Making West Papua safe has been one of the Indonesian government’s primary objectives for years. West Papua is the province in New Guinea island covering the 12 Regencies and one City. Throughout these regions, they live in more than 300 tribes and exist in more than 250 local languages.
The great diversity in West Papua is the province’s unique charm, yet it is also one of the main reasons for the persistent occurrence of old problems such as tribal disputes.
In addition, the traditional way of life adopted by the tribes might hinder the province’s development. It would require considerable effort and time from the local and national governments to pierce through and solve the problem.
Apart from this issue, there are several obstacles faced by the local people, such as discrimination, marginalization, and inadequate public infrastructure for the economy, health, and education.
These roots of problems require effective solutions, and the government’s support is indispensable. All parties, including the Indonesian government, the regional government, and the local people, should cooperate in implementing, if any, the critical solutions.
Essential Solutions to Make West Papua Safe
Below are some solutions for enhancing West Papua’s Safety. If you do not know yet, better to check these points:
1. A Way to Solve Tribal Disputes
Two ways to solve tribal disputes are negotiation and mediation. The government must provide a safe space for the local community to settle an issue immediately. Negotiating with the authoritative officials as mediators allowed the local people to communicate and discuss their different needs for lands and resources.
Each party could settle the issue by negotiating to find a solution. The role of the government is to keep watching the process. They must ensure that the local people can deal with a calm mind without disturbance. Therefore, an agreement could be taken while considering the urgent demand of each party to make West Papua safe.
2. Making the Right yet Strict Regulation
Making fair and proper regulations could take time because the authoritative figures must study the local people’s culture, rights, and responsibilities. If possible, the regulation must have a force to empower the indigenous Papuans. For example, the government could pressure business entities to obey significant environmental laws.
Many industries in West Papua, especially on the island, earn money and benefits while damaging the surroundings. For instance, the industry’s waste left behind damages the water, river, and marine ecosystem.
Another example is the rapid deforestation happening in almost every region. Most indigenous Papuans rely on the blessing of nature. They search for food in the nearby forest, river, and sea.
Should this environmental problem is to be abandoned by the responsible party, the local people will lose their primary source of nutrition. That is why the national and local governments must create strict regulations to control or minimize harm.
3. Extensive Development of Public Infrastructures
According to Data Indonesia, West Papua Province has the second highest percentage (21,33%) of people living in the poverty line, after the Papua Province with 26,56% (taken in March 2022). West Papua has plentiful resources from forests, tropical rainforests, lush lands, and marine biodiversity. Yet, only some of these advantages are enjoyed by the local people.
The cause comes from the lack of public infrastructure for education and economic activity. Although the Jokowi governance has created 179 educational institutions, some graduates do not have access to job opportunities due to discrimination.
In addition, many Papuans cannot take a direct involvement in supporting the economy due to the small number of available markets and accessible roads. Hence, the government must plan a large-scale development for public infrastructure.
Making West Papua safe is a crucial step toward a better future for the locals. To achieve this goal, the government should design the necessary regulation and construct many public infrastructures.