LORENTZ NATIONAL PARK PAPUA DEVELOPMENT AND ECOLOGICAL CONSERVATION CHALLENGES
Lorentz National Park is located in Papua and is said to be the largest in Southeast Asia. According to a UNESCO World Heritage site, Lorentz National Park is the only protected area in the world that combines an ecologically sustainable narrow path from snow capped mountain peaks to tropical marine environments, including extensive lowland wetlands – West Papua News.
Lorentz Papua National Park has been listed as a UNESCO world heritage site since 1999. The name Lorentz National Park was taken from a Dutch explorer, Hendrikus Albertus Lorentz. Hendrikus passed through the area in 1909 on his 10th expedition to the national park.
There are a variety of animals in Lorentz National Park such as Cendrawasih, cassowaries, mega pods, pigeons, cockatoos, Shrimp, Sun birds, and 20 endemic species including the Long-Tailed Cendrawasih (Paradigalla caruneulata) and Snow Quail (Anurophasis monorthonyx). Mammals recorded include the Long Snouted Thorn Pig (Zaglossus bruijnii), the Short snouted Thorn Pig (Tachyglossus aculeatus), 4 species of cuscus, wallaby, forest cat, and tree kangaroo.
The types of flora or plants in Lorentz National Park include Nipah (Nypafruticans), Mangrove (Rhizophora apiculata), Pandanus julianettii, Colocasia esculenta, Avicennia marina, Podocarpus pilgeri, and Nauclea coadunata.
west papua – Lorentz National Park is representative of the most complete ecosystem for biodiversity in Asia Pacific. This area is also one of the 3 regions in the world that have glaciers in the tropics. It stretches from the top of a snow-covered mountain (5,030 meters above sea level), to stretch out to coastal waters with mangrove forests and the edge of the Arafura Sea. Within this stretch, there is an amazing ecological spectrum of alpine, sub-alpine, montane, sub montane, lowland, and wetland vegetation areas.
Access to Lorentz National Park is from Timika City to the northern part of the area using pioneer flights and to the southern part by ship via Sawa Erma Harbor. Then proceed with the path to several locations.
From the city of Wamena to the southern part of the area using a car to Lake Habema. Then walk to Trikora Peak. Lorentz National Park is supported by an amazing cultural diversity. It is estimated that this culture is 30 thousand years old and is the residence of the Nduga Tribe, West Dani, Amungme Tribe, Sempan Tribe, and Asmat Tribe. It is possible that there are more people living remotely in this wilderness who have not yet made contact with modern humans. The Asmat tribe is famous for its sculptural skills.
west papua – According to his belief, the tribe is synonymous with forests or trees. The trunk of the tree is symbolized as the human body, the branches as the arms, and the fruit as the human head. Trees are considered as a place to live the spirits of their ancestors. The Asmat community’s system of respecting trees, apparently also applies to rivers, mountains, and others.
Recently, UNESCO questioned the Trans Papua project because it was considered to have contributed to environmental damage in the National Park area. From an environmental perspective, UNESCO’s recommendation to stop infrastructure development projects in Papua’s Lorentz National Park and NTT’s Komodo National Park deserves consideration. This is because the impact of environmental damage is always long-term, and has the potential to spread and spread to other areas.
The consideration of stopping development is also so that it becomes a blueprint for national development that never comes into contact with the World Heritage List in Indonesia, according to the Convention on the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The government, through its various ministries, needs to seriously respond to this UNESCO warning. Sectoral coordination is absolutely necessary. Namely, between the Ministry of PUPR as the leading sector for the construction of the Trans Papua Road, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy in the tourism sector, and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK). This cross-ministerial consolidation aims so that development policies and program acceleration in each institution do not collide, overlap, and are not coherent with each other.
West Papua 2021 – The main mission of the construction of the Trans Papua Road is to accelerate the backwardness of the people there while at the same time increasing the economic sector in the Papua region. This mission must of course be integral to conservation goals as UNESCO notes. Because it has already happened, it is necessary to review and in-depth study of the impact of development in the area in question.
It is necessary to pay special attention to the damage to the Nothofagus plant ecosystem whose population is reported to be reduced due to die back or death due to environmental damage or disease. The government needs to find alternatives for the construction of the Trans Papua Road that does not cross the environmental rehabilitation zone and the integrated special zone.
We all believe that haphazard development will only make the potential for global warming and climate change to threaten the world’s citizens, especially the Indonesian people themselves. Ecological conservation is an absolute thing that every development stakeholder in Papua must pay attention to, and of course also other regions in Indonesia. Between environmental conservation, development, and community economic improvement, all must be compatible with each other. Because, in principle, each other supports and supports each other. It’s not easy to practice in the field, but it’s definitely still possible.
Read More: 5 West Papua Development You Must Know