PAPUA KONSERVASI dan KOMUNITAS
What We Do
In keeping with our mission to promote conservation and empower the indigenous Papuan people, we offer a variety of opportunities to local Papuan communities. These opportunities are largely focused on ecotourism as the primary driver of conservation and community empowerment.
Ecotourism is uniquely appropriate and well-suited to this role in Papua for several reasons:
Papua is a global biological and evolutionary hotspot. Its location, island geography, rugged landscape, and history of isolation from continental land masses has resulted in unparalleled levels of biodiversity and endemism. Many species of plants and animals, including the legendary Birds of Paradise, are found nowhere else on earth. For many biologists and nature lovers Papua represents the ultimate adventure.
Perhaps counterintuitively, it is actually a relative lack of infrastructure which makes Papua a Mecca for ecotourism. Although under increasing threat from logging, forest conversion, overfishing, and pollution, Papua is still largely an unspoiled paradise, with the vast majority of its forests and coasts relatively pristine.
Arfak Mountains, West Papua
Most Papuan communities are poorly serviced, poorly educated, and economically isolated; their most valuable resource is their land and forests, from which they derive their food, water, fuel, building materials, and to which their lives are inextricably linked. But this leaves them susceptible to exploitation from extractive industries such as logging, mining and industrial agriculture, who offer to buy their land for what seems, from the perspective of a Papuan landowner who is isolated from the larger global economy, to be a huge sum of money. But that money is finite and of very limited use in a remote community, and ultimately the landowner is left with nothing.
Ecotourism, on the other hand, provides a sustainable alternative source of income, one which allows Papuan communities to enjoy economic benefits from their land indefinitely and encourages landowners and communities to conserve and nurture their land for the long term. It also opens up related secondary opportunities for employment and income as porters, forest guides, cooks, and hospitality workers.
We focus on remote, isolated coastal and mountain communities that have limited access to established infrastructure but that are located in an area of interest to ecotourists and biological scientists.
Kapatcol Village, Misool Island, Raja Ampat Regency
Syoubrig Village, Arfak regency
Our activities include:
Our training programs are built on English language instruction, but focus on topics and skills that are important in interacting with and providing services to ecotourists and biologists, such as:
times and dates
directions and locations
forest plants and animals
foods and cooking
English language/ecotourism training program, Deer Village, Kofiau Island, Raja Ampat Regency
Community Organization and Awareness Workshops
An important part of community empowerment is helping local communities understand and manage the opportunities and the challenges presented by opening their communities to ecotourism. We sponsor programs specifically designed to help local Papuan communities go through this process of self-discovery and self-assessment.
Community Self-Assessment Workshop Participant, Syoubrig Village
Reaching out to and educating children is the key to inducing change and moving toward a better future. Unfortunately, in Papua public education is unreliable and costly, not available locally, and expensive; many families cannot afford to send their children to school. We try to fill that gap by offering in-community alternative education classes and by sponsoring the education of a number of children in out focus communities, paying for part or all of their middle and high school public education.
Childrens' alternative education classes, Kapatcol (left) and Syoubrig (right)
We sponsor volunteers with an interest in helping the people and forests of Papua, providing them with financial and logistical support to help us with our mission. We are always seeking new volunteers to help with English language training, community empowerment, hospitality training, arts and crafts training and any other skills which would help them become more successful ecovillage. Please contact us if you would like to become a volunteer!