CONSERVATION, FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF RAJA AMPAT COMMUNITY
Conservation values is the starting point to understand the behavior of the culture of Raja Ampat society. Nature gives life to them. Interaction with the nature teach them how to survive by using simple or traditional technology. Conservation values are the manifestations of the values of their religion or beliefs that they embrace. These values run in the process of interaction with the nature around them.
Not all of the Raja Amat people know the term “Conservation” in Papua. However, they know and realize that “WE MUST PROTECT OUR SEA, AND THE SEA WOULD RESULT A LOT”.
That is a couple of sentences implies conservation in very deep meaning. Most of the coastal communities never heard about conservation and protection of coral reefs in the Raja Ampat. 6th grade elementary school students from Kampung Aduwei, revealed in their language, Matbat, “Min bomb genie na or in Indonesian means the fish should not be bombed. They heard the conservation and protection of coral reefs of Raja Ampat from the government and village facilitators of some conservation programs.
In addition, environmental conservation posters also adorn most of the angle and space of their school. Based on the question why it is necessary to protect fish, elementary school students replied “fish make their house in coral, and fish lay eggs tin it”. Protection and preservation of the marine told them not to throw garbage in the sea. They are also tuoght not to be pierced turtles, although they have a habit of eating turtle meat. They classify turtle as meat from sea, while pork and chicken are the meat land. In their thoughts and perspectives conservation is simply the prohibition to not damage the environment.
For the last a decade, the Raja Ampat community are beginning to understand and familiarize them self with the so called “Marine conservation efforts”, but still in the process of protecting the area from damage, from the threat of destructive fishing.
What about adults? For people who have grown up, their understanding is that conservation is to maintain and preserve the sea, although, they do not know the intentions and purposes or the exact results of the program.. A third class of high school students, as well as other students and friends interpret conservation as prohibition shall not dispose organic and inorganic, and should not do bomb fishing.
Similarly, with the people who migrated and settled in Sorong in the 1980s, they said “conservation is not to poison fish, and destroy coral. They also said that coral reef is the home for fish, where fish lay their eggs.
Conservation is not so familiar, but they know the marine areas protected are actually for the benefit of their children, grand children and great grand children.. Village elders, in the language Matbat / Matlou) states that protect the beauty of the coral is conservation. He said “coral reef is home for fish, and killing fish means we kill ourselves. He continued, “when coral reef have been destroyed, where should we go fishing”. Said the Grandfather who looked still in good shape, suggesting that conservation is synonymous with what they have inherited from their ancestors.
Areas that become a breeding fish need to be protected and preserved for the sake of their children, so children can enjoy what they enjoy today. Indonesian said, it is like eating simalakama fruit. Conservation has two opposite sides, one side has a long-term humanitarian missions, another side “turn off” their life.
People who previously made a regional location as the main fishing ground, after being charged as a core of “no take zone area”, much more with extreme “no take zone area”, causing them to lose barns fish. This is a difficult choice taken for the Raja Ampat community. Conservation area at the heart of their lives, without any transfer of alternative livelihoods will turn off their lives.
Indeed, they began to realize that conservation program will be benefited by themselves within a period of time. But they need income to the household in order to continue their lives. They need money for school and health costs of their household. If both conditions can be fulfilled and secured properly, it is not impossible that an important region of their barn fish will be fully conserved sincerely and absolutely.
NO TAKE ZONE
Determination of the no take zone is not solely due to the intention to make it as a schooling fish and spawning ground, but also to turn it to become a fish factory. Determination of the core zone is in the area that had previously been fishing ground. Though for fisherman communities, the location is the heart of their lives.
Indeed they are consciously aware of the conservation purposes are for the benefit of their children and grandchildren. However, the people who live at this time also need to live prosperously. Conservation programs take place in a number of areas, stating that their conservation will actually give fruitful in the future and long-term duration. Therefor, We have had many who sacrificed or given locations for the development of marine protected areas in their traditional territory.
Their main fishing areas have been submitted for the purposes of conservations area. They dream that what they have sacrificed currently provide long-term benefits for their grandchildren. Limited access to fishing area with the application of “no take zone” is an expensive price they have to pay today.
Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort definitely supports any kinds of programs, efforts, or initiatives with the outcome of marine and environmental conservation. Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort strictly rejects or prevent guests who want to do fishing, spear fishing, littering, and bring all kinds of water sports that uses machine as their main energy, such as jet ski, parasailing, and so forth and son on. Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort also nurture and spread the seed of coral reef in many empty areas around the Urai island, the land based of Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort.