The Needs to Preserve The Nature, and At The Same Time Grow Tourism Safely in Raja Ampat

Waigeo, Misool, Batanta, Kofiau and Salawati islands are part of Raja Ampat Regency which has terrestrial habitat of various endemic flora and fauna. Raja Ampat has an area of land and sea totaling 46,108 square kilometers with a total of 2,713 islands.

Based on research conducted by the West Papua Center for Natural Resources Conservation (BBKSDA) and the organization Fauna & Flora International – Indonesia Program (FFI-IP), biodiversity on Waigeo Island, Batanta, Salawati, Misool, and Kofiau is in the form of 186 species of birds. 40 types of amphibians, 13 types of reptiles, 32 types of mammals, 350 species of wood and palm trees, 57 species of orchids, and 5 types of semar bags.

According to the Head of the KSDA West Papua Central Office R. Basar Manullang, there are still endemic fauna and flora that need to be studied. Call it bald paradise (Cicinnurus republica), red paradise (Paradisea rubra), maleo waigeo (Aepypodius bruijinii), cuscus waigeo (Spilocuscus papuensis), and Dendrobium azureum orchids.

“The existence of these endemic flora and fauna makes Raja Ampat Regency a priority area in supporting conservation. However, illegal logging and hunting for buying and selling household consumption are often found in various regions,” Basar explained.

The types of birds that are often hunted are the type of cockatoo chef (Cacatua galerita), black head kasturi (Lorius lory) and parrot parrot (Eclectus roratus). The threat to turtle species is the consumption of eggs and meat as food items in the family or commemorative events in the village.

After becoming a district in 2003, Raja Ampat continued to experience development developments. Increased infrastructure and the construction of basic facilities for community needs are encouraged to catch up. According to the Head of the Regional Development Planning Agency (Bappeda) Raja Ampat Abdul Rahman Wairoy, tourism has become one of the sectors in Raja Ampat’s economic development. The beauty of the underwater world and the land has become famous tourism in foreign countries.

“Data and results of studies conducted by BBKSDA and FFI-IP can be used as a basic reference for development planning, spatial planning and sustainable ecotourism development while maintaining the natural environment in Raja Ampat Regency,” Abdul explained.

In an effort to continue development and responsibility in safeguarding Raja Ampat’s natural wealth, a workshop was held entitled “Realizing Sustainable Development in Raja Ampat Regency” on March 5-6 2019 at Dolphin Cottage Building, Waisai, Raja Ampat Regency. This workshop is the result of collaboration between the Regional Government (Pemda) of the Raja Ampat Regency, the West Papua Center for Natural Resources Conservation (BBKSDA), and Fauna & Flora International – Indonesia Program (FFI-IP).

The workshop participants consisted of the Special Autonomy Faction of the West Papua People’s Representative Council (Otsus DPR PB), Raja Ampat Regency DPRD, indigenous peoples, government agencies in Raja Ampat Regency and non-governmental organizations.

According to the Director of Nature Conservation and Information, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Listya Kusumawardhani, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry appreciated conservation activities in Raja Ampat.

He reminded that the management of conservation areas, especially nature reserves can be in the form of science and technology development, environmental education and conservation, carbon trading, and supporting limited nature tourism by paying attention to conservation principles.

“Conservation efforts must collaborate with multistakeholders on the basis of mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual benefits, so as to create synergy in nature conservation as well as the welfare of the local community,” Listya explained in her presentation.

PB DPR Otsus member Abraham Goram Gaman stressed the mandate in Law No. 35 of 2008 concerning Special Autonomy for the Provinces of Papua and West Papua. “Development in Papua and West Papua is carried out by referring to the principles of sustainable development, environmental preservation, benefits, and justice by paying attention to regional spatial plans,” he explained.

Regarding Raja Ampat’s natural resources, the problem is felt by the community, especially the indigenous people of the Maya who use natural resources directly. According to the Raja Ampat Kris Thebu Customary Council, the philosophy of indigenous Papuans towards natural resources is to view “land as mama, the sea as a father, and the coast as a child”, so that land, sea and coastal areas are a connectivity that needs to be protected, preserved and managed wisely and wisely.

“At present there is a lot of damage in Raja Ampat. Just say the law has not been maximized regarding the rules on how to protect forests. There is still a lot of overfishing that can result in species

Six workshop recommendations and follow-up plans, including:

1. Spatial planning in the form of a revision of Spatial Planning and Development Planning that supports the development of Raja Ampat to become the main sector of community-based marine fisheries and tourism and involves indigenous peoples, Non-Governmental Organizations, Universities.

2. Special Autonomy & Policy in the form of accelerating the Regional Regulation policy on the recognition and protection of indigenous peoples, maps of indigenous territories and sustainable development, and the establishment of strong and effective institutions such as the Special Autonomy (Perdasus) and Indigenous Peoples Regulations that regulate recognition and strengthening indigenous peoples, including supervisory roles in program implementation, and channeling funds to villages;

3. The Priority of Sustainable Development by emphasizing the role of indigenous peoples as the main actors of economic development through accelerating the fulfillment of basic public services and basic infrastructure as well as regulating local revenues and import duties so as to improve the improvement of public services and the environment.

At the site level, efforts are needed to complete the status of the buffer associated with the existing tourist sites and efforts to access the Ecologycal Fiscal Transfer (EFT) scheme on a national scale.

4. Transfer of Function of Regions to Support Indigenous Peoples-Based Sustainable Development in the form of proposals for the establishment of National Parks that can be used for community-based tourism development; the establishment of a sustainable space planning and development team and the proposed change in the function of the Nature Reserve to become a National Park;

5. Strengthening Monitoring of the Impact and Potential of Raja Ampat Biodiversity in the form of monitoring related to Raja Ampat Environment in the form of land and sea because it is a major supporter of the sustainability of Tourism and Marine / Fisheries, as well as the safety of indigenous Papuans; the implementation of the monitoring system follows the rules that have been applied under the law; capacity building of the parties in monitoring the impact and potential of Raja Ampat’s biodiversity; increasing disaster risk monitoring of nature and society.

6. Biosphere reserves that are expected to build world trust for the development of biosphere tourism. As a first step through the formation of a Biosphere Reserve Proposal Team that will be supported by the National Team of Man and Biosphere (MAB) Indonesia.