The waters in the Bird's Head Seascape, West Papua Province, are one of the waters with the highest biodiversity in the world. Sustainable management is required in order to provide long-term benefits for the community and local stakeholders. In this regard, located in Manokwari, on March 24, 2022, the Provincial Government of West Papua authorized a collaboration with Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) for biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of biological resources in West Papua Province.
West Papua Province has a marine area of 106,598.9 km2 with a coastline of 12,455 km which is inhabited by more than 1,700 species of reef fish and 600 species of hard coral, as well as a mangrove ecosystem of 471,902 hectares (National Mangrove Map 2021). The direction of development in West Papua Province prioritizes the conservation aspect as outlined in the Special Regional Regulation Number 10 of 2019 concerning Sustainable Development in West Papua Province.
“The utilization of the potential of marine biodiversity and coastal ecosystems needs to be carried out in a planned, integrated, and measurable manner for their sustainability. For this reason, currently around 4.1 million hectares of territorial waters in West Papua Province have been accommodated as marine, coastal and small island conservation areas, which are contained in Regional Regulation Number 13 of 2019 concerning Zoning Plans for Coastal Areas and Small Islands. West Papua Province in 2019-2039, and has been integrated into the West Papua Province Spatial Plan. The area of the conservation area as a percentage reaches around 39.90 percent of the marine area and has contributed around 13.80 percent to conservation areas nationally," explained West Papua Governor Dominggus Mandacan in his written remarks.
Dominggus added that in carrying out these management policies and programs, the West Papua Provincial Government cannot run alone and is always open to building partnerships and cooperation with various related parties, to jointly build a safe, prosperous and dignified West Papua Province. "Through this good opportunity, I as the Governor of West Papua express my highest gratitude and appreciation to Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara which has contributed to supporting sustainable development in West Papua Province," explained Dominggus.
The integrated management and utilization of coastal and marine resources by prioritizing aspects of conservation and sustainability is expected to be able to provide long-term economic benefits for the community and the region, as well as for its sustainability for future generations. This effort is continuously being carried out by the Provincial Government of West Papua, one of which is by encouraging the development of new marine conservation areas in several areas.
"Currently, with the support of YKAN and other development partners, we are encouraging the development of marine conservation areas in northern Misool, Raja Ampat Regency, with an area of 308,692 hectares, and Maksegara which crosses Sorong Regency and Tambrauw Regency with an area of 135,302 hectares. In line with these efforts, the Provincial Government of West Papua is also committed to assisting Indigenous Law Communities (MHA) in developing and managing their customary management areas in a sustainable manner," said Head of the Marine and Fisheries Service of West Papua Province, Jacobis Ayomi on the occasion.
“We are grateful that the Provincial Government of West Papua has implemented a sustainable development strategy that does not only focus on the physical aspect, but also pays attention to environmental aspects and the rights of indigenous peoples to utilize natural resources sustainably. This will not only support efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but also support the implementation of the Government of Indonesia's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating global warming and climate change. For this reason, we will support the efforts of the West Papua Provincial Government in carrying out this noble task," said YKAN Executive Director Herlina Hartanto.
Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) is a scientific-based non-profit organization that has been present in Indonesia since 2014. With the mission of protecting lands and waters as life support systems, we provide innovative solutions to realize the harmony of nature and humans through effective natural resource management, prioritizing a non-confrontational approach, and building a network of partnerships with all stakeholders for a sustainable Indonesia. For more information, visit ykan.or.id.