ICBE 2018

Provincial Conservation Policy in West Papua

The implementation of ICBE 2018 in Manokwari is carrying the theme of “conservation province, the bright solution of sustainable development in the land of Papua”. Conservation province -the idea of development policy of the government of Papua Barat- has brought government agencies, non-government, communities, academics and religious leaders to make a breakthrough new path for sustainable development. This policy sets out government framework that supports economic development and community welfare while maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services while simultaneously avoiding environmental damage or loss of ecosystem services that often arise from rapid economic development.

Provincial development policies will correlate the government planning to the budget cycles and pre-implementing agencies and departments, with clear sustainable development objectives and targets. This policy supports local live hood, facilitates the economic growth, and protects globally significant biodiversity, as well as ecosystem services (including carbon sequestration) as the primary base of development. Conservation province provide opportunities and demand strategic roles for governments, both local and central government to ensure that natural resource management as a capital development can be  sustainably manage and provide equitable benefits to communities, especially intergenerational indigenous people.


Sunrise over Wayag Bay. Photo credit : John Weller

On October, 19, 2015, the governor, reagents and major have declared Papua Barat as conservation province. This declaration was witnessed by the interior minister of Republik Indonesia. There are 4 principles that become the basis in the implementation of development in Papua Barat that includes:

  1. Environmental protection to guarantee sustainable of indigenous communities life in Papua Barat and mankind in general.
  2. Protection and preservation of biodiversity to ensure the ecological balance and continuity of the process of human life and other living things as the creation of God Almighty.
  3. The management of utilization of natural resources wisely and sustainably to ensure the quality of life of future generation; and
  4. The recovery of the livelihoods and management of important ecosystem that have been degraded.
Sweetlips. Photo credit : RM

Background of Provincial Conservation Policy in West Papua

Papua Barat is not only rich in natural resources; this region is also blessed with extraordinary social and cultural wealth. Along with the development of the region, the implementation of development in Papua Barat faces many challenges. Capital flows and industrialization that developed very rapidly as a result of development demands have threatened the sustainability of natural resources both on land and in the water and even threatened the rights of indigenous peoples. But the direct benefits of economy have not been widely felt by the local government and community. It is necessary to have genuine efforts to ensure that these natural and socio-cultural resources can be protected and conserved. Provincial conservative policy initiative is an opportunity to establish a new paradigm of sustainable development; a policy path that aims to balance opportunities and reduce risks. This is the reason to declaring a conservation province.

Children of Arborek. Photo credit : John Weller

Reason for Establishing Conservation Province

Conservation province is not only the way but one of the ways and opportunity to establish sustainable development strategy, with the aims of balancing the management of economic, social and environmental aspects together. Conservation philosophy is to maintain the balance of human life to nature, in where the context of sustainable development will accommodate all the areas of living.

Woman in Warsamdin. Photo credit : Shawn Heinrichs

Benefits of Conservation Province

Through the conservation province, local government, indigenous people and other stakeholders are expected to ensure the management of biodiversity both on the land and the water are preserved. Indigenous people with local wisdom have been proven to protect the natural that can guarantee its welfare. Natural resources in Papua Barat will be managed wisely and sustainably for the life of future generation.

Conservation province also helps the Government of Indonesia to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 29 percent in 2030. In addition, it also forms a supports to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) sets by United Nations. Kaimana, one of the districts in Papua Barat has mangrove forests that can cope with climate change that occurs in the world.

Author: Nita Yohana/Tim ICBE2018


"Provinces of Conservation: Smart Solution for Sustainable Development in Papua"