The impact of deforestation on Papuan culture is not just a figment of the imagination. Papuans have come to regard the forest as their homeland, even part of their lives.
It is easy to explain the relationship between land grabbing, deforestation, and humanitarian violence simultaneously.
This condition even occurs in indigenous community groups in almost all of Papua, both men and women.
Papua’s Forest Condition
Papua is an eastern part of Indonesia that has high biodiversity and wildlife. Papua is also a habitat for typical Australis species, such as marsupial mammals and several types of birds.
Natural forests dominate Papua’s land area. Forests have become part of the lives of Papuan people, who depend on natural forests.
The local wisdom of the community in utilizing woods is of particular value to indigenous peoples.
However, the splendor of biodiversity and wildlife in Tanah Papua has never been free from the threat of deforestation and degradation.
Massive land-based extractive industries continue to convert natural forests.
These practices are a clear example of how sustainable forest management will provide the impact of deforestation on Papuan culture.
This analysis is based on empirical needs and experiences by applicable customary rules.
Papuans and Their Homeland
Most indigenous Papuans collect and manage natural products directly for their subsistence needs. The reason for this is the very heavy geographical terrain and limited accessibility.
Because of such natural environmental conditions, Papuan indigenous peoples depend excessively,
Or entirely on natural resources according to kinship and environmental wisdom knowledge that is very strong and basic.
There are at least three primary explanations for the attachment of most people in Papua to their nature.
1. Complex Human Relationships with Natural Resources
Human relationships with land and natural resources are complex and layered (Social, Cultural, Economic, Ecological, and Spiritual). Therefore, it cannot be simplified to only one dimension in practice.
The Continuous separation of these relationships’ complexity and layers will shake the social, economic, political, and ecological sustainability.
Papuans also have a variety of local knowledge resulting from long relationships with land, water, forests, mountains and lakes.
The Papuan view of nature, God, and spirit manifests monism, which has a positive meaning in conservation efforts.
Humans are part of nature, so if they damage nature included the biodiversity and wildlife, they harm themselves.
Papuans identify nature with their parents, so the land is considered a mother (mama).
Thus it is clear that the impact of deforestation on Papuan culture is because Papuans have a unique spiritual relationship with the land.
2. Homeland is not Merchandise
Papuan society believe motherland nature and agricultural resources are not commodities. Therefore, their management should be made aware of market mechanisms.
It is the basis on which the Papuan people see their nature and living space so that the entire system of governance over their character is not solely for commercial (market) interests.
Papuan cosmological insight is more of an “inward looking philosophy” which contains concepts, principles, and views that maintain, maintain, and ensure the sustainability of a sustainable environment.
It means that the relationship between Papuans and nature is a religion-magic relationship that is not merely religious but a view of life with high dignity towards materials in nature.
It is a belief that some objects, including plants, are believed to have souls and magical forces (dynamism).
The “religio-magic” culture applies to various customary laws governing the preservation of the environment, including forests.
3. Historical Dimension
Problems with an agrarian dimension are historical. The tenure and agricultural problems present in Papuan society today are (partly or wholly) the sediment
And accumulation of the long issues of national political-economic policies.
Explaining tenure and agricultural problems in Papuan society must be seen from a critical historical perspective.
Papuans understand the history of human culture as episodic or specific chapters that are constantly changing.
Events and actors from one chapter are replaced by actors from another branch, which are sometimes unrelated.
So the impact of deforestation on Papuan culture is closely related to the province’s historical journey since joining Indonesia.
Government and the impact of Deforestation on Papuan Culture
The increasing authority of local governments in granting forest utilization permits has yet to be accompanied by the government’s capacity to control forest exploitation.
It has resulted in the proliferation of illegal logging practices.
This form of forest looting is generally carried out by timber barons who do not hold logging licenses but control logging operations and timber trade.
They typically own legitimate timber processing industries but do not have permits for logging areas.
In terms of the variety of national development policies that have entered Papua so far, they contain at least “congenital defects” and have not fundamentally changed in three problems at once:
1. Paradigmatic Problem.
The character of development based on economic growth and extractive agrarian resources is still dominant.
Natural resources are financial assets and commoditized assets for global market services. The ultimate result is the creation of structural inequality and poverty that continues to be inherite,
2. The Problem of Politics of Ignorance.
The choice of types and forms of development that are still dominant is top-down and ignores all dimensions of the locality.
The impact of deforestation on Papuan culture grows from policymakers who still do not give space to “needs from below.”
3. Problems of Human Rights Violations and the Principle of Ecological Sustainability
The lack of community involvement as the development subject in Papua has made the Papuan people the objects and spectators of all development policy objectives.
As a result, various records of human rights violations are still relatively high report.
Along with that, Papua’s land, forest, sea, and natural resources continue to experience massive damage and pollution that threatens the sustainability of genuine services for future generations.
The Future Fate of Papua’s Forests
Massive forest loss was detect in the southern Papua region, e.g., Merauke, Mappi, and Bovendigul.
Some major cities close to the coast also have extensive forest encroachment, e.g., Jayapura, Sorong, and Manokwari.
If we look at the trends and the high potential of natural forests, the impact of deforestation on Papuan culture is significantly threatened.
It is characterize by the increasingly massive infrastructure development or other new permits.