Do not Build Smelter, Cement, Fertilizer Factory and Industrial Area in Kamoro Tribe’s Territory

PT. Freeport Indonesia will soon build smelter in Papua. Sounds interesting in the middle of Papua’s underdevelopment. In fact, it is not only smelter, but also a large industrial area such as cement, fertilizer, power plants, ports and fishing industry.

Yet the problem is why such development is in the ground of Kamoro. A tribe, which for decades has suffered from PT. Freeport’s tailing and now, on behalf of construction, their ancestral land should be taken for development that may not benefit Kamoro, who still live in the tradition of gathering.

Kamoro indigenous territory is mostly coastal area, with abundant natural resources such as mangrove forest, sago and fish which the main source of life for indigenous Kamoro tribe, who has been concocted from nature. If this plan is passed, of course, environmental, social and economic impacts will be detrimental to the survival of Kamoro.

Efforts to refuse PT Freeport’s smelter by Kamoro tribal people have been done many times. However, the plan is still in progress. Smelter development plan in the area of Kamoro continues to run, without a whole socialization process upon its impact and benefit to the community and deliberative institution of Kamoro. Currently, Kamoro has done sasi, traditional ritual to show that their land, mangrove forest and beaches should not be disturbed.

Quoting Chairman of Lemasko, Robertus Waraopea (3/21) who said that government’s plan to build Smelter in Puomako region was not conducted by “knocking on the door” of public and traditional institution. Though most part of that region are claimed by Kamoro community. Moreover, in the vicinity there are Kamoro’s settlements who all this time depend their livelihood from finding food in the rivers of their indigenous territory.

Which means, in principle it violates the rights of Kamoro tribe and their territory. Certainly, in legislation this plan was contrary to the Forestry Law No. 41/1999 Art. 2 on mangrove, Constitutional Court Decree 35/PUU-X/2012 on assertion of Indigenous Forest located in indigenous territory, as well as Law No. 21/2001 on Special Autonomy of the Papua.

And clearly in Law No. 4/2009 on Mining and company’s obligation in smelter building shall consider other legislation such as Basic Agrarian Law No. 4/1960, Law No. 1/2014 on the Management of Coastal Area and Isles, and Law No. 32/2009 on the Environmental Protection and Management to ensure the existed communities and ecosystems.

Therefore, once again we, out of various elements of civil society and representatives of Kamoro’s deliberative institution in a press conference today in Jakarta states that we:

  • Refuse PT. Freeport Indonesia’s Smelter and other industrial area in Kamoro’s territory;
  • Demand the Government to protect and recognize the rights of Kamoro tribe.

Thank you for your attention.

Jakarta, June 6, 2015


Kamoro’s deliberative institution (Lemasko), Agrarian Reform Consortium (KPA), Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi), PUSAKA, Commission for “the Disappeared” and Victims of Violence (KontraS), Indonesian Farmers Alliance (API), Indonesian Human Rights Committee for Social Justice (IHCS) and the People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice (KIARA), PIL-NET