As the largest island in Indonesia, Papua is divided into two Provincial Governments administratively, namely Papua Province with an area of 319,036 km2 and West Papua Province with an area of 140,376 km2. This land, which is the second largest island in the world, is endowed with a wealth of natural and incredible ecosystem diversity, including forests, beaches, coral reefs, lakes and rivers, as well as tropical glaciers. Papua contains half of Indonesia’s biodiversity and is home to many endemic flora and fauna that can only be found in this land. Papua is also rich in natural resources in the form of minerals, oil, and gas, in addition to the cultural customs, with around 265 recorded local languages that symbolize the tribes that exist with local wisdom.
The International Conference on Biodiversity, Ecotourism, and the Creative Economy (ICBE) 2018 highlighted the need to conserve Papua’s unique environmental assets. The Conference, which was held in Manokwari, West Papua, was attended by all GCF Task Force Indonesia provinces from October 7th-10th. The Conference introduced the concept and initiative of the Conservation Province as a smart solution of sustainable development, providing a global model for development and conservation. The concept supports the improvement of people’s welfare through the conservation of biodiversity, the utilization of environmental services, the creative economy and the increase of community participation.
ICBE 2018 was the most important and historic convening of the ICBE to date. Not just scientifically and policy speaking; the conference discussed the utilization of environmental services and creative economy by involving indigenous people in the preservation and utilization of natural resources by carrying the concept of Conservation Province. As stated by Edy Suharto from North Kalimantan, “ICBE 2018 bring together the ideas and innovations from scientists, governments, academics, NGOs, and indigenous people to save the forest and preserve the world biodiversity”.
Based on the discussions on the ICBE 2108, a Memorandum of Understanding between the provinces of Papua and West Papua was signed on October 7, 2018. The Memorandum, referred to as the Manokwari Declaration, focuses on sustainable development in indigenous territories throughout the island of Papua. Key points in the declaration include:
Reaffirming the commitment to mainstream sustainable development and integrate it through Special Regional Regulations in West Papua Province, revising or reviewing the Papua and West Papua spatial planning which accommodates a minimum of 70% of land area as protected areas, and integrating the territories of indigenous peoples, strengthening the implementation of the Vision 2100 of the Papua Province.
Committing to protect the rights and strengthening the role of indigenous peoples through the Provincial Special Regulation and District Regulations that recognize the existence of indigenous peoples, their cultural values, indigenous territories and governance and their institutions, including forest and indigenous territories based on local wisdom and sustainable use. Supporting the mapping of the customary territories and encouraging the establishment of a system for registering indigenous peoples' lands and mechanisms for resolving disputes in the use and utilization of customary lands.
Implementing a moratorium on new permits for large-scale plantations, mining and land-based industries, as well as reviewing issued permits.
Together with the central government, committing to regulate sustainable funding schemes and ecological fiscal incentives, which are affirmed through legislation, to the provincial and district/city governments through budget allocation, Special Autonomy Funds, and Financial Assistance to Provinces/City District, as well as accelerating Special Regional Regulations concerning Revenue Sharing Funds (DBH) and their implementation.
Committing to encourage capacity building of human resources in Sustainable Development, including indigenous peoples in various fields of knowledge and important skills to support the planning process, community participation in natural resource management, protected area management, and ecotourism and sustainable fisheries. Mainstreaming sustainable development in the education curriculum.
Encouraging global, national and local partnerships and support a multi-stakeholder platform to encourage the establishment of investment/financing models that support the achievement of economic growth aimed at sustainable development in the Land of Papua.
Continuing cooperation that has been established between civil society, religious institutions, traditional institutions, educational institutions, and other parties in the implementation of sustainable development. Both provinces are committed to increasing the role and capacity building of women in discussions and work on the rights of indigenous peoples and sustainable management of natural resources in the Land of Papua.