Conservation project in West Papua
19th March 2015
Manokwari, West Papua (ANTARA News) – Three international natural conservation non-governmental organizations (NGOs): Conservation International (CI), the Nature Conservancy (TNC), and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will finance a sea conservation project in West Papua province.
The three NGOs along with fifteen local NGOs have established a sea conservation team named Bentang Laut Kepala Burung (Bird Head Marine Landscape) of West Papua, spokesperson of the conservation team Nugroho Arif stated here on Thursday.
He affirmed that the sea conservation area is spread across the three districts of Raja Ampat, Kaimana, and Tambraw.
The financial support for the project will be provided by the three NGOs until the end of 2017.
Nugroho remarked that the administration of West Papua province should seek further financial support in order to maintain the project.
Nataniel Mandacan, the secretary of administration, expressed gratitude to the three international NGOs that are financing the conservation project being carried out by the locals.
The administration will continue running the project after 2017 when the financial support from the three NGOs ends.
In addition, the administration will establish West Papua as a conservation area under a provincial regulation.(*)
A former Dutch colony, West Papua was formally incorporated into Indonesia in 1969, after an undisputed vote of about 1,025 representative tribal leaders. The result of the plebiscite was overseen and endorsed by the United Nations.
Since the democratization in 1998, especially since 2007, democracy by mean of elections has been introduced to increase political participation in the two provinces. The fact that the leaders of Papua and West Papua provinces are democratically elected by the people has strengthened the legality of the region as a province of Indonesia.
During the Abdurrahman Wahid administration in 2000, aside from changing the province name from “Irian Jaya” to “Papua”, Papua gained a “Special Autonomy” status, a political compromise between Papuans and the central government.
The political will of politicians in Jakarta to proceed with the implementation of the Special Autonomy was formalized in 2001 with the special autonomy law.
Special autonomy is part of democratic means to address aspiration of Papuan people. In late 2001, Indonesian government introduced a “special autonomy” bill for West Papua. The bill, which was drafted mostly by indigenous Papuans, passed the Indonesian parliament as Law No. 21 in November 2001.