Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Herbal remedy for intestinal worm from Kwau village in Arfak Mountains

There are a lot of species of herbal medicine from Kwau village in the tropical rainforest of Arfak Mountains. When I visited Kwau village, Samuel Mandacan - an indigenous Papuan who has been working as a natural healer introduced a plant to me. In local language its name is Sesbou. Sesbou has a number of medicinal merit for our health. According to his explanation, the root or tuber of the plant can kill worms that live inside human intestine particulary children. 
 Before using the plant, the Sesbou has to be cleaned by rinsing it with water. After that the tuber or roots are cut and pounded or grated. Then the grated tuber is squeezed to get its juice or extract. Mix the juice with some warm water. Not all of the juice will be drunk. For children, the recommended amount is only one tea-spoon. The amount of Sesbou juice is powerful enough to kill the worms that live inside their stomach. 
Beside its use as herbal remedy to clean our stomach from intestinal worms, the leaves of Sesbou are used by the Arfak tribes to accelerate the release of pus from an abscess that they suffer from. Its application is very simple. cover the abscess or boil with a Sesbou leaf. Within a few days, the pus or the suppuration will come out and the wound it has created will dry fast.
During my trip hiking around the tropical rainforest of Kwau village in the Arfak mountains, Samuel Mandacan and Hans Mandacan - two tourist guides who study the traditional herbal medicine, introduced various kinds of medicinal herbs to me. I am amazed by their explanation and the local wisdom which they have. I hope that their knowledge could be preserved and if necesarry be promoted to the public so that we will give more appreciation to the roles of rainforest in our life.
We have known that rainforest plays very important role in absorbing carbon dioxide gases that we release to the atmosphere through our daily activites such as driving cars, cooking food and burning domestic or industrial wastes. In addition, the rainforest is the source of food for the indigenous people who live in or around it. Birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects form one ecosystem that is vital to the survivability of the rainforest itself.
Nowadays, the size of the rainforests in various parts of the world is shrinking due to irresponsible and illegal logging. The resources of the rainforest are being exploited in large scale such as timber and animals. Furthermore, palm oil companies in Indonesia expand their businesses by clearing tens or even hundreds of thousands of hectares of rainforests in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua islands. We need to protect and preserve the rainforests because their important environmental roles in our life.
By introducing eco-tourism scheme in this blog, I hope that more and more people will be interested in visiting Kwau village to enjoy the natural beauty of Papuan rainforest and at the same time study the local wisdom of the indigenous people who live in harmony with the nature.
The money which you pay for the accommodation, food and guiding service to the local people is very important in supporting their economy so that these indigenous people will not be tempted to give up their rainforest to loggers and palm oil companies. 
If you are interested in visiting Kwau village in the Arfak Mountains of Manokwari regency- West Papua Province - the Republic of Indonesia, please, contact me, Charles Roring, via email: peace4wp@gmail.com. I will be happy to arrange your trip to the village.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Herbal Medicine from Kwau Village in Arfak Mountains of Manokwari

