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Environment

Activists protest the conservation award to Governor Mandacan

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West Papua Governor Dominggus Mandacan received the International Conservation awards from Conservation International-Jubi/IST

Manokwari, Jubi – The award of Global Conservation Hero to the West Papua Governor Dominggus Mandacan by Conservation International in Los Angeles to appreciate the efforts of Provincial Government of West Papua in protecting and implementing sustainable development has drawn a protest from local conservationist and environmental activists.

The activists argue that the government has not been eligible to receive the award because of no integrated database record the forest, ocean and indigenous resources to use as a barometer of the success of the conservation or sustainable development program in West Papua Province.

Although the ICBE Forum 2018 resulted in an agreement named “Manokwari Declaration” that has 14 commitments, in reality, it does not reach people on the ground.

Yohanis Akwan, the Coordinator of Pantau Gambut Papua in Manokwari, states the Global Conservation Award to Governor Dominggus Mandacan was so premature and allegedly full of interests. Since the declaration of West Papua Province as the conservation-based province by the former Governor Abraham Oktavianus Atururi in 2015, no real effort yet been realised by the provincial government to protect the natural resources of Papua Barat.

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Further, Akwan suggests that the award should present to people living in remote or coastal areas who are faithful protecting the forest and the sea with their local wisdom and traditional values. Also, he said West Papua Province even does not have a peatland map that can be used to review relevant permits, while the peatland is an indicator of the conservation-based province. He also asses that there are more unfinished plan to be done by Papua Barat concerning to conservation-based province. That is a reality.

“Unfortunately, the United States, Conservation International is too quick to present this award to the governor, while the forest and natural resources in this province continue to be in hand of giant investors. This award should not present to the government official, but villagers who traditionally protect their natural resources from time to time,” Akwan told Jubi in Manokwari.

Moreover, he points out a problem recently faced by Manowakri residents, namely a seasonal food disaster during rain as a result of a forest clearing in Wosi-Rendani area for human settlement and mismanagement of spatial plan for housings.

“Last Monday, dozens of houses in Petrus Kafiar Village of Manokwari Timur District were flooded. People forced to evacuate, while the government acts to pay attention from the international community,” said Akwan.

The head of the Provincial Public Relations and Protocol of West Papua Yohanes Nauw on behalf of the Governor Dominggus Mandacan says in the press conference that the award presented in a gala dinner organised by Conservation International in Los Angeles, the United States on Saturday (8/6/2019).

The head of provincial parliament has reportedly joined the governor because the parliament contributed to authorise the special regulation on Sustainable Development that represents the principles of environmentally friendly development.

“Through the special regulation, West Papua has been named as ‘conservation-based province’ in which 70% of its forest area and ecosystem will be protected and managed sustainably. This regulation also called the Manokwari Declaration,” explained Nauw.

Meanwhile, the Head of the Provincial Research and Development Agency of West Papua Government as a specialised agency who launched the agenda, Prof. Charlie D Heatubun, said that Governor Dominggus Mandacan has involved promoting the adoption of the regulation on Sustainable Development.

“This award is also to appreciate the leadership and commitment of the governor in promoting the enactment of the special regulation and reviewing other policies such as the Provincial Spatial Plan, the Provincial Medium-Term Development Plan, protected areas expansion and the preparation of the Provincial Master Plan and the Roadmap of Green and Blue Economic Development,” he said.

Furthermore, Heatubun said the visit of Papua Barat officials to Los Angeles, the United States, was to respond to the official invitation of the President of Conservation International. The event also attended by some CEOs of large companies who interested in investing in Papua Barat such as Mars, Unilever, and the Governor of California and Los Angeles Mayor. (*)

Reporter: Hans Kapisa
Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Environment

Raja Ampat’s government says to expel tourist ships for destroying coral reefs

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Panoramic view of Raja Ampat Islands. – Antara / Ernest Broning Kakisina

Waisai, Jubi – The Government of Raja Ampat Regency would drive out tourist ships for not complying local shipping regulations. The Regional Secretary Yusuf Salim affirmed the government’s policy is to address the environmental effects caused by tourist boats that often hit and damage coral reefs.

