Last Friday, the UCLA School of Law hosted a workshop discussing the implementation challenges and opportunities associated with the Manokwari Declaration and the Conservation Province initiative in West Papua, Indonesia. Governor Dominggus Mandacan, Governor of West Papua, participated actively in the discussions and was later awarded the Global Conservation Hero Award by Conservation International at their Annual Gala on Saturday.
In a statement from the Indonesian Consulate General early this week, the Governor remarked, “The award is a form of international recognition for the efforts of the West Papua Provincial Government in protecting the forests, the sea and guaranteeing the fulfillment of the rights of indigenous Papuans with a sustainable and environmentally friendly development approach.”
The Manokwari Declaration, signed in October 2018 by the Governors of Papua and West Papua during the International Conference on Biodiversity, Ecotourism, and the Creative Economy (ICBE 2018), commits the two Indonesian provinces to prioritizing sustainable development in indigenous territories while conserving 70% of the forest cover on the Western half of the island of Papua. The Declaration builds upon the momentum set forth by a 2015 declaration asserting West Papua as a “Conservation Province.” Included in the workshop were discussions outlining the path from the Manokwari Declaration to a true Conservation Province in West Papua.
Governor Dominggus Mandacan’s presentation of his visions for implementation of the Declaration began with a short film, Provinski Konservasi. Watch the film here.
Additionally, the workshop included discussions on opportunities for “Green Economic Investment” and building a Green Economy under the new sustainable development regime and Low Carbon Development Plan pilot in West Papua. Topics included sustainable tourism, cacao production, adventure ecotourism, attracting international climate finance, and green investment opportunities. Professor William Boyd discussed lessons learned across the GCF Task Force from member states and provinces seeking to build green economies and jurisdictional approaches to low-emissions development.
The workshop concluded with discussions on capacity building and research collaborations in West Papua, plus updates on greenhouse gas mitigations through sustainable forestry and landscape management.
The workshop was sponsored by the GCF Task Force, Papua Diving, Blue Sphere Foundation, Conservation International, and Earth Bar.