Arfak Mountains in Papua are very rich of medicinal plants. There are herbs to cure malaria and a lot of other plants that can treat various kinds of diseases. In Kwau village of Arfak Mountains of Manokwari regency, there are two "herbs men" who like to guide tourists around the forest to study the medicinal merit of plants and flowers that are usually used by the indigenous Papuan to cure their illnesses. Their names are Samuel Mandacan and Yatinus Mandacan. I write this article to promote ecotourism scheme for Kwau village that is focused on attracting tourists who are interested in herbal medicine so that they can come to the village and study the tropical medicinal herbs from Arfak Mountains. Because of their isolated location, the indigenous Papuan who live in Kwau village have to rely on the plants around them for the treatment of their health. This tradition is now exposed to the world through this blog to help the Papuan preserve their rainforest and at the same time promote their traditional medication techniques that are unique to people like us who often rely on chemical medicines throughout our life.
I was in Kwau village of Arfak Mountains on 24 and 25 September 2010. I went there on the invitation of Hans Mandacan, an indigenous Papuan who is trying to develop eco-tourism for his village. I met him for the first time in late May 2010. I was speaking to Katja Zimmermann - a tourist from Germany when Hans Mandacan entered my bookstore. He was looking for a bible that is published in two languages, i.e. Bahasa Indonesia and English language. He needs the book to study English. Two days before that, Katja went to Arfak Mountains where she met Hans Mandacan. She introduced Hans to me. In our first meeting, Hans expressed his intention to develop ecotourism project for his Kwau village so that the villagers can also get the benefit which ecotourism gives for the tropical rainforest that covers the entire mountains inside the boundaries of their village territory. I didn't really pay attention to his idea because I know it is not easy to develop ecotourism for a village whose infrastructure is not adequate to receive tourists especially those who come from Europe. But Hans Mandacan kept coming to me for around seven times. At his first visits, I rejected or ignored him. He was not angry. Instead, he patiently was waiting for me while I was on a tour with Dutch tourists around the Table Mountain. Few days ago, he came again for the seventh time. This time, I thought I could not reject him anymore.
So, I went to Kwau village accompanied by Samuel Mandacan (the head of the village) and Hans Mandacan (the English speaking guide for the Kwau village). Hans arranged the car for me. I know that it's very expensive to go to Arfak Mountains and both the Arfak men showed their sacrifice to bring me there. It took one and a half hour to reach the place where the car could not go any further. We got out of the car, it was a Toyota 4WD Hilux, and began hiking along the pathway leading to Hans Mandacan's house. When we were walking along the ridge of the mountain under the canopy of the tropical trees, I could hear the sounds of streaming water far below us. On both side of the pathway, wild flowers were blooming. I don't know their names because I haven't seen them before. I took out my camera and took a lot of pictures of the flowers and various kinds of plants that looked interesting. It was drizzling when we were at around one kilometer from Hans' house. I covered my Sony digital SLR camera with plastic bags to protect it from the rain. Forty minutes later we reached the house. Hans had built a concrete house near his traditional kaki seribu house - fully made of wood. Both of them looked very contrast.  I was amazed to hear that Hans carried thousands of bags of sand from the ravine one kilometer from where the house is. I was very tired because I didn't sleep the previous night. I requested permission from Hans Mandacan that I needed to take a rest for around 1 hour before I could start to explore the surrounding area. The temperature was so cool during the day. Fog covered the house and the whole forest but then it was clear again. After eating lunch, I decided to make a small tour to the ravine.
I was accompanied by Samuel Mandacan and Apolos and two of Hans' children. Samuel showed much interest in explaining the medicinal merit of the green plants that we saw. He said that long before the modern medicine was introduced to Kwau village by health workers from the government, their ancestors had used various plants in the Arfak mountains to cure diseases. He pulled a plant. In local language, its name is Ntam. Samuel said that the flower of the plant is usually used to kill bacteria and skin fungus that cause various skin diseases. The person who suffers from a skin disease only rubs the flower of the Ntam plant on the surface of his or her skin. The treatment should be carried out every day until the skin gets well again. Within one or two weeks the skin will look healthy after being treated by the flower of Ntam. In addition to the flower, its leaves are very effective in curing people who suffer from Malaria. The extract of the leaves is used to restore the body temperature to normal level when the patient experiences high fever. For children the safe dosage is a half glass of Ntam leaf extract whereas for adults, one full glass of the extract is recommended.
Eco-tourism activities which tourist can enjoy in Kwau are many. While hiking in the forest that produces fresh air, tourists can study the medicinal merit of a lot of species of tropical plants that live in the rainforest. Samuel Mandacan as the "herbs man" and Hans Mandacan -the interpreter will guide you around to show you the herbs. You can also try the medicine with the supervision of Samuel to ensure that the herbs that you drink is safely processed and measured according to the hundreds of years of tradition of the Kwau tribe.
If you are interested in visiting Kwau village of the Arfak Mountains to enjoy the beauty of the nature and to study their traditional herbal medicine, you can contact me via email: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180, I will be happy to arrange your trip to the region. by Charles Roring
Also read:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Deers of Kamundan river

We just came out of Aiwatar hill after hiking around the area where we saw various species of birds of New Guinea.  The sun had just set on the west. We were very exhausted. Still we had to walk for more than four hours back to Senopi village, a district in Manokwari regency of West Papua. OMG, I forgot to bring my flash light. So, we would walk through the tropical jungle in the dark.  Hope that no white snake waiting for us along the footpath. Walking along one of the tributaries of Kamundan river, I could hear the sound of the sulphur-crested cockatoo breaking the quiet sky of the rainforest on both sides of the Kamundan river. All that we were hearing now was the sound of water flowing rapidly down the river. 

