Since 17 years ago, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Indonesia Program has carried out conservation missions in Berau, East Kalimantan, with Berau Regency Government. These conservation missions initiated by the TNC Indonesia program would be continued fully by Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN). To proceed with the cooperation process, YKAN and Berau Regency Government signed a cooperative agreement at the Sangalaki Room of Berau Regency Office on Wednesday, October 16, 2019.
"We want to give as much space as possible for YKAN to assist sustainable development in Berau,” said Berau Regent Muharram in his opening remark on the MoU signing event between YKAN and Berau Regency Government. Furthermore, he explained that supports from TNC in Berau since 2002 have helped communities reduce environmentally destructing actions. “We also received assistance in formulating the vision and mission of the recent term of the regency government.”
Together with Berau Regency Government, YKAN has developed eight initiatives. These initiatives are 1) sustainable natural resources management; 2) coastal, small islands, and bordering small islands development and management; 3) community prosperity improvement; 4) protected area, essential ecosystem area, and marine conservation area management; 5) low-emission oil palm plantation development supports; 6) institution and human resources capacity improvement; 7) forest management; and 8) sustainable mangrove management.
One of the flagship programs with the Berau Regency Government is the application of Communities Inspiring Action for Change (akSi Insipiartif warGA untuk Perubahan or SIGAP). SIGAP approach for village community empowerment that was adopted and applied in Berau became SIGAP SEJAHTERA Program that successfully assisted in improving the Building Village Index (Indeks Desa Membangun or IDM). Since 2018, 99 villages in Berau Regency does not have a very impoverished status.
YKAN Executive Director Rizal Algamar stated that development and natural resources management challenges would be bigger and more complex in the future. A regency is demanded to be able to fuse economy and conservation development to support the community welfare. "We believe that no matter how hard the challenge is, it can be solved through cooperation and sharing roles," he said. YKAN and Berau Regency Government, he believed, have received many lessons learned in managing natural resources by prioritizing community welfare.
Regent Muharram added, “YKAN has assisted in directing Berau Regency, so the direction of the development does not stray to the right path.” He hoped that the cooperation would conceive breakthroughs in sustainable economic development.
Rizal agreed to that statement because, at present, the global business pattern has included commitments to sustainable natural resources management. “Last week, The Governor of the Bank of England stated that business that ignores natural resources would have a hard time to develop,” he said. This global commitment shows that sustainable natural resources management is the key to future economic development.