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The world’s first study of whale shark conducted in Cenderawasih Bay

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Whale shark, the species that became the object of research – IST

Sorong, Jubi – A total of 26 whale sharks in Cendrawasih Bay National Park, West Papua were assessed by health scientists and experts from United States from 25 July to 5 August 2017.

The release revealed that in addition to health checks, the researchers also managed to install 7 satellite markers and 4 acoustic markers on whale sharks.

The progress of this study has significant implications for investigating the health mysteries surrounding whale sharks, including the potential impacts of tourism as well as other human interactions on the health of whale sharks.

This can provide more information in the development of future conservation policies, to protect and maintain the stability of the whale population in Indonesia specifically in Cendrawasih Bay National Park, West Papua.

Health research is fairly difficult, even initially considered almost impossible to implement, because until now researchers have not found a way to condition whale sharks in a controlled environment for further sampling.

But in 2014, teams from Cendrawasih Bay National Park (BBTNTC), UNIPA, KKP, and CI Indonesia found that whale sharks in the Bay, often caught unintentionally by chart fishermen nets, appear to be quite calm when caught and often just silent at the bottom of the net waiting to be issued.

This phenomenon is used by research teams from CI Indonesia to install satellite markers while taking samples necessary for health assessment of whale sharks.

“The unique situation in Cendrawasih Bay gives researchers unprecedented opportunities, which are designed to provide detailed information on the ecosystem and research impacts that have been done on the welfare of whale sharks,

“This health research on wild whale sharks is the first time conducted in the world, so the data obtained will be the reference of all researchers in the world including reference to the Indonesian government in the management of eco-tourism on sustainable whale sharks in a way that is beneficial to coastal communities without adversely affecting the welfare of the people,” explained Ketut Putra, Vice President Conservation International Indonesia.

Related research that has been implemented, according to Dr. Selvy Tebay, vice rector of UNIPA welfare field who is also a researcher of fishery field, said that the research of whale shark health aspect is the first research conducted by UNIPA together with partners. While other studies such as tagging and development of whale shark tours have been done.

“Hopefully, of course through this health research, UNIPA can develop expertise capacity in marine conservation of species including the importance of health science of whale sharks to support the management of these species in Indonesia,” said Selvy Tebay.

The research itself is collaboration between the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KKP), Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), Central Park of Cendrawasih Bay (BBTNTC), University of Papua (UNIPA), Conservation International (CI) and Georgia Aquarium – America Union. (*)

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Arts & Culture

Taparu in Kamoro socioculture

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Kamoro women when sorting out sago caterpillars. – Jubi / Doc

Mimika, Jubi – Each clan in Kamoro has ‘taparu’ or a specific location as a place to find food sources when they encircle rivers and mangroves in the lowland estuary of Mimika District.

A Dutch anthropologist J Power states ‘taparu’ is a local terminology emphasizing the relations of land and its inhabitants. “There are also the names of surrounding neighborhoods taken from the ancestral names,” as written in a book “Taparu Fratri of Mimika-Kamoro ethnic groups in Hiripau Village, East Mimika District, Mimika Regency”, by Dessy Pola Usmany et al. from the Ministry Education and Culture Directorate General of Culture Papua Cultural Value Conservation Center, 2013.

‘Taparu’ itself is more related to groups who inhabit within this region or surrounding environment as Kamoro people always encircle the river and sago forest for catching fish or gathering food. Everyone knows their own ‘taparu’.

‘Taparu’ in Kamoro language means the land, while Sempan people call it ‘se iwake’. If someone wants to mark the land he passes in gathering food, he solely adds the prefix ‘we’ such as tumamero-we and efato-we in Omawka village.

Similarly, people in Nawaripi village also do the same. Their areas are including Tumukamiro-we, Viriao-we, and Iwiri-we. All of these names reflect the relationship between the land and inhabitants.

Meanwhile, like the majority of Kamoro people, Ojibwa people believe in the power of their late patrilineal clan that depicted in the symbols of animals. The anthropologists call these symbols with totems which mean a belief that embodies a symbolic representation of society.

Unfortunately, today taparu also face the severest challenges of sedimentation due to tailings of mining activity that cause the silting of river and discolouration of Mollusca habitat in the estuary of Mimika District. (*)

 

Reporter: Dominggus Mampioper

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Avoiding conflicts of interest on indigenous land mapping

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The finalization of the formation of task force team for indigenous areas mapping in Jayapura District. -Jubi/Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – The indigenous land mapping in Jayapura District is very important, but it should be noted that it might have a tendency of contestation or conflict of interest among communities.

According to an anthropologist at the University of Papua I Ngurah Suryawan, the claim of land has a long history of dynamic and inconsistent movements. It needs a thorough study of the form of the indigenous land mapping, as it is inherent in the rights of indigenous people.

“Speaking of this, the indigenous people’s land’s right is currently facing a strong onslaught of change. “People are busy talking about land rights, but then they just see how their land was taken by companies, their relatives or other clans of family,” said Ngurah on Thursday (9/6/2018).

Meanwhile, Jayapura Regent Mathius Awoitauw has also formed a task force to do mapping on the indigenous territories. The task force chaired the Regional Secretary of Jayapura District which members are including the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), NGOs and indigenous communities.

“The task force was launched on Friday (5/9/2018) after many consultation and finalization among members and communities.” (*)

 

Reporter: Timoteus Marten

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Environment

Two hectares of forest area burned in Wasur National Park

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Forest fires in Wasur National Park area, Merauke Regency. – Jubi / Frans L Kobun

Merauke, Jubi – Eleven firefighters of the Firefighter Brigade of Forest and Land Control of Merauke was trying to put out of the fire on Wasur National Park area following the forest fires in the past few days.

Sukamto, the Head of Firefighter Brigade told reporters on Friday (7/9/2018) that the forest fires in Wasur National Park were identified yesterday so that his team went to the fire spot immediately.

He explained that approximately two hectares of forest area in Wasur National Park burned, although the firefighter team tried to blackouts of fire using both manual and semi-mechanics water pumps. “We don’t know yet what caused the fire. However, it is more likely the human’s factor,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sota Police Chief the Adjunct Police Commissionaire Ma’ruf states the police have provided an understanding to local communities in villages to encourage people not to burn the forest in dry season.

“If this habit still continues, it might give a negative impact on the forest ecosystems,” he said. (*)

 

Reporter: Frans L Kobun

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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