UN urges Indonesia to respect the land rights of Aru Islanders threatened by giant sugar plantation

UN urges Indonesia to respect the land rights of Aru Islanders threatened by giant sugar plantation

7 October, 2015
In response to an appeal submitted by the Indonesian Indigenous Peoples Alliance (AMAN) and Forest Peoples Programme under its urgent action procedure, the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has called on the Indonesian government to reconsider its plans to allow a private sugar company to take over half of the Aru Islands as a plantation. The land grab threatens the lands and very survival of the indigenous peoples of the island. The UN body, which oversees State parties’ compliance with their obligations under the treaty (the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) notes that under the Convention, long ratified by the Republic, Indonesia has a duty to recognise and protect indigenous peoples’ land rights. The Committee also reminded the government of its previous requests to ensure that the State does not allow its development plans to override indigenous peoples’ rights and amend its Plantations Act so that it respects these rights. The Committee notes that Indonesia has persistently failed to respond to the CERD for over eight years. Complaint by AMAN and FPP English and Bahasa Indonesia Response from CERD: English only Request for Consideration of the Situation of Indigenous Peoples of the Aru Islands, Indonesia, under the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedure I. Introduction 1. In order to avoid imminent and irreparable harm, the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), the national indigenous peoples’ organization of Indonesia,1 and Forest Peoples Programme2 (“the Submitting Organizations”) respectfully request that the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (“the Committee”) considers the situation of the Aru indigenous peoples of the Aru Islands District, Moluccas Province, under the its early warning and urgent action procedure. This situation concerns the Republic of Indonesia’s (“Indonesia” or “the State”) authorization of massive, industrial sugar cane plantations over the majority of the Aru indigenous peoples’ ancestral territory and the lack of effective legal guarantees for their rights. Specific requests are set forth in paragraph 19 below. 2. In 2010, the Head of the Aru Islands District issued a ‘principle permit’ for the conversion of natural forests in the Aru Islands to plantations.3 This was endorsed by the Governor of the Moluccas, who issued a ‘Recommendation Letter for the Minister of Forestry to enable Forest Release’ in July 2011.4 Subsequently, in February 2013, the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry allocated ‘forest land’ to 19 of the 28 companies comprising the PT. Menara Group Consortium (“the Menara Group”).5 ….. full article Excellency, I write to inform you that in the course of its 87th session, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination received information on recent developments regarding the situation of the Aru indigenous peoples of the Aru Islands District, Moluccas Province. The information alleges that the PT. Menara Group Consortium has been granted a permit for monocrop sugar cane plantations over nearly 50 percent of Aru indigenous peoples’ ancestral territory, in spite of opposition to the by a coalition of representatives of the affected indigenous peoples and without any prior consultation with them, according to the information received in contravention of requirements under the 2004 Plantations Act and under international law. The Committee has also received information alleging that the State party currently lacks effective legal guarantees to protect the rights of indigenous peoples………………………… full article: Permohonan untuk Pertimbangan atas Situasi Masyarakat Adat Kepulauan Aru, Indonesia, di bawah Prosedur Peringatan Dini dan Aksi Mendesak Komite Penghapusan Diskriminasi Rasial I. Pendahuluan 1. Untuk menghindari kerugian yang akan terjadi dan yang tidak dapat diperbaiki, Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN), organisasi masyarakat adat nasional Indonesia,1 dan Forest Peoples Programme2 (“Organisasi Pemohon”) dengan hormat meminta Komite Penghapusan Diskriminasi Rasial (“Komite”) mempertimbangkan situasi masyarakat adat Aru dari Kabupaten Kepulauan Aru, Provinsi Maluku, di bawah prosedur peringatan dini dan tindakan mendesak dari Komite. Situasi dimaksud menyangkut pemberian izin oleh Republik Indonesia (“Indonesia” atau “Negara”) untuk perkebunan tebu industri besar di atas sebagian besar wilayah leluhur masyarakat adat Aru dan kurangnya jaminan hukum yang efektif terhadap hak-hak masyarakat tersebut. Permintaan khusus diuraikan dalam ayat 19 di bawah ini……… Full article:

Indonesia Petition:

Petisi oleh  Glenn Fredly (@GlennFredly)

Tiba-tiba saya khawatir Kepulauan Aru. 500 ribu hektar hutan leluhur saya di Maluku mau dibabat massal! Total luasnya hanya 643 ribu. Berarti hampir habis! Kabarnya, gabungan 28 perusahaan kantongi izin Menteri Kehutanan @Zul_Hasan, terutama untuk pembabatan itu.

Hingga sekarang, kekayaan dan keindahannya terjaga. Kawan saya anak Maluku, Jacky Manuputty belum lama menelusuri perairan besar kepulauan ini, melewati pesisir desa-desa adat dengan rumah berbentuk panggung di atas air. Kaya!

Tapi kenapa ya, tahun 2010, BPS mencatat pulau Maluku sebagai propinsi termiskin ke-3 di Indonesia. Lalu, apa yang tersisa dari Maluku, jika kekayaan tersisa berupa bentangan hutan lebat, tempat bermainnya unggas Cendrawasih ini dibabat massal?


Isi Petisi Sekarang!

International Petition for #SaveAru

Why this is important

Aru Islands is located far from the capital of Maluku province, or even from the Indonesian capital. They sound almost inaudible to stop the destruction of 500,000 of about 630,000 hectares of its forests to plantations of sugarcane by a company called PT.Menara Group. Although not much help, people are still fighting for their forests. By signing this petition, you make sure they do not fight alone. And just maybe, their voices could be heard by the government.Consists of more than 250 islands, Aru archipelago is well known as the only region in Maluku, Indonesia where 4 species of golden birds of paradise are living in harmony with Black Cockatoo, Tree Kangaroo, Cassowary, Deer, and indigenous forest people, those who depend on the forest for at least 75% of their daily needs. However, Aru Islands is a portrait of peaceful suffer and poverty. Although living the beautiful and richness environment, the poverty rate for indigenous people up to 50%.

Unfortunately, instead of developing projects to improve the lives of people living in poverty, crazy policy of Maluku government allowed a greedy investment of 28 companies from Jakarta to replace 500000 hectares of Aru forest with sugar cane plantation while the remain 200000 hectares less is just left for environmental protection. Ironically, the poor Aru people know nothing about this plan though a national regulation guarantees an indigenous land right.

Currently, a way of life and unique environment of Aru Islands is threatened to be destroyed. Aru people are crying for help. They’ve organized their rally to stop the project because the sweetness of sugar is a bitter taste for them and their environment as well. Let us stand in solidarity with them! #SaveAru


Kaos Donasi #SaveAru

Kami menggalang dana melalui penjualan t-shirt #SAVEARU. Hasil penjualan sepenuhnya akan digunakan untuk membantu gerakan ini. T-shirt ini bisa didapatkan melalui :


@GracioImanuel (CP: +6285230066371)


White : IDR 100k

Black  : IDR 110k

Banner Dukungan #SaveAru Islands

Berikan dukungan anda untuk menyelamatkan Kepulauan Aru dari rencana pembukaan perkebunan tebu dengan cara menggunakan Banner-banner ini sebagai bentuk kepedulian anda :