West Papua lies in a strategic region often referred to as Crown Jewel Papua or Mahkota Permata Tanah Papua.
CJP means West Papua has a preservative function, biodiversity, and unique culture to support sustainable development initiatives.
To preserve and guard the biodiversity ecosystems in this province, conservation heroes are working tirelessly.
To know further about the West Papua conservation heroes and their inspiring works to serve the environment, read on!
West Papua as a Conservation Province
In March 2019, the Provincial Parliament in Manokwari approved a Special Provincial Regulation, which states that West Papua becomes the first conservation province in Indonesia.
As one of the world’s most biodiverse places on earth, Papua has rainforests, a habitat of countless species,
And marine ecosystems for over 1,700 fish species, more than 700 different mollusks, and 75% of the world’s hard corals.
The area of West Papua is 120,000 square kilometers, with 90 percent of a forest canopy. Most of them are still unexplored.
By making Papua a conservation province, the government ensures that all future economic proposals, practices,
And development activities are environmentally safe and in line with the rights of the indigenous groups on Cenderawasih Island.
At this point the key part of this regulation is protecting the biodiversity-ecosystem and supporting local subsistence.
Aside from the government attempt, many conservation heroes work diligently to maintain West Papua’s natural sustainability.
Inspiring Conservation Heroes in West Papua
Below are environmental activists who have been working to protect natural resources sustainability and the rights of indigenous communities in West Papua.
1. Dominggus Mandacan
Firstly, in June 2019, Papua governor, Dominggus Mandacan, received the “Global Conservation Hero” award.
This award was given by the International Non-Profit Conservation Organization (CI) for the West Papua Provincial Government’s efforts to protect the environment and sustainable development.
The award is a symbol of international recognition for the efforts of the Provincial in protecting the forests and sea in Papua,
Which has become home to several endangered species, as well as indigenous Papuans.
2. Dr. Yance De Fretes
Dr. Yance De Fretes is a notable conservation biologist. Dedicating his work to protecting the biodiversity in West Papua,
Dr. Yance has done thorough research on the Island’s wildlife and ecosystem, mainly avifauna. His most well-known conservation attempt is the Papua Bird Club.
By the time along with fellow ornithologist Dwi Agus Sukmara, Dr. Yance started the Papua Bird Club in 2000.
This conservation is meant to protect birds’ habitat in Papua and raise awareness among locals and tourists on the importance of preserving the magnificent avian diversity of West Papua.
3. Yan Kraal
The next inspiring conservation hero in Papua is Yan Kraal. Yan is widely known as an environmental activist in West Papua.
He has done a lot to preserve the wildlife and forests of the Bintuni Bay region. Yan founded Yayasan Konservasi Biodiversitas Papua or Papua Biodiversity Conservation Foundation.
With this foundation, Yan has done many environmental works, such as promoting sustainable forestry action and protecting endemic birds, sea turtles, and other endangered wildlife.
As a conservation hero, Krall has received the 2019 Whitley Award, also commonly known as the “Green Oscar.”
4. Andrew and Marit Miners
At last, Andrew and Marit Miners are two men behind Misool Eco Resort. Misool Eco Resort is a resort located in a remote area in Raja Ampat. This resort is devoted to conservation strives and sustainable tourism.
Andrew and Marit Miners share the same dream and passion: creating an eco-resort that invites guests to help financially towards Raja Ampat’s beautiful reefs conservation.
Dominggus Mandacan, Dr. Yance De Fretes, Yan Kraal, and Andrew and Marit Miners are just four out of many conservation heroes in West Papua.
At this time with West Papua’s rich biodiversity, it is important to work together to protect the ecosystem.