Visit of The Social Forestry Agency and Environmental Partnership ( Badan Perhutanan Sosial dan Kemitraan Lingkungan / BPSKL ) to Huta Aek Napa

Monday, July 7th 2020. Op. Bolus Simanjuntak and Op. Ronggur Simanjuntak indigenous people accompanied by Kelompok Study Pengembangan Prakarsa Masyarakat/KSPPM ( Study Group for the Development People’s Initiative ) and Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara Tano Batak/AMAN Tano Batak ( The Indigenous People Alliance of Archipelago Tano Batak) has receive a visit from the representative of The Social Forestry Agency and Environmental Partnership(Badan Perhutanan Sosial dan Kemitraan Lingkungan / BPSKL) and Forestry Management Unity ( Kesatuan Pengelolaan Hutan / KPH ) region IV, Balige. From BPSKL came Yoseph Tien and from KPH represented by Irwan Butar-Butar. The meeting was held in Sosor Liang, Sipahutar. The meeting was a follow-up to efforts to resolve conflicts between indigenous peoples and PT Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL). Based on hindsight, the struggle for recognition of customary land territory has been going on for almost ten years. And indigenous people have also conveyed their demands directly to the Central Government, Mr. Joko Widodo (President of the Republic of Indonesia) and also to Mrs. Siti Nurbaya (Minister of Environment and Forestry). Facilitated by the Presidential Staff Office (Kantor Staff Kepresidenan/KSP), meetings of indigenous peoples with the central government have been held several times. Both the President neither the Minister of Ministry of Environment and Forestry have also given a very good response to the demands of the community by promising to immediately release the customary area from the PT Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) concession and return it to the indigenous people. However, this decision can only be followed up if there is a Regional Regulation (Peraturan Daerah/Perda) on the Recognition and Protection of Indigenous Peoples in the Regency. At present the two communities together with other communities in Tapanuli are awaiting the issuance of the said Regional Regulation so that the realization of the promise of the President and the Minister can be followed up immediately.

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