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Indonesia: NGOs ask Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination to consider impacts of sugar cane plantations on Aru indigenous peoples' territory

Author: Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) & Forest Peoples Programme, Published on: 30 July 2015

“Request for consideration of the situation of indigenous peoples of the Aru Islands, Indonesia”, 16 Jul 2015

…In order to avoid imminent and irreparable harm, the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), the national indigenous peoples’ organization of Indonesia, and Forest Peoples Programme…respectfully request that the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination…considers the situation of the Aru indigenous peoples of the Aru Islands District, Moluccas Province, under its early warning and urgent action procedure…[I]n 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”)…The subject of this request is related to the imminent and massive violation of the Aru indigenous peoples' rights over more than 50 percent of their traditional territories and their sources of livelihood therein in relation to these massive sugar cane plantations…In 2012, the indigenous peoples living in several villages in Aru Islands were shocked to find the Menara Group surveying their traditional lands for sugar cane plantations without the prior provision of any information or their effective participation in decision making…they formed a coalition to defend their islands from further plantation development. This coalition has firmly rejected any conversion of traditional indigenous lands in Aru to plantations…

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Related companies: Menara Group (consortium of 28 companies)