Traditional leader urges local govt in Meepago to reject Wabu Block mining

Blok Wabu
Blok Wabu - CNBC

Jayapura, Jubi – A traditional leader from Intan Jaya Regency, Manfred Zondegau, has asked the local government in the Meepago Indigenous Territory to write a letter to the central government rejecting the plan to mine the Wabu Block gold reserves. Zondegau considered it important to stop the armed conflict that endangers civilians in Intan Jaya.

Zondegau said this was his response following a viral screenshot of the Papua Governor’s Letter No. 540/2044/SET dated February 18, 2022, which asked the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) to halt the administrative process for the Special Mining Business Permit of Wabu Block.

“I hope that the local governments of Intan Jaya, Paniai, Mimika, and Puncak are in line with the Papua Governor. I suggest the local government in Meepago make the same letter to reject the operation of the Wabu Block in Intan Jaya,” Zondegau told Jubi when contacted by telephone on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.

“If the government of Meepago is slow to respond and issue letters to support the Governor and Intan Jaya community, the situation in Intan Jaya will remain unsafe for the people,” he added.

Previously, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said in his letter to the ESMD Minister that the Papuan Provincial Government needed mining investment to accelerate regional development. However, mining activities are capital-intensive, technology-intensive, and high-risk, thus requiring legal certainty and security for mining activities to be carried out properly. Enembe said that up until now, the situation in the Wabu Block and Intan Jaya has not been safe, especially for the communities living there.

“So we ask the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources to halt the licensing of the Wabu Block to create safety and security for the local community,” said the Governor in the letter. (*)

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