Bekasi, West Java (ANTARA) - The government has guaranteed that development projects being carried out and planned in the Papua region would not pose threats to any parties, Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning Minister Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY) affirmed.

AHY made the statement in connection with the plan for conversion of customary lands believed to be the home of the Awyu Tribe of South Papua and Moi Tribe of West Papua.

During his visit to Bekasi, West Java, on Wednesday, AHY underscored that President Joko Widodo had always placed emphasis on the importance of prioritizing the interests of people in every development project so that no one would be harmed.

"We cannot afford to let any development project be carried out without taking environmental preservation into consideration," he stressed.

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The minister further said that the planned land conversion in Papua basically aims to pursue economic interests and development without neglecting the need to heed to the local residents' aspirations and wishes.

"No one should be pushed away from their own yard. We hope that no one and no region will be left behind. This issue is not limited to economic matters, as it is also inseparable from social justice," he pointed out.

A digital poster has been going viral on Instagram recently. The poster, imbued with the main tagline of "All Eyes on Papua," displays a narrative that states 36 thousand hectares of forest land in Boven Digoel, South Papua, will be converted into a palm oil plantation.

On May 27, representatives of the Awyu and Moi tribes held a demonstration in front of the Supreme Court (MA), Jakarta, to voice their opposition to the land conversion, arguing that the lands are customary and serve as their source of life.

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Translator: Ahmad M, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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