence of investors at this time is needed by local governments. Local government does not have sufficient funds to build all existing facilities so that the need of outside investors, one of the palm oil plantation investors in accordance with potential in Merauke District.
He regretted, the actions of foreign NGOs that spread black campaigns about oil palm plantations. Gebze assess, investors of oil palm plantations that enter into Merauke in addition to opening employment, also helped make the community prosperous.
"The presence of oil palm plantations has been evaluated and contributed quite a lot," Gebze said on Friday (14/7).
Regent revealed, from seven oil palm plantation companies that invest in Merauke, there are four cooperatives have been formed including PT Dongin Prabhawa.
"Because one of provisions of legislation states, that if there is an investor entering a territory, it is obliged to grant a concession of 20 percent of total land available for plantation, where 20 percent is managed by the local community either by the owner of ulayat rights and others," said Gebze.
In line with Gebze, a resident of five villages in Ngguti District, Merauke also strongly urged foreign NGOs, such as Mighty Earth from America and AidEnvironment from the Netherlands to stop prohibiting clearing of oil palm for ulayat rights owners in Ngguti District.
Abraham Yolmen, one of Iska Bekai's Head of Multipurpose Business Cooperation (KSU), who is also Chairman of Marga Yolmen, said that residents requested palm oil plantations to be opened in accordance with the provisions of the law, of which 20 percent of Rights for Business (HGU) is returned to the public.
"We have been waiting for company to open the plantations for the owner of the customary rights, but until now the company has not cleared land for us to plant oil palm," Yolmen said.
Initially, they suspect company deliberately time-lapse. But in last two weeks, it knows the reason the company has not opened the garden for the community owners ulayat rights.
"Once again, we ask that foreign NGOs stop ban the opening of plantations on our own land," said Simon Walinaulik, one of the other residents.
Simon said, presence of company has been very beneficial for the villagers, both in terms of economy, education and health. Before the company entered, residents had to bother making a living.
"We do not want to look for crocodiles at river or swamps that in a day not necessarily get results, we were really miserable, we want to be prosperous so do not let us change to a better thing," he said.