Meta Description: Understanding West Papua, Indonesia’s Province With Sufficient Resources. Mainly, Its Rich Resources Help In Making Sustainable Use Of Resources.
West Papua and its natural resources are part of the culture, religion, and customs that have become essential to the native Papuans. With all its potential resources, the province attracts the eyes of many affiliations globally. For this reason, they should implement programs and developments of sustainable use of resources, mainly the aspects of environmental protection. Such programs should be executed to end poverty and reduce disparity for the native Papuans.
A Glimpse of West Papua Resources
West Papua is home to approximately 1 million people. About 80% of the population depend on the environment for their livelihood and survival. Furthermore, the province is highly rich in resources, especially mining, forestry, agriculture, fishery, and tourism. All of these sectors, if handled properly, will increase workforce capacity. However, this tremendous potential has not been optimally utilized for the prosperity of their people.
To illustrate, the indigenous people residing along the tropical forests are still living below the poverty line. Unfortunately, the forests full of native species, both flora and fauna, are still facing the risk of damage due to overexploitation of natural resources. Hence, at least 9 million hectares of forest have been deforested since 2011-2019. So, about “663,443” hectares of forest cover were converted. Therefore, the local government and indigenous people are investing efforts to actualize the sustainable resources of West Papua.
Expanding West Papua’s Natural Resources Potential
On the bright side, Indonesia is a country blessed with natural wealth. One province located in the eastern part of Indonesia, also known for its abundant natural resources, is West Papua. The provincial government is still trying to optimize its natural resources, which are still unmanaged.
In fact, this particular province contributes to Indonesia’s biodiversity by as much as 50%. Based on this fact, the local government and its community are dedicated to preserving and utilizing resources in a sustainable manner. The main objective of utilizing West Papua’s sustainable resources is to manifest economic opportunities for the community to experience a better life. In addition, it has to be done to achieve equitable distribution of sustainable resources to encourage economic growth.
Ways to Utilize West Papua’s Sustainable Resources
Now, for the most part, West Papua is still in the stage of utilizing its resources in a sustainable manner. Sustainability is very important, especially in achieving a certain level of welfare that requires continuous effort. This is a priority for the government as part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI). Briefly, here are three ways the government assists in making use of West Papua’s sustainable resources:
1. West Papua conservation regulation
Since 2015, West Papua has declared itself a conservation province in Indonesia. The conservation declaration aims to protect the marine and terrestrial ecosystems, promote the development of sustainable living, and recognize the rights of the indigenous people. The local, provincial government implements various efforts and work programs, mainly in actualizing sustainable management of the marine conservation areas.
2. West Papua Green Investment
As one of the newly started sustainable programs, the government will make Indonesia a “Green Investment” destination. This is because Indonesia has great potential in reducing emissions from the forestry, energy, and transportation sectors. The Indonesian government is still optimizing Green Investment or environmentally friendly investment.
Hopefully, this investment would promote economic growth since the province has abundant natural resources. The investment concept itself is based on the principles of inclusive, sustainable development. This means it is the pioneer of innovative breakthroughs in forest protection and potential resources.
3. West Papua Sustainable Ecotourism
The concept of tourism-based ecotourism is mostly educational. Information and knowledge regarding local endemics and the land’s natural atmosphere are the essences of this tour. Moreover, ecotourism is in line with the Paris Agreement to save the earth from natural disasters and has been adopted by the local government as a conservation province.
In the case of West Papua as a conservation province, ecotourism development will help utilize the land’s potential resources. For example, Kampung Waifoi, one of the villages of Raja Ampat regency with beautiful natural forest, sea, and landscapes, or Arfak regency, a tourist destination for bird watching the bird-of-paradise, known as Cenderawasih, and much more. These ecotourism places can actually generate economic growth, create more jobs, and help increase financial resources for the community if managed properly.
Basically, humans depend on natural resources for survival. Take West Papua, for example. The province utilizes its abundant natural resources in a sustainable manner. Although it still needs to be developed properly, the efforts of the local government are beginning to materialize. As a good citizen or environment enthusiast, you should get involved and take action to make sustainable use of the world’s resources. Why not start here, in the land of the Papuans?
Arsita, G. (2019, November 11). Papuans as Pioneer of Sustainable Tourism Development. EcoNusa. https://econusa.id/en/ecoblogs/papuans-as-pioneer-of-sustainable-tourism-development/.
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Minister launches green investment for Papua, West Papua. (2020, March 9). Wiki Papua. https://wikipapua.com/2020/03/09/minister-launches-green-investment-for-papua-west-papua/.
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