The Governments of West Papua and Papua Province signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Sustainable Development Based on Indigenous Areas in Tanah Papua, on Sunday (10/07/2018) at the opening ceremony of the International Conference on Biodiversity, Ecotourism, and Creative Economy (ICBE), in Manokwari.
The MoU was signed by `West Papua Governor Dominggus Madacan and Papua Governor Lukas Enembe, represented by Assistant for Economic Affairs and Welfare Noak Kapisa.
With this MoU, the two provinces will collaborate to develop their respective regions to support the sustainable development realization within indigenous territories in the Land of Papua.
“We will develop the regional economy based on the potential of villages in accordance with the local knowledge context,” Noak Kapisa said in front of about a thousand conference participants from 11 countries.
The scope of cooperation includes the preparation of sustainable development plans; green- and blue-growth sustainable economic development; sustainable management of natural resources and the environment improvement by prioritizing the alignment of indigenous rights; transparent, clean and authoritative law enforcement and governance; and capacity building of human resources (apparatus, indigenous people and formal education institutions) for sustainable development in Papua.
This agreement is an important step for the two provinces with abundant natural resources and biodiversity while facing various challenges, such as the low capacity of human resources, deforestation, changes in land functions, tenurial conflicts, and so on.
This challenge arose after investors were invited to enter Papua. Many forest product manufacturing companies, coal, copper, gas and gold mining, and palm oil, sago, and corn plantations operate there.
“The collaboration is very good because it reflects the provincial government’s commitment to conservation. It, however, needs to be followed by concrete actions with sustainable economic policymaking,” WWF Conservation Director Lukas Laksono Adhyakso said.
According to Adhyakso, the provincial government needs to immediately make rules for improving land use, for example by revising the Spatial Planning and Regional Plans. On the other hand, the government must maintain the investment climate. “Licensing is given with clear criteria so that development can be sustainable,” said Lukas.
Sustainable economic policymaking is awaited by many parties. Since West Papua province declared itself as a conservation province on October 19, 2015, there are no legal and technical regulations that support the claim. The New Papua Government has just submitted the draft of a Special Provincial Regulation on Conservation Provinces to the Regional Legislative Councils (DPRD) but it is not clear when the discussion will take place.
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