ICBE 2018 PRESS RELEASE For immediate release
FUNDING MECHANISM FOR CONSERVATION COMMUNITIES SHOULD BE FORMULATED
Manokwari, October 9, 2018 – Upon declaration as a Conservation Province using a Special Bylaw (Perdasus) on Sustainable Development, the West Papua Province couldn’t fight a lonely battle. But, strong supports are to be solicited from various parties, including the Central Government, Other State Governments and donor agencies.
One of the crucial issues that need to receive attention is providing an incentive for the conservation measures. The reason is that welfares of the indigenous peoples as the main conservation actors need to be improved, so that they are not forced to clear or sell their forests as solution to earn a living. Those issues were specifically discussed in the second day of the International Conference on Biodiversity, Ecotourism and Creative Economy (ICBE) 2018 in Manokwati, West Papua.
“Should we think that conservation refer to no cutting forest trees, what do people do to survive? But, if the forest logging is continuously done to earn a living for community, then the forest and biodiversity cointaned in it will soon disappear and we will only enjoy for a moment, natural conditions and biodiversity will not be enjoyed by our children and next generation for 50 to 100 years onward and we will find it difficult to reforest damaged forests, ” Regional Secretary to West Papua Province, Drs. Nathaniel D. Mandacan said in his address in one of the plenary sessions.
“Then, we are thinking of how the forests remain green, but the money is flowing, so let’s think of it. There are a lot of pundits here. Some are from the central government and also national and international NGOs. Let’s think about the mechanism, I believe there will be a solution,” he said.
The challenge is how the central government and other environmentalists to jointly propose an appropriate funding scheme, so that indigenous peoples working to protect the forests and other conservation areas in the land of Papua are not economically disadvantaged. West Papua Provincial Government has itself set a target 70% of the areas will have been transformed into conservation areas to be put into in the Spatial and Regional Planning (RTRW) which will be reviewed in line with regional regulations to be issued related to the revision of the Spatial and Regional Planning (RTRW) in West Papua Province.
Regarding the seriousness of the Regional Government to expand the conservation area according to the percentage in the Spatial Planning and protect biodiversity, it is hoped that the Central Government can support by issuing policy to secure the will of the region. Besides that, regarding incentives for the regions in the form of Ecological Fiscal Transfers that are being proposed, it is hoped that there will be no rules that actually inhibit and even kill innovation. Whereas the purpose of the establishment of this conservation areas is to help the Central Government’s desire to maintain carbon stocks to keep the pace of climate change. If the people feek that there is no appreciation and incentive for them to protect the forest or peatland then they can sell and cut the forest to fulfill their economic needs”, added Nataniel.
In a different plenary session, researcher from the University of Indonesia’s Research Center for Climate Change, Sonny Mumbunan said the funding from the Central Government is clearly possible to be given through the mechanism of the Public Allocation Fund. Its formula is that the land cover indicator can be used as one of the references in channeling fund allocation from the State Budget and Expenditures.
“So for any regions that has certain forest land cover and experience an increase in regional cover, it can be given incentives. I have talked about this mechanism at the Ministry of Finance to Ministry of Home Affairs and receiving different response,” Sony Mumbunan said.
He pointed out the mechanism has been successful in Brazil and India. Therefore, there is a chance of success if you take a look at the conditions of Indonesia and India which are almost the same.
“Therefore, it depends on the Central Government. The Regional Administration is just encouraging, like West Papua Provincial Government has had commitments and Regional Regulation in the form of Special Bylaw, has been submitted to the Parliament (DPR) of West Papua to be discussed and determined, later the Central Government gives its legal umbrella,” Sonny said.
On a different occasion, academician with the University of Papua Ludia Wambrauw called for assistance to the people first before the conservation fund is given. The reason is there were some examples of case where the use of funds was only temporary in nature and failed.
“Funding is important, but the most important thing is assistance so that they can sustain. For a long term, there must be assistance to the community so that the economic development is also sustainable,” he said.
For this reason, the local government can take advantage of the development partners who have been providing direct assistance to the community, both from NGOs and academics.
Ensuring that the community’s economy remains sustainable is also voiced by Hans Mandacan as Arfak Mountains’ ecotourism player and owner Hans Mandacan.
“Everything shall be sustainable because the forest must be remain maintained. For us the forest and all its contents are automatic teller machine and money machines that always generate money for the people,” he said.
The last day of ICBE 2018 on Wednesday (10/10/2018) will discuss partnerships in realizing sustainable development and global policy and partnership processes before the closing. Three parallel sessions and two plenary sessions will be held before the closing.
About ICBE 2018
ICBE is the implementation of the Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030 (Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development) by the United Nations containing 17 goals and 169 targets, where biodiversity receives serious concern. ICBE 2018 introduces globally Provincial Conservation concepts and initiatives as a smart solution to sustainable development in the Land of Papua. The concept provides supports for the improvement of people’s welfare through the preservation of biodiversity, utilization of environmental services, creative economy and increase in community participation.
ICBE 2018 is collaboration between the West Papua Provincial Administration and Papua Provincial Administration, United Kingdom Climate Change Unit (UKCCU), Conservation International Indonesia (CI-IP), Kew Royal Botanical Garden, Eidenburg University, Cornell Lab for Ornithology (Cornell University), EcoNusa Foundation, The Nature Conservation, Papua University, WWF, and the West Papua NGO Coalition.
ICBE 2018 Media Team
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