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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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Agus Mahuze: I wrote ‘SOS Our Earth’ using wood charcoal

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Merauke, Jubi – Agustinus Mahuze, Marind native who is a member of the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) of Merauke Regency, had become public attention when the Indonesian President Jojo Widodo arrived in Merauke on Friday, 16 November 2018.

Mahuze who is also known as an environmentalist raised a paper with SoS Our Earth written on it when the president and his contingents passed the junction Lepro heading to Sota sub-district.

“I have planned it since President Jokowi visited Merauke for a couple of times but never done. So this is the first time that I can complete my plan. Moreover, it coincides with the president’s itinerary to attend the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea,” he said on Monday (11/19/2018).

Furthermore, Mahuze explained that he wrote the phrase using wood charcoal, not marker or ballpoint because he did it spontaneously. According to him, the phrase ‘SOS our Earth’ has no other meaning but to save the earth and human soul.

“What I expressed in the writing does not only in the context of Merauke but the worldwide. So when the APEC Summit takes place, it should be a boost for the world leaders,” he said.

“I also hope that President Jokowi can read it and raise this global issues related to drought and forest fires that often occurred,” he said.

The point is, he continued, the message that I want to express is about the climate change. It’s only about the environment and has no connection with the political issue.

He also mentioned that it has no connection to his position as a member of the Election Supervisory Agency of Merauke Regency. “I brought the writing paper from home and stopped at the junction Lepro. When the presidential convoy passed, I immediately took it from my pocket and lifted it. People can see it, and the convoy ran slowly. But I don’t know whether the president read it or not,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Election Supervisory Agency of Merauke Agency Oktavina Amtop said the agency had heard the news that Agustinus Mahuze held a poster.

“Before becoming a member of the Election Supervisory Agency, he was an activist and environmentalist. Then what he’s done does not reflect him as a member of the Election Supervisory Agency, “said Amtop. (*)

 

Reporter: Ans K

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Moratorium to save natural forest from palm oil invasion

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Indigenous Papuan in Muting, Merauke conducted customary blockade symbol against palm oil company of PT. BIA – Jubi/John Wob

The Head of Campaign Division of Sawit Watch Maryo Saputra Sanuddin said that they had proposed the government to conduct a moratorium and overall evaluation on palm oil for a long time.

“In our term, it’s called a plantation audit to monitor whether the plantation size is the same as reflected in existing permits or not,” he said.

When companies break the permits, he continued, there is a potential for loss of income to the state.

“We can say there is an indication of corruption which also included as an important note in the moratorium so that the improvement of governance over palm oil plantation is truly beneficial to the community,” he said.

Up to now, the state has earned revenue of Rp 200 trillion from palm oil plantations which is the highest income in addition to the oil and gas sectors. To increase the state revenue, he suggests the government does not need to expand palm oil plantations but increases its productivity and conduct identification and good governance.

From the start, Sawit Watch has supported President Widodo’s statement in 2016 about the palm oil and mining moratorium. After the moratorium issued, Sawit Watch even keeps continuing to advocate and persuade the government to immediately stipulates this regulation (Inpres – President’s Instruction).

If there is no moratorium on the palm oil industry in Indonesia, forests in Indonesia then will turn into palm oil forests –no more primary forests and natural forests.

“Based on our data, there are approximately 20 million hectares of palm oil plantation throughout Indonesia in which1.8 million hectares located in Papua,” he said.

Palm oil plantations in Papua stretch from Merauke, Boven Digoel, Jayapura Regency, Keerom, Sarmi, Nabire and the mountainous area. “That’s amazed us. Why is there such palm oil plantation in the mountainous area? ”

However, Sanuddin said he doesn’t have an idea why the local government did not discuss the revenue from palm oil plantations with the central government. The local government solely get income from land and building taxes that only a few percents of the national income.

Furthermore, according to him, many Indonesian regions face the same problems in the palm oil sector, that are including the conflicts of land, plasma scheme and income received by landowners, especially on the disagreement the land use for palm oil plantations.

Meanwhile, the Head of Investment and Integrated Business Service (DPMPTSP) of Papua Province Jamal Tawarutubun said before issuing a business permit; a plantation company must fulfil a primary licence and other licenses such as a land-use permit from landowners, environmental impact assessment, and consent from indigenous people.

“If all done, we’ll issue the plantation business permit. It means all technical and administrative process is complete,” said Jamal.

He continued that these measures are taken to avoid such plantation inside of the forest area. For instance, in Boven Digoel, his office revoked a business permit from a company after conducting field monitoring and evaluation.

“We have done through the bottom-up stages,” he said.

According to him, the most important factor related to the permit is indigenous peoples. His office only issues a permit for the company based on indigenous peoples’ consent.

The permit for palm oil plantation applies for 35 years. The government do not intervene the company and landowners if they agree to extend the operating permit. However, he doesn’t know the specific size of palm oil plantations in Papua.

Meanwhile, the Director of Walhi Papua Aesh Rumbekwan said the palm oil moratorium is crucial. Good governance is not a new issue but a problem from the past. Moreover, he said now many major issues are arising as a result of oil palm plantations. When people lose their natural resource, it becomes a dilemma because people then only have the last option to be plasma farmers.

He continued that the community has their local wisdom and the government should look at it and develop it. The company comes offering job opportunities, yet develop many conflicts such as environmental problems, human rights violations, and land issues.

Therefore, he hopes, through the palm oil moratorium, the government would open access to the community to manage timber or non-timber resources for their welfare. (*)

Reporter: David Sobolim
Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Environment

Garbage problem, local community cannot consume water from Lake Sentani

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Community houses nearby the banks of Lake Sentani – Jubi / Yance Wenda

Sentani, Jubi – Thousands of cubic meters of the city waste recently found throwing into Lake Sentani that contaminating the quality of lake water. People living nearby the banks of the lake consumed the water for drinking and other daily activities.

“Waste goes into the lake through the river streams from the surrounding areas. In the past, the quality of lake water was good. We used to consume the water directly for our drinking water and use it for cleaning and our daily activities as well. But, now we cannot,” a native of Lake Sentani Elvis Ibo told Jubi on Sunday (28/10/2018) in Sentani.

As a result, Ibo and other lake residents use a water pump machine to get water from the well. Therefore, he hopes that people in Sentani City will not throw their garbage straight into the rivers around Sentani City, because it’s currents will flow the trash into Lake Sentani. “We have trash bins everywhere, so people shouldn’t throw the garbage into the river,” said Ibo.

Separately, a visitor of Kalkhote pier Olance said Lake Sentani changes a lot. “In the past, we only found the moss, water hyacinth and plants on the water surface, but now there are many colourful things on this water,” he said.

So, he hopes that people living in Sentani City and surrounds can maintain the city cleanliness and increase their awareness of disposal waste management.

“Don’t throw the garbage in the river, because it streams into the lake. The impact is if people surround the lake uses the water for bathing, it’s harmful to their skin.,” he said. (*)

 

Reporter: Yance Wenda

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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