Grasberg Gold Mine, West Papua
Natural resources like oil, copper and gold in Papua is a blessing. It is true that countries with abundant natural resources are blessing, and Papua is the place in Indonesia should enjoyed the exploration of natural resources .
For more than 32 years, roughly around two million Papuan natives and more than one and half million migrants could not utilised their rich natural resources. Since the reform movement in Indonesia (1998) and based on Special Autonomy Law, the wealth of people who live in Papua should be the highest in Indonesia.
During New Order Regime, why are the inhabitants are not enjoying the benefits from so much natural resources that are being exploited in the land where they live? It is matter of administration and management and political will.
Under the Special Autonomy Law, ideally the primary beneficiaries of Papua’s riches are Papuan people thorough local government, the foreign multinationals who have been granted concessions to exploit copper ( Freeport ) and oil (BP), and Indonesian government in Jakarta. Now, the is special budget for Papua local government about 17 trilyun rupiah based on Inpres Number 5 year 2007 on the Acceleration of Development in Papua Province and West Papua Province. Furthermore there is also special budget for the implementation of Special Autonomy Law about 8,4 trilyun rupiah. That number reflects one of the highest budget compare to other provinces in Indonesia. Papua deserved to get high budget because of the blessing of its natural resources and hopefully this year (2008) will raise.
Radical change in Indonesia Government’s policy should be maintained to guarantee the bright future of the Papuans. However, in order to protect the environment, the exploration of Papuan resources should proceed at an moderate rate.