Tag Archives: environmental protection

Nabire: Akudiomi village government forbids forest and marine resource exploitation

February 19, 2016

Report by Robertino Hanebora at Suara Persatuan

translated by awasMifee

Akudiomi village in Yaur subdistrict of Nabire Regency (also known as Kwatisore village) looks out over the Cenderawasih Bay Marine National Park, and is home to whale sharks which are frequently visited by local and foreign tourists.

Several days ago (10/02/2016) in the Akudiomi village hall, the village administration held a meeting with the community, tribal leaders and religious and church leaders to discuss prohibiting the exploitation of forest and marine products by companies. Many companies have been operating in the village’s administrative area recently, damaging the environment.

The village took this step because its natural environment is being plundered and destroyed by people acting irresponsibly. Fishermen from outside Akudiomi are destroying the sea which provides local people’s livelihood by dynamite, potassium and poison. Villagers say that large numbers of dead fish can be seen floating around the area due to people using these destructive techniques.

Another reason is that the sea around their village faces the protected Cenderawasih Bay National Park, which should compel the community and village administration to take a firm stand in looking after the area for the future.

This prohibition also applies to their forest, where they will stop all businesses that try to operate. This represents the shared commitment of the Akudiomi village community.

Following on from this decision, all businesses will be cleared out of the Akudiomi customary and administrative territory on the 22nd February 2016, when the village government and the whole village community will join in a ‘cleaning’ operation. Copies of the decision were also sent to the Consultative Leadership Board (Muspida) and other relevant parties.

Download the Akudiomi village head’s statement (Bahasa Indonesia)

 

Pictures: Turquoise ‘dragon’ among 1,000 new species discovered in New Guinea

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Pictures: Turquoise ‘dragon’ among 1,000 new species discovered in New Guinea
mongabay.com
June 27, 2011

Varanus macraei © Lutz Obelgonner
Varanus macraei monitor lizard © Lutz Obelgonner

Scientists discovered more than 1,000 previously unknown species during a decade of research in New Guinea (slideshow), says a new report from WWF.

Final Frontier: Newly Discovered species of New Guinea (1998 – 2008) (PDF-4.7MB) is a tally of 10 years’ worth of discoveries by scientists working on the world’s second largest island.

While the majority of 1,060 species listed are plants and insects, the inventory includes 134 amphibians, 71 fish, 43 reptiles, 12 mammals, and 2 birds.

Among the most notable finds: a woolly giant rat, an endemic subspecies of the silky cuscus, a snub-fin dolphin, a turquoise and black ‘dragon’ or monitor lizard, and an 8-foot (2.5-m) river shark.

Final Frontier: Newly Discovered species of New Guinea (1998 – 2008)
Final Frontier: Newly Discovered species of New Guinea (1998 – 2008)
Spilocuscus wilsoni © Tim Flannery

Spilocuscus wilsoni cuscus, a type of marsupial © Tim Flannery
Litoria sauroni © Stephen Richards
Litoria sauroni tree frog © Stephen Richards
Chrysiptera cymatilis © Gerald R Allen

Chrysiptera cymatilis damselfish © Gerald R Allen

WWF released the report to showcase New Guinea’s biodiversity, which includes more than 800 species of birds and more than 25,000 species of vascular plants in New Guinea ranges. New Guinea’s rainforests — the third largest after the Amazon and the Congo — and its coral reefs are astoundingly rich, yet still poorly studied relative to other places in the tropics. The dearth of information is a concern because New Guinea, which covers less than 0.5 percent of the Earth’s landmass, but is thought to be home to 6–8 percent of the world’s species, is facing an onslaught of threats from logging, large-scale industrial agriculture, and mining.

“This report shows that New Guinea’s forests and rivers are among the richest and most biodiverse in the world,” said Neil Stronach, WWF Western Melanesia’s Program Representative, in a statement. “But it also shows us that unchecked human demand can push even the wealthiest environments to bankruptcy.”

Varanus macraei © Lutz Obelgonner
Click map to enlarge.