We were walking on the slippery stones beneath the river bed now. At the junction between a small tributary and the mother river of Kamundan, there was a "small island" covered with bush plants. After passing by this "island" we would cross the Kamundan whose current was stronger. We were all tired and didn't expect to see interesting wildlife anymore. Well we were wrong, something amazing was waiting ahead of us. When we just arrived at the tip of the island suddenly we were surprised by the view of around thirty deers drinking on the other side of the tip. They were brown deers (cervus timorensis). They were terrified when they saw us too. A loud sound like a truck horn from one of the deers broke the atmosphere. And without counting one-two-three these mammals ran hurriedly away from us. I was amazed by them so, I forgot to take my digital camera a Sony cybershot out of my pocket. Fortunately, Wim Boyden remembered to take his long lens Canon Eos camera out of his bag. He was late and could only shoot some photos of those deers. These pictures were blurry but they were good treat for our exhausted mind and body. by Charles Roring
Also read: Watching how a deer was caught by hunters' dogs in Kamundan river of District Senopi West Papua

Sunday, September 19, 2010

North Coast of Manokwari

A few days ago someone from Australia asked me whether the north coast of Manokwari is good for surfing. Well, it is difficult for me to answer his question because I am not a surfer. What I know is that the waves there between October and February are usually big. Last January 2010, three Russian tourists went to Yonsoribo beach. They stayed there for two day and they took a lot of nice photographs about the area.The view of the beach, the surrounding panorama of where the tropical rainforest of Papua meets the waters of the Pacific ocean is really beautiful.
I visited the north coast of Manokwari several times. If you are a person a likes snorkeling then my recommendation will be the Nuni village. Don't forget to apply anti insect lotion on your skin to protect you from tiny stinging insects that thrive in the area. I takes around 45 minutes to reach this village. Here, you can ask the local fisherman to bring you to Kaki island where you can swim and enjoy snorkeling around coral reef that is reach of a lot of species of coral fish. You can build a camp in Kaki island and stay there for several nights.
Local people will be happy to sell fish and lobster which they have just caught from the sea.
Most often, you will see big ships in the middle of the sea. These ships play an important role in supporting the economy of most of the cities and towns a long the northern coast of Papua island. They visit ports of Sorong, Manokwari, Biak, Serui, Nabire, Wasior, and Jayapura. Bird watching can be done too. Just walk from the estuaries of many small rivers along the northern coast up to the mountains. Along the way, you will see various species of birds from the ones that eat small fish to big birds such as hornbill and sulphur crested cockatoo that eat nutmegs and disperse the seeds throughout rainforest. As seed disperser, birds play an important role in the survivability of the rainforest. When you do bird watching along the north coast, you know that birds have given significant contribution to the expansion of forest and you have to appreciate them as well. by Charles Roring

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bird Watching in Aiwatar Hill of District Senopi

If you are somebody who likes bird watching then you have come to a webpage about birding in Manokwari regency of West Papua province. I visited Senopi, a small district, in Tambrauw mountains last August 2010. I went there as a tourist guide who accompanied Wim and Vicky Boyden. They were tourists from Belgium. This was their second visit to the region. We were there for one week. Senopi village is famous for its birding hill called Aiwatar. To reach the hill, we have to wake up early in the morning - when it is still dark and walk for around 4 to 6 hours. Please, read my other article Birding Center in Aiwatar hill of District Senopi - Manokwari regency - West Papua province, the Republic of Indonesia.

We woke up early but our local birdman was sick so we returned to the guest house again. At around 8 a.m. the local guide came to pick us up. So, we took our bag, digital camera and some food and began our long walk to the hill. We crossed several small rivers, gardens where the local Papuan grow caladium (taro), sweet potatoes and vegetables. Up in the trees, black capped and rainbow lories were singing to welcome the bright morning. We stopped for a while and Vicky took their long lens Canon Eos SLR camera to shoot those birds.
They looked beautiful and didn't seem to be annoyed by our presence. After taking pictures of these birds, we continued walking again. We had been trekking along the bank of Kamundan river for one and a half hours when we suddenly heard the barking sound of a dog. It was barking at a big deer. It was far from us, around 300 meters. Wim took out their camera again trying to shoot them. The deer was moving away. The result was a blurry photograph. On our right was a creek and on our left was the big Kamundan river. It was not long after we saw the deer when suddenly again we heard a group of wild ducks fluttering their wings and flying away. Perhaps they thought that we were hunters who wanted to shoot them.
The footpath between Senopi village and the Aiwatar hill was flat. Endurance was all that we needed to accomplish our long journey. Finally we arrived at a place that was located across from the hill. This time we had to cross the Kamundan river. The surface of the round granite stones was slippery. Maker our local birding guide cut some plants to make them as canes for Wim and Vicky. Maker was not alone. He guided us with his daughter and sister. They held the hands of these two European tourists while they were crossing the river so that they would not fall down tripped by the slippery stones. I decided to walk ahead of them so that I could take some pictures of them. We walked slowly to safely arrive on the other side of the river. While standing in the middle of the river, I took some pictures of the Aiwatar hill. It was amazing. We were in the middle of nowhere far from the coastal region of Papua island but what I saw was a hill that was covered by coastal plants. It's weird, isn't it? Right in the middle of the hill was the drinking ground of various species of birds.
We still had to climb the hill to see the birds. Thirty minutes later we managed to climb the hill. I was tired and took a rest for awhile. While I, Vicky, and Maker's sister and daughter were taking a rest, Maker took Wim Boyden for a small tour near the edge of the hill. Wim managed to shoot some birds there. He showed them to us but we could not identify them. It took one month before I could know the names of the birds. I copied these bird photographs from Wim's laptop and sent them via email to Bert Harris. He has the Birds of New Guinea by Beehler. That afternoon although I was feeling hungry, I was eager to see as many birds as possible. We walked under the trees to avoid from being seen by the birds. And yes, we could see many of them eating fruits. Some other species were taking a rest. During our tour to the hill, we saw slender-billed cuckoo-dove, crown pigeon, pinon imperial pigeon (ducula pinon), fruit dove, and northern fantail (Rhipdura rufiventris). Actually we could see more species there if we spent one night there at the foot of the hill by the bank of Kamundan river and woke up early in the morning to climb the hill again before dawn.
We left Aiwater before 6 and arrived in Senopi village at night. The trip to Aiwatar hill was a tiring journey but it was worth visiting. I heard that a geologist engineer visited the area around Aiwatar hill a few weeks before we arrived. He did some survey for finding gold deposit. I am afraid that this natural wonders of the world will be destroyed by Papuan people themselves because of the "possible" gold deposit that lies beneath hill.
Oh, I forgot something, one the way back to the village we met a group of deers drinking water in a tributary of Kamundan. It's a fleeting moment. The sun had set in the west. We were surprised and they were too. They ran away and we were late in shooting them. by Charles Roring
Also read:
Birdwatching picture from Arfak mountains in Manokwari
Birdwatching picture Collared Kingfisher from Manokwari bay

