The Government of West Papua Province spurs the export of non-timber forest products to open business opportunities for indigenous people from the forestry sector.
The head of the West Papua Forest Service, Hendrik Runaweri in Manokwari, Thursday, said the province received appreciation from a number of countries for their commitment to protecting the forest.
“A few days ago the governor received an award as a global conservation hero given by Conservation international (CI). We are proud, because the leadership has a strong commitment to safeguard the natural forests of the sea and all the biodiversity in them,” Hendrik said.
Regarding conservation and sustainable development programs, continued Hendrik, the governor wanted not only forests and the sea to be guarded.
Indigenous people as owners of customary rights must also receive sufficient attention, especially regarding welfare.
Based on data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) the poverty and unemployment rates in this area are still quite high.
The West Papua Provincial Government hopes that the export market will be used to encourage an increase in the community’s economy.
“We have abundant natural resources, but many people still live in poverty, unemployment is still high. The community must encourage and be fostered in order to manage and utilize forest products sustainably,” he said again.
He said, a number of non-timber commodities currently being developed in West Papua include masohi and gaharu wood.
He stated, this plant has been developed in almost all regions in West Papua.
According to him, people in this area are quite ready to welcome the global market. On the other hand, there are already investors who are ready to invest in West Papua.
“We have provided data, later in September they will come to check the location,” he said again.
In addition to non-timber forest products, Hendrik said, the West Papua Provincial Government had also begun the development of coffee, cocoa and vanilla. These three plantation commodities are also prepared to seize opportunities in the global market.