Socialization Event held in Asia & Ayau Islands MPA. Reported by Bertha Matatar
CUSTOMARY REGULATION FOR THE PROTECTION OF WAYAG SOCIALIZED IN
ASIA AND AYAU ISLANDS MPA
Reported by: Bertha Matatar*
A collaboration between Raja Ampat’s Maya Tribe Customary Council, Conservation International (CI) Indonesia, Penyu Papua Foundation, and Raja Ampat’s Marine Park Authority organized a socialization activity related to a particular customary regulation and environmental education event for several villages within the Ayau and Islands Marine Protected Area (MPA) on the 27th of January 2021.
The socialization was a follow up to the sasi ceremony and the launching of a customary regulation conducted in Wayag’s Monitoring Post in West Waigeo Islands Marine Reserve on the 03rd of November 2021 (read article on regulation’s launch here). The mentioned regulation was Raja Ampat’s Maya Tribe Council Customary Regulation on the Protection of Wayag and Surrounding Islands Including the Ecosystem of Biotas Within It.
The Chief of Raja Ampat’s Maya Tribe Customary Council and Raja Ampat’s Program Manager for CI Indonesia, Kristian Thebu, says, “People from Ayau were one of those who had accessed the marine natural resources in Wayag, especially when we’re talking about how many turtles they’ve had caught (over the years),” when asked about why the socialization was prioritize to be held in Asia and Ayau Islands MPA.
The statement above was based on the number of reports by stakeholders received by both MPA’s management unit and/or law enforcers for the past years.
The socialization in Asia and Ayau Islands MPA was concentrated in the Village of Dorehkar and were attended by members of the communities from villages within the MPA such as Runi, Boiseran, Yenkafan, Yenkawir, Meosbekwan, Rutum, Reni, and Abidon. Members of the communities attended the event consists of representatives of villages’ government, customary entity, religious figures, district’s government, and local police officers.
Overall, the socialization event that was attended by no less than 75 participants went smoothly. From the opening session, presentation sessions by both Kristian Thebu and representative from Penyu Papua Foundation, discussion session, to the closing ceremony. Apart from the customary regulation, and to refresh the memory of the participants, the socialization featured presentations regarding Raja Ampat’s MPAs and Ayau and Islands MPA as well.
The chief of indigenous community for the Ayau area, Niklas Umpes, agreed that this customary will reduce the general intensity, especially regarding to fishing/hunting of protected animals in Raja Ampat, while continued, “We (the people in Ayau) welcome this customary regulation. We hope similar regulation will also be passed for people in Ayau, not only for the Kawe (tribe in Wayag) people, so that we can protect our nature (better) as well.”
One day prior to the socialization event, on the 26th of January 2021, the collaborative team organized environmental education for no less that 90 students of the first to the sixth grade from the local elementary school in Dorehkar Village.
This environmental education highlighted several topics such as: introduction to MPAs in Raja Ampat; description of Asia and Ayau Islands MPA, and; the importance of protected area for the preservation of nature and the well-being of people within Asia and Ayau MPA. Those presentations were completed with topic-oriented game for the participants.
Subsequent to Asia and Ayau Islands MPA, the organizer continued to socialize the customary regulation in Manyaifun Village, West Waigeo Islands District on the 29th of January, 2021. Socialization in Manyaifun was attended by 12 participants, representatives from the village’s government, customary entity, and religious figure there.
* Bird’s Head Seascape Capacity Building Coordinator, CI Indonesia