The black pearl island of Papua New Guinea has been known for its dazzling natural environment. The island has biodiversity, lush green forest, traditional life, and potentials, especially in West Papua as the conservation province. To make the name real, Tribe Kokoda takes part by commencing local wisdom conservation.
Who Is Suku Kokoda
The Suku Kokoda or Kokoda tribe is the indigenous community that spread from Kabupaten Sorong, Kabupaten Fakfak, and Sorong Selatan. The widespread area was in the western part of Papua. Due to its location, the Suku Kokoda practices the local wisdom conservation at Ugar islands at Kabupaten Fakfak.
The idea of local wisdom conservation was not a new thing in Papua. In many cases, the Cenderawasih head region authority will request local communities to protect their nature. Thus, indigenous tribes from the area will base their preservation method based on local discussion and many more. That is why each location can have differing techniques.
How The Tribe Participates In The Conservation Movement?
1. Sacred Forest
In West Papua thick religion and belief, some tribes have a certain location that is known as sacred. It includes the Kokoda tribe’s local wisdom that refers to the easter part of the Ugar archipelago as the sacred forest. To reach the lush untouched forest, the visitor needs permission from the traditional tribe leader.
Without permission and rites before entering the forest, people will get a traditional penalty. Most of the time, the penalties are possessed, lost in the forest, or dead. However, to get permission the visitor needs to organize rites. The rituals are giving offerings and tying red strings for those who want to enter.
The ritual might be part of the local belief and rituals. However, it turns into a way to preserve the forest. It adds stress, fear, and alertness for whoever wants to visit the west Papua forest. Thus, subconsciously make the place a protected and everlasting forest. It also shows that the local wisdom comes along with the ecosystem level of conservation.
2. Marine Sasi Law
One of the local and government movements in conservation that take a huge part of local wisdom is Sasi Law. Most western Papuan people will obey the law, which is made and processed by the locals. In this case, Suku Kokoda also takes part in the traditional marine law to maintain the sea harvest around the location.
In Suku Kokoda, the Sasi rites started by the tribe leader offering to the ocean. After that, people will bathe in the ocean at dawn while bringing tools such as a fishing pole, spear, net, and many more. After that, the tribe will divide the Sasi area into two places, the North Sea and the South sea.
When one location starts SASI, it means forbidding fishing or anything in particular. Meanwhile, people can go to the other part of the West Papua ocean to fish and harvest the sea. It switched in months and vice versa. The limiting yield and changing the location help take care of the marine ecosystem.
The Sasi law also generates better upkeep for the local people and turns Ugar into the biggest fish supplier in Kabupaten Fakfak. The limitation of marine yield encourages regeneration for the marine ecosystem. It also ensures the western Papua marine biodiversity stays intact. The law is part of the local wisdom, with its consequence for the lawbreaker.
3. Apotik Hidup
Apotik hidup or translated as live pharmacy refers to the local wisdom on conserving herbs and medicinal plants. The method was found fully implemented in the Ugar village that has a total of 25 sqm dedicated are for the local community medicinal plants. The conservation technique mostly cultivates plants found from the forest and specialty plants.
Most of the medicinal plants in the area are consumable as a remedy from their roots, stem, rhizome, or other parts. Meanwhile, the forest greens that are found as traditional remedies are mostly used from their leaves and branches. One example is the Gorai or Snakewood. Suku Kokoda uses the branch and the leaves to fix some illnesses.
The west Papua local wisdom conservation from the live pharmacy is a solid implication on how indigenous communities take part. Since the tribe has a dedicated place to cultivate such plants and floras, it decreases the forest product dependency. It is also a great way to encourage a sense of conserving a level species of plant in the region.
The Kokoda tribe is not the only one that takes part in the local conservation. Most of the local communities as well as the government have been trying to protect the natural states of Papua island. With the help of local and central authorities, the idea of bringing life to nature comes true. At the same time, the idea and implementation also help improve the Papua potential in many aspects.