Jayapura, Jubi – It was difficult to apply Regency Regulation (Perda) No 3/2000 related to preservation of sago in Jayapura regency. One of the reasons, according to Orgenes Kaway, a Papua Ondoafi (Sentani-Papua indigenous) in Bambar Village, Waibu District, Jayapura regency, most indigenous has released their customary land right.
He said sago forests are closely related to customary rights. These customary rights do not belong to the government, but the indigenous people. Either individual or tribal clans may limit customary owners of the communal land.
“I think it’s difficult to make and implement legislation regarding preservation of sago. There are various factors that sometimes led community to release their customary rights. Economic factor is one of them, and the pressure of progress and development,” said Kaway recently.
According to Papuan legislators from the National Awakening Party (PKB), government has role to raise awareness of the importance of preserving the forest sago. Invites people to keep the sago forests in certain areas.
“But the government too should show their role and concern for the preservation of sago. If you want to get serious on this, it is not about making a program for one or two months. It should be sustainable because sago cultivation is a routine,” he said.
Other Papuan legislators, Mustakim see the problem of sago preservation in Papua is that the areas are diminished, eroded by construction of buildings, shops, residential and road infrastructures.
“Every year sago palm are diminished, while efforts to replace the lost sago are very minimal. The government needs to establish sago palm as local wisdom in Papua,” said Mustakim.
It also because sago is the staple food of Papuans from time of the ancestors, before they know anything about rice.
He asked the government to encourage the development of large scale sago processing industries. (*)