Importance of Community-Based Ecotourism for West Papua Development

West Papua

Regional development is as meaningful as community development. Therefore, development in West Papua needs to carry the concept of Community-Based Ecotourism.

The idea of ​​ecotourism appears to maximize overall development in an area.

What is Ecotourism? 

Ecotourism is a form of tourism that is committed to preserving the natural surroundings. Ecotourism is actually a form of environmental and natural conservation.

Apart from preserving nature, ecotourism also always maintains the preservation of the culture that is owned by the local community.

Ecotourism also aims to make local people live safe and prosperous.

In recent years, the concept of ecotourism has become very popular among Indonesians. In fact, many places in this country have built tourist villages.

This is in accordance with the ministry’s program which plans to carry out development from the village.

What is Community-Based Ecotourism? 

Community-based ecotourism is a form of ecotourism development in which the planning, management and implementation are carried out directly by the community.

The benefits derived from tourism management are also regulated by the community.

With this concept, the role and participation of the community will greatly determine success.

Community-based ecotourism will provide opportunities for communities to develop and maximize their potential. However, they still need guidance from the government.

The Importance of Community-Based Ecotourism for West Papua’s Development

In the development of West Papua, community-base ecotourism needs to be implement for the following reasons:

1. Improving Human Resources

One of the importance of community-based ecotourism is to improve human resources. With learning and experience in nature conservation, people will learn many things.

This will improve the quality of management. Especially if the government provides the necessary training and support.

Another case if the tour is manage by the government. Society will not develop and maximize their potential.

Especially the people of West Papua who are lagging behind compare to other Indonesian regions.

2. Opening Jobs

Because it is design and manage by the community itself, existing ecotourism will open up new jobs for the community. This is very effective in reducing the number of unemploy in Indonesia.

Some of the people of West Papua will become traders, tour guides, ticket counters and many others. These jobs will also improve people’s welfare by increasing the standard of living.

The greater the ecotourism that is develop, the greater the opportunity for the community to get new jobs.

3. Preserving the Environment and Culture

One of the principles of ecotourism is maintaining the preservation and integrity of nature.

This sustainability will be further maintain if the local community manages it. In addition, the people of West Papua will also more selective when there are investors who will enter.

Besides being effective in preserving nature, the people of West Papua will also be more optimal in developing ecotourism from a cultural perspective.

They will better maintain the local culture so that it continues to exist.

4. People are More Proud of Their Identity

The importance of involving other West Papuan people in ecotourism development is to make them proud of their culture and region.

They can also develop according to the demands of the times without losing the culture that has pass down from generation to generation.

Furthermore, people from outside will be able to recognize Indonesia as a country full of tribes and cultures. The hope is that this effort will create peace between one and another.

That is the importance of community-based ecotourism for the development of the people of West Papua that the government needs to pay attention to.

Therefore, the government needs to focus more on the potential and development of human resources.