Ecosystems, especially forests, are threatened on both halves of New Guinea. On the western half — controlled by Indonesia — illegal logging is rampant and the government has granted, or is planning to grant, hundreds of thousands of hectares’ worth of forests for conversion to timber and oil palm plantations and large-scale rice and sugarcane operations. On the eastern part of the island, the Papua New Guinea government recently stripped communities of traditional land rights in favor of big business, especially foreign agricultural firms, which have been winning Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABLs) to develop forest lands (a moratorium on SABLs was put in place last month). Meanwhile industrial logging has degraded large tracts of rainforest. Both sides of New Guinea have been affected by mining operations, which at times have caused pollution and exacerbated social conflict.

Chilatherina alleni © Gerald R Allen
Chilatherina alleni rainbowfish © Gerald R Allen
Melipotes carolae © Bruce Beehler

Melipotes carolae © Bruce BeehlerDelias durai © Henk van Mastrigt
Delias durai buterfly © Henk van Mastrigt

According to WWF, environmental degradation is already taking a toll in New Guinea, with the incidence of forest fires increasing, coastal erosion worsening, and depletion of forest resources for local use. Since 1972 a quarter of Papua New Guinea’s rainforests have been lost or degraded, while 99 of the island’s species are now listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, including 59 mammals, 34 birds and 6 frogs.

But WWF says there is still time to protect New Guinea’s flora, fauna, and incredible cultural richness (New Guinea is home to 15 percent of the world’s spoken languages). It highlights the potential to boost the capacity of local communities to use legal mechanisms to protect their lands and resources from expropriation and expresses optimism that the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) mechanism could generate revenue to support conservation activities (although the report fails to note the widespread corruption associated with early REDD efforts in Papua New Guinea). Final Frontier concludes by arguing that certification schemes for timber and agricultural commodities could help maintain New Guinea’s biodiversity in the future.

“It’s vital that New Guinea’s forests, rivers, lakes and seas are managed in a way that ensures they’ll continue to sustain economic and social development – and support the island’s fabulous wildlife,” states the report. “If we’re to safeguard this ‘final frontier’, it’ll require active partnerships between New Guinea’s communities and a wide range of stakeholders.”


New Guinea Slideshow

INDIGENOUS PAPUANS IN INTAN JAYA REJECT MINING OPERATIONS IN AGISIGA

JUBI, 10 February 2011

There are now reports that illegal mining is under way not only in the
Degeuwo Estuary but also in the Dogabu Estuary, in the district of
Intan Jaya, Papua.

The illegal mining is being carried out by groups that are unknown to
the local community or the local government.

‘The mining operations are being carried out without a licence from the
local government,’ said Agustinus Tapani, secretary of the Intan Jaya
Traditional Council. He said that the local community is the rightful
owner of the land and they firmly reject the presence of any companies or businesses in their area. ‘In any case, they have never agreed to surrender their land, nor have they issued any licences to others to operate there.’

Agus Tapani said that a number of mining operators are excavating
minerals and coal in West Papua, including in Degeuwo without licences either from the government or from the local communities. ‘Law No 4/2009 makes the position clear. Yet, many companies have bypassed these authorised mechanisms which have been laid down by the government,’ he said.

Speaking on behalf of the local DAP, Tapani said that all companies must abide by the provisions of the regulations. He called on the company now operating in Degeuwo to end their operations because the community in Intan Jaya is suffering as a result of these mining operations.

Agus Tapani who is also the secretary of the KNPI in Intan Jaya warned all companies which come to Papua and partiularly to Intan Jaya district to realise that they need to pass through three stages, the traditional community, the churches and the government.. The presence of mining companies in Agisiga can initiate a process that will damage the lifestyles of the entire community in Intan Jaya. He also called on the executive and legislative bodies to pay attention to this problem.

Although the identity of the company now operating in Intan Jaya is not known, JUBI understands that PT Freeport Indonesia is involved in explorations in a number of districts, including Sugapa, Ugimba, Mindau, Pogapa and the Dogabu Estuary, through its subsidiary company PT Mine Serve International.