“This policy is to protect the natural reserve of Raja Ampat. Many operating boats do not pay attention to the rules that destroy the coral reefs,” said Yusuf in a meeting with tourism administrators on Thursday (09/01/2020).

He emphasised that the local government would not tolerate those who cause environmental destruction. Their licence would immediately revoke and no longer allowed to operate in Raja Ampat.

“All tourist ships must obey the rule if they want to continue operating in Raja Ampat. Such particular cruise ships must report their arrival to the regional government and follow relevant local regulations,” said Yusuf in a meeting chaired by Regent Abdul Faris Umlati.

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To prevent coral reefs from damage and destruction, managers of tourist ships required to involve certified local guides. If not, they are not allowed to enter and operate in Raja Ampat.

“It is for ensuring the convenience (and safety) during the tour. The coral reefs’ damages also can be avoided (prevented),” said the Head of Raja Ampat Tourism Office Yusdi Lamatenggo on the same occasion.

Further, Yusdi hopes that tourism operators and local people would report to the Tourism Office if they find any tourism services to not involving certified local guides. His office is ready for taking action on those who violate the rules.

Earlier, Lamima Surabaya, an Indonesian-flagged cruise ship, reportedly hit a coral reef surround Misool Island of Raja Ampat Regency, West Papua Province. Meanwhile, several Indonesian cruise ships carrying foreign tourists travelling in Misool Island also suspected of not paying tolls to the regional tourism office for entering local tourist destinations.

The Sub-district chief of Misool Selatan Samsul Rumasukun when contacted from Sorong on Tuesday (7/1/2020) confirmed that Lamima Surabaya was transporting foreign tourists before ran aground on the coral reefs surround Banos and Lenmakana waters in Misool Island on 3 January 2020. But the case was not widely known to the public.

He said the ship had continued its tour, but the incident already tackled by the Raja Ampat Police.

Meanwhile, Adrianus Kaiba, the Head of the Regional Public Service Agency for the Tourism Destination of Regional Tourism Office, separately said that every tourist visit Raja Ampat oblige to pay entrance fees in tourist destinations.

According to him, Lamima Surabaya cruise ship, which reportedly ran aground in the tourist destinations between the islands of Banos and Lemakana Misool, has so far not paid entrance fees to the regional tourism office.

At the end of December 2019, the Provincial Government of West Papua appealed for yachts entering its sea territories to involve local tour guides. This appeal issued following the incident of the cruise ship Aqua Blu landed on the coral reefs of Wayag Island.

The Head of Provincial Tourism and Culture Yusak Wabia in Manokwari on Monday (30/12/2019) stated the importance of using local guide services to avoid accidents such as crashing into coral reefs.

He said the local guides were more aware of the geographical condition of their territory, so it would prevent accidents. “Only local people know for certain the geographical conditions and the weather of their sea. They also maintain the coral reefs which are the source of their livelihood,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Indonesian Tour Guide Association (HPI) in Raja Ampat Regency, West Papua Province, Ranny Iriani Tumundo, regretted the incident of Aqua Blu cruise ship crashing on the coral reefs of Wayag Island.

She conveyed that according to the regulations, each cruise ship sailing around the sea of Raja Ampat oblige to notify the local government and meet the administrative requirement before visiting tourist destinations. Also, they require to pay retribution fee for entrance to the local government through the Office of Investment and Integrated Business Services.

“If a cruise ship has done it, then it is legal to travel in Raja Ampat. Also, the cruise ships must obey the shipping lane and involve local people as tour guides to avoid unexpected incidents happen, such as crashing into a coral reef,” she said. (*)

 

Reporter: ANTARA

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Environment

Heavy downpour ravages tens of houses in West Papua’s Wasior

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Illustration. -Tempo.co

Wasior, West Papua, Jubi – Heavy, incessant rains lashed Wasior City in Teluk Wondama District, West Papua, Monday afternoon, prompting the Anggris River to overflow and inundate tens of houses and kiosks while damaging buildings, a local government official stated.

“At least 46 houses incurred minor to serious damage owing to the mudflow in the aftermath of the heavy rainfall,” Wasior Sub-district Head Anthonius Alex Marani told ANTARA here on Tuesday.

