Papua Lught of The Earth
West Papua Tabloid – We often hear people say that Papua and West Papua as precious jewels of Indonesia.The statement is worth mentioning because Papua has a lot of significant potential benefits for Indonesia and also for the world, especially the forests. According to Indonesian National Carbon Accounting System(INCAS) of the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) as of2013, forest area in Papua is 29,368,482 hectares and West Papua is 9,967,000 hectares. Based on Yayasan Konversi Alam Nusantara (YKAN), 38 percent of the remaining Indonesia’s primary forests (as of 2012) is located in Papua and West Papua, home for the most biodiversity on earth consists of 20,000 species of plants, 602 kinds of birds,223 reptiles and 125 mammals.Forests have contributed significantly to oxygen production and carbon sequestration due to their carbon sinks.
Forests serve as filters, oxygen producers, water storage, and also act as natural carbon that absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2) from its surroundings.Trees have the ability to absorb 20 tons of CO2 per hectare every year. In this case, if CO2 gas exceeds the normal limit, it can reduce air quality and cause pollution. Thus, Papua’s forests are valuable treasures for Indonesia and the world because they become ‘lungs of the earth’ in the midst of the challenges of climate change.
In recent years, there have been several accusations of deforestation in Papua, including from the Koalisi Indonesia Memantau (Indonesia Monitoring Coalition, a coalition of 11 NGOs) who believed that over the last two decades, the natural forest cover of Tanah Papua decreased by 71% in the period 20112019. KLHK has denied and explained this accusation in its Report on Deforestation in Papua Land in the Forest Area, released on 15 February 2021, that Koalisi Indonesia Memantau report was premature and proved to cover up facts regarding the distribution of deforestation areas during the 20152019 period without disclosing during which period the permits were issued. In fact, both central and local governments continue to enhance environmental development in the forests of Papua and West Papua.
To conserve and protect Papua and West Papua forests, Indonesian Government under the leadership of President Joko Widodo has taken serious policy. In general, the steps have been listed in the KLHK’s strategic targets for 2020 to 2024: 1) quality environment and forest responsive to the climate change; 2) optimization of forest and environmental resources in accordance to the capacity of the environment; 3) maintaining the existence,function and sustain distribution of forest benefits; and 4) good governance in environmental and forestry development also innovation.
In its implementation, Indonesian Government continues their effort to preserve the forests of Papua and West Papua, including for the forest rehabilitation KLHK has launched a program to plant 5,000 mangrove seedlings throughout the Papua region, three districts for the year of 2021.
Referring to the commitment of the President of Indonesia to reduce carbon emissions as the global program,the Papua Government has allocated 60 percent of protected areas and 90 percent of forest areas from the total area of Papua and West Papua to become a provincial strategic area through the development of low carbon areas for the period 2013 to 2013.As an achievement, during the period 2017 to 2019, the Environmental Quality Index (IKLH) of Papua and West Papua achieved the predicate of “very good” with an IKLH score of >80.
Read More: Four Priority Areas of Papua’s Development