The Conservation Movement of the Malaumkarta Youth

goodmorningpapua.com – Like a biological mother, forests have a very big role in the life of the Moi Tribe, a group of indigenous people who inhabit Malaumkarta Village in Sorong Regency, West Papua. This is a village located in the vicinity of the forest. Considering the forest around them, the Moi people call the forest as Tam Sini. That is, the biological mother who feeds and drinks.

Since 2008, he has started a movement by organizing young village people as the spearhead to fight for land rights, natural resource rights and traditional knowledge. “Youth is the backbone. They will be influential and provide information to parents at home and automatically organize people at home,” he said. He emphasized that the lives of the Moi and Papuan people in general depend on the forest and the sea, so the community approach must be based on that.

Tori initiated the concept of participation to encourage sustainable development in the village of Malaumkarta. They apply traditional concepts in order to be as close as possible to indigenous peoples. With a strong determination and vision to protect their territory, Tori’s fighting spirit is contagious to other communities.

Starting from village officials, traditional leaders to religious leaders. It does not only affect the community in the village of Malaumkarta. Tori and his friends moved and went further.

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They formed the Malaumkarta Young Generation Association (PGM) to boost the generating of a legal basis for regional conservation. This group involved more youths from five villages.

As a result, in 2017, PGM succeeded in initiating the generating of regent regulation (Perbup) No. 07/2017 concerning Customary Law and Local Wisdom in the Management and Protection of Marine Resources in Malaumkarta Village, Makbon District, Sorong Regency. This Perbub regulates traditional conservation areas, as well as being the basis for the Governor of West Papua in formulating the Manokwari Declaration in 2018.

In the Moi language, it is called egek, which is a system of conservation of forest and marine areas. This system regulates the prohibition of the use of natural resources in an area within a certain period of time with the aim of maintaining biodiversity and forest sustainability. This egek concept also functions as a means of educating the traditional conservation system to the next young generation.

Most recently, last March 2021, Tori together with PGM declared forest plantations in the three outermost customary areas in Malaumkarta Raya. Not ending at this program, Tori and PGM also initiated participatory mapping to prevent conflicts as well as to map all kinds of potential around them. Through collaboration with community organizations, universities, and local government officials, around 12,600 hectares of the area have been successfully mapped. Includes information on biodiversity, forest density and health, as well as special zones and management zones.

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Through the ecotourism program, it is estimated that it can generate direct economic potential of IDR 1.6 billion per year and indirect economic potential of IDR 1 billion per year. Meanwhile, from the management zone that has been determined, the use of the egek area will at least provide an income of up to IDR 100 million per month.

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