The 25-cm-thick mud swept across the floors of the houses and damaged all items inside. However, no casualties were reported in the disaster, he noted, adding that Wasior and Wasior II Villages bore the maximum brunt of the overflowing Anggris River.

Several residents of Wasior City admitted to feeling traumatized by the flash floods in 2010 and 2013 that had resulted in the deaths of several hundred people.

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“On Monday evening, we took refuge in Al Fallah Mosque, as we are scared of the flash floods,” Nur Keres, whose house is located on the Anggris River bank, noted.

On Tuesday morning, the waters of Anggris River had receded, and a joint team of local government officials, rescue workers, as well as local police and military personnel joined hands to clean up the houses and areas swept by the mudflow.

The rainy season has triggered flash floods in certain other parts of Indonesia. In Riau, for instance, six people died as flash floods and a landslide hit certain areas in the province, Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency’s (BPBD’s) Acting Head Edwar Sanger stated.

The landslide buried two of the dead victims, while four others died due to the flash floods inundating certain areas in the districts of Rokan Hulu and Kuantan Singingi, he remarked at a recent meeting with related authorities.

According to Sanger, the floods inundated the areas of 216 villages in the districts of Rokan Hulu, Kampar, Pelalawan, Kuantan Singingi, Indragiri Hulu, and Rokan Hilir, thereby affecting 8,798 houses.

Due to the grave nature of such natural disasters, the district governments of Kampar, Rokan Hulu, Pelalawan, and Indragiri Hulu had issued an emergency alert status in response to the threats of floods and landslides until the end of this year, he remarked.

The Riau provincial administration had also declared an emergency alert status in effect from Dec 20 to Dec 31, 2019.

At least 25,133 families, or some 62,630 people, were affected by the floods and landslide, most of whom are in the districts of Kuantan Singingi and Kampar, he noted. (*)

 

Source: Antara

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Economy

People not be provoked with rumours on Freeport’s operating area

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An illustration of Freeport mine. – the Courtesy of Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – A provincial parliament member, the Rev. Nikolaus Degey, expects people of neighbouring regencies Mimika Regency in Papua Province, would not address rumours on Freeport’s operating areas seriously.

“Rumors say Freeport’s operating area has crossed the territory of other regencies. It’s not true. This issue is misleading,” confirmed the Rev. Degey to Jubi on Sunday (15/12/2019).

The operating area of PT Freeport Indonesia covers both mining and port areas, where located in Mimika Regencies. In 1972, Freeport started its ground mining exploitation which makes it the largest ground mining area in the world.

Along with advanced technology, Freeport shifted its operation into underground mining, in which activities are invisible from the public. This has raised speculations among people who believe the company’s operating area has crossed their regions.

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“We appeal to people living in Puncak Jaya, Paniai and Intan Jaya to not being provoked. Because this rumour might harm people,” he said.

Also, he said if Freeport’s operating area has crossed the border of the three regencies it would impact on people’s lives. According to him, if the rumours are true, people in Puncak Jaya, Paniai and Intan Jaya might have a similar experience as people of Mimika Regency. Amungme and Kamoro tribes are indigenous tribes who are the most affected by mining activities of PT Freeport Indonesia.

“I think this would be happening upon them [if the operating area of PT Freeport has crossed the border of Mimika Regency],” he said.

Moreover, the Rev. Nikolaus Degey asked those who spread this rumour to stop provoking people in these three regencies. Instead, he encourages them to bring this issue to the court rather than circulating rumours that potentially harm ordinary people.

Meanwhile, the former provincial parliament member and the Chairman of Paniai Customary Council, John NR Gobai, the issue of Freeport’s mining area should be solved before talking about the provincial or regional area split in Papua. It is important to ensure that the establishment of new administrative areas would not raise conflict of interest to get a share of Freeport mining activities.

Gobai said the corporate, indigenous council and the government must sit together to solve this issue. The Government also need to guarantee the future of people.

“If I was questioned, I would say it’s better to solve the mining and land-tenure rights of people living around the company. [If] the company has done all this business in its mining area, they would go. People would never go, they will stay. So it needs a guarantee [for them]” said Gobai. (*)

 

Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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