For Papuan villagers practicing conservation, a bid to formalize the familiar

first_imgArticle published by Basten Gokkon Indigenous Papuans of Saubeba village last month gave their support for a government-backed program to designate Tambrauw district, rich in biodiversity, a conservation zone.The villagers already practice sustainable management of the district’s lush forests and its resources, on which their lives depend.The discussion also sought to find solutions for land conflicts that often put legally vulnerable ethnic groups in peril as Tambrauw district pushes for the passage of an indigenous rights bill.One anticipated outcome of all this is the prospect of developing an ecotourism industry centered on the region’s natural riches, including its birds-of-paradise. TAMBRAUW, Indonesia — It took more than two hours by boat, through a driving rain, to reach the village of Saubeba from the nearest large town of Sausapor in Indonesia’s West Papua province. There, locals had gathered to discuss a government-backed plan to designate Tambrauw district, of which Saubeba is a part, a conservation zone.On paper, at least, this would seem a no-brainer: 80 percent of the district’s nearly 11,400 square kilometers (4,400 square miles) is lush forest that falls within existing conservation or protected areas; its coast is a hatching ground for the rare leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), and its rainforests home to exotic birds-of-paradise (family: Paradisaeidae).The idea to officially designate the entire district a conservation zone came in 2011, following the election of Gabriel Asem as district chief. Tambrauw itself was only established in 2008, as part of the newly formed administrative province of West Papua.Map of West Papua province (green). Photo courtesy of Bwmodular/Wikimedia Commons.Gathered in the downpour that November day in Saubeba, representatives of the various indigenous communities living in the area discussed with local authorities what the conservation designation would mean, not just for the district but also their way of life.“Many of us here still don’t understand what conservation means, it’s still unfamiliar [to us],” said Bernadus Yewen, a community leader. “If it means protecting the forest, then we’ve been doing it since the time of our ancestors.”It was a sentiment widely shared by the others in attendance. In the end, Yewen said, the people of Saubeba fully supported the idea of a conservation district because their lives had always depended on the sustainable management of Tambrauw’s rich natural resources.The program comes amid a major infrastructure and economic development push — which portends massive forest clearing — across the provinces of Papua and West Papua, as part of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s efforts to boost Indonesia’s underdeveloped eastern regions. Plantation companies are also increasingly targeting the Papua provinces, which share the world’s third-largest span of rainforest with Papua New Guinea, to expand their concession after having nearly depleted the forests of Sumatra and Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo.A bill on the conservation district program is currently working its way through the district legislature, in tandem with a bill that would officially recognize the ethnic groups in Tambrauw and enshrine their civil rights in law.Like many other indigenous rural communities in Indonesia, Papuan tribes have frequently clashed with the government or companies laying claim to their land, whether for public works projects or commercial development. These communities have nothing to back their claims to the land, and are in most cases forced out of their homes by those with greater political and legal power.People of Saubeba village last month discussed with Tambrauw officials a plan to formally designate the district a conservation zone. Photo by Christopel Paino/Mongabay-Indonesia.Yewen cited the case of a local timber company, PT Multi Wahana Wijaya, which has operated in Saubeba since 2004. The company, he said, had logging permits from the national and district governments, but none from the village’s indigenous groups.“The company logs our trees and ships them out of here and even abroad,” he said.Mesak Yekwam, the Tambrauw deputy district chief, who attended the gathering, vowed to look fully into the matter and resolve it. He suggested the company might have been illegally logging beyond its concession, and said his office could shut down its operations if it was found to have violated any regulations or failed to make a positive impact on the local community.Yekwam also said resolving territorial conflicts between rival clans within the local ethnic groups was a top priority to get the conservation program and indigenous rights bills going.“We must focus first on mapping out the customary lands,” he said. “We also need to improve the relationship between clans and tribes.”Tambrauw is home to 156 clans from five ethnic groups. Inter-clan conflicts frequently erupt across Papua, but Saubeba has managed to avoid the problem, according to Yowel Yesnath, the village chief.“We’re pretty lucky that we never fight with each other about territory,” he said. “We’re ready to help other tribes and clans so we can protect our lands together.”Yekwam said his office hoped to get the conservation district and indigenous rights bills through the legislature by next year.One anticipated outcome of all this is the prospect of developing an ecotourism industry based on the region’s natural riches. Once the customary lands are mapped out, prime nature hotspots can be identified for ecotourism development, thereby helping boost the local economy, said Betwel Yekwam, a district tourism board official. He noted that Tambrauw had many sites perfect for birdwatching, diving and snorkeling.He said, “We have many kinds of birds here, including the birds-of-paradise” — colorful avians that, fittingly enough, are a culturally revered species and also a beloved mascot for the Papua region.Coastal forests in Indonesia’s West Papua province. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.This story was reported by Mongabay’s Indonesia team and was first published here and here on our Indonesian site on Nov. 25 and 26, 2017.Banner image: A lesser bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea minor) in eastern Indonesia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Community Development, Community Forestry, Community Forests, Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Environment, Environmental Activism, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Forest People, Forestry, Forests, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest People, Rainforests, Saving Rainforests center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

MCSS to Focus on School Feeding Program

first_imgThe Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) has disclosed a plan to focus on a school feeding program in the coming academic year as a means of attracting more students and keeping them in school.MCSS Superintendent, Benjamin Adolphus Jacobs, made the disclosure on Thursday at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) regular Ebola Hour press briefing.According to him, MCSS will prioritize the school feeding program to help increase students attendance at school.“The school-feeding program in the upcoming year,” he said, “will to help boost the reflection of learning for the children at the various MCSS campuses as well as increase   enrollment.”“No one can learn on an empty stomach, especially the little ones. Many of them will come to school in the morning hungry and weak and cannot respond to their teachers, even at question time. Many of them will not ask questions and sometimes leave campus during recess and run home because of food, Mr. Jacobs stressed.He explained that, many of the school going children were appearing in the classroom without eating anything at home, which he said was causing serious problems in keeping them focused on learning.The MCSS Superintendent further explained that, “due to the fight against the deadly Ebola virus and the issue of breaking the transmission, his administration is hoping to run three shifts, morning, evening and night, as a mean of reducing over crowdedness in the classroom.“We will also have Thermometers testing students and teachers on campus.”He continued, “We are securing vehicles for the three region, Central Monrovia, Sinkor and Bushrod Island, to help in carrying any sick person, both teachers and students, for treatment. “We will have one room reserved on each campus to have the person there before hospital attention is provided.”According to him, they will conduct workshops for teachers and students before the official opening of school and will also observe all Ebola preventive measures on campuses and will have rooms reserved for any outbreak of the disease. He further explained, “We are training guidance counselors for most of our schools that will help to guide many of our students in their learning process. We are also hoping to construct hand-pumps on some of our campuses as a way of improving sanitation.The MCSS Superintendent also disclosed that the counselors will be helping students who are not academically sound and will be guiding them and making sure that such students attend vocational institutions.He disclosed that schools might open in late January or February and close in the late August or September. “We are also working on classes running from Monday to Saturday if all goes well and the Ministry of Education will come up with a position.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

SOLDIER CAUGHT WITH PIPE-BOMB BLAMES MALARIA DRUG ON CHANGING HIS PERSONALITY

first_imgAn Irish soldier has blamed a malaria drug for leading to a change in his personality before he was caught with explosives at a Co Donegal flat.Mark Cassidy leaving court today. Pic copyright of Northwest News pix.Mark Cassidy appeared before Letterkenny Circuit Court today charged with possessing explosive substances. The court heard that on February 16th, 2014, Gardai had received confidential information to say there was explosive substances at a flat above a petrol station in Burnfoot.Surveillance was carried out and on February 17 and Gardai entered the premises.Inside the premises in a press in a common area Gardai found a black bag containing a viable pipe bomb.The area was sealed off and Army Bomb Disposal Experts were rushed to the scene.A further search discovered a large quantity of assorted shotgun cartridges in the attic of a flat occupied by Cassidy, 29.Cassidy, with an address at Grianan Vale, Ballyderowen, Burnfoot, was interviewed on six occasions by Garda and admitting having the pipebomb and the shotgun cartridges in his possession.Detective Sgt Mick Carroll said they still had no information as to what the explosive devices were going to be used for.A bag containing overalls and balaclavas was also found in the flat but there was no indication as to what they were being used for.Barrister for Cassidy, Peter Nolan, said his client had ben an exemplary soldier who had served overseas in Chad and was based at Finner Camp in Donegal when this incident happened.Mr Nolan suggested there was a connection between his client taking the drug Lariam for Malaria while serving overseas and his change in personality.He referred to the US army banning the drug as a result of concerns over its affect on soldiers.He added there was simply no reason why a man with no record of being involved in subversive activity would suddenly do so.Mr Nolan also said that the suicide of his brother in Derry in 2009 and the death of his mother in 2009 had had a profound affect on him.It was also given in evidence in court that Cassidy, who is originally from the Foyle Road in Derry, was arrested by the PSNI but never charged with any offence.Detective Carroll also said that Cassidy had no previous convictions for any offence on ether side of the border.Judge Matthew Deery this was a very serious incident especially when the explosives were found in an apartment above a busy supermarket and petrol station.“The reasons as to why they were stored are not explained but it seems to me that while he has no previous convictions, it is a serious matter,” he said.He sentenced Cassidy to three years on each charge and ordered them to run concurrently.He backdated the sentence to January 17th when Cassidy was first put placed in custody at Castlerea Prison.SOLDIER CAUGHT WITH PIPE-BOMB BLAMES MALARIA DRUG ON CHANGING HIS PERSONALITY was last modified: July 17th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BurnfootdonegalGardaimalariaMARK CASSIDYpipebombsoldierlast_img read more