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Manokwari City Tour

Traveling around the city of Manokwari can be fun and fascinating if you know some interesting places that you'd like to visit. To give you an idea of how we conduct this tour,  we will give you some explanations about some vocal points of this city. Depending on the hotel or guesthouse where you stay, we will pick you up with a car and bring you around the city.
Sarinah Hill
The first place that we will go is a slope near the residential area of Bupati of Manokwari. It is also called Bukit Sarinah (meaning Sarinah Hill). From this place, we can see the wonderful scenery of Manokwari city that stretches along the coastal areas and hills around Dore bay.
Kampung Ambon and Kwawi Area
Also, we can see the main harbor of Manokwari with cargo and passenger vessels mooring at its jetty, Sanggeng Market and Rendani Hill.
We will go down the slope to pass through Kampung Ambon with a lot of old houses built by Dutch government in 1950s are still used by employees of local government.
We can stop for a while at Gereja Elim Kwawi to see the old church and the cemetery of C.W. Ottow (who was the first European missionary) who landed in New Guinea to preach Good News and built schools for the indigenous people.
Traditional Market
There are two traditional markets in town which you could visit. The first one is Sanggeng Market. It is the place where town dwellers come to buy vegetables, rice, fish and other agricultural produce. The fish market is located approximatly 100 meters from the main market. Visitors can also see the view of the city at the nearby Fishing Harbor located next to the fish market.
Another market in town is Wosi. Here, visitors can see what goods that are bought by local people.
Before continuing your trip to Bumi Marina, Amban and Abasi Beach, you could have lunch for a while at one of the many stores in the city.
Be sure to bring sunglasses if you start at around 2 or 3 p.m. The weather of this coastal city is quite hot particularly during dry season. We will be in the area for around five to seven minutes before continuing our trip to Amban. We will drive through such areas as Susweni, Bakaro beach, Abasi, and Pasir Putih beach and then back to Manokwari city again.
If there is still time for more exploration of the city, we will go to Borarsi where we will be able to see traditional wooden boats parking along the Anggrem harbor.
Visiting Papuan Artists 
We can visit some artists in the region, Mr. Nico Asaribab - a carving artist, Ms. Ester Kereway who likes to create handicrafts from seashells. You can buy some souvernirs here. There is another artist whose wooden carvigs are one of the finest quality in town. His name is Yosep Awom. He lives across from Hotel Ariestom. Try to bargain to get the best price.
Not far from Anggrem is the residences of Ms. Ester Kereway and Mr. Yosep Awom. They live on Merdeka street near Suri bakery a breadstore that is now more focusing on providing photocopy service to its customers. Ms. Kereways makes beautiful earings and other souvenirs made of seashells while Mr. Awom makes beautiful wooden carvings.
According to our personal experience, if we start our city tour at 4 p.m., we will be at these artists' house at around 7 p.m.
We can go up to the slope of Komplex Missi where we can see some Papuan artists living behind the buildings of SMP Katolik Manokwari at the foot of the Table Mountain. We will meet an experienced oil painting artist, Mr. Lucky Kaikatui and a multi talented artist Paul Warere.
Another women artist in the vicinity is Mrs. Marice Fonataba who makes woven clothes and other artworks from pandanus leaves and seashells. Her house is located behind the Catholic Church of Santo Agustinus in Komplex Missi of Manokwari.
When we have accomplished this trip, we can bring you to Cinnamon cafetaria in Orchid supermarket where you will have your dinner there. If you choose to have dinner at one of the many restaurants in town, we can bring you there too. After that, we could bring you back to your hotel.
Well, don't forget to bring your digital camera when you go around this city.
Your tour guide
Photographs about the city and the people as well as the natural scenery that you shoot along the way will be a nice memory for you when you have returned home.

If you are interested in taking this city tour, please, contact Arianta by sending text or whatsapp message to her number: +6285373765191.
She works as a Medical Practitioner and can organize your city tour in Manokwari with her own cars.
The above itinerary can be customized according to your duration of stay in Manokwari and budget.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Palm cockatoo in the rainforest of Senopi village

During my trip to the tropical rainforest of Senopi, I, Wim Boyden and Maker had a chance to see palm cockatoo (probosciger aterrimus). This bird is also called goliath cockatoo. The bird is an endemic species in New Guinea island. Actually, we were chasing a sulphur crested cockatoo that was screaming at in the branches of a tall merbau tree. It was very difficult to see the bird because green leaves, branches and twigs covered our view. When we saw that it was impossible to see the bird, we continued our walk to find other birds. Not long after we left the place where we heard the cockatoo, we heard something above us. We looked up to the branches of a tree and there it was a black colored cockatoo with red face.
Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus)
Palm Cockatoo
This bird was called palm cockatoo. It had just landed above our head. Its feather was black with red color on his cheek. I was amazed by this bird because it's a rare experience to see the birds in open nature at close distance. Wim took out his long lens digital camera. It was a Canon Eos a nice equipment that birders need for shooting birds.  Another alternative to watch and take pictures of birds is by using a telephoto bridge camera such as the Nikon Coolpix P900 or digiscoping devices. I had to say that it was really a fleeting moment. Wim could only take a few picture of this wonderful bird because it stayed there less then one minute. And then it flew away immediately. Tropical rainforest of West Papua is a very important ecosystem that we need to preserve. It reduces global warming by absorbing millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide that we emit every day through our daily activities.
Deforestation of rainforest
On 19 August 2010, we returned to Manokwari. We passed by a place where huge areas of rainforest had been cleared to make way for for palm oil plantation. The company that runs logging businesses and sawit palm plantation is PT. Medco Papua Hijau Selaras (meaning Medco Papua Green Harmony Corporation). Around 6000 hectares of high biodiversity of the tropical rainforest are being replaced by a monoculture sawit plantation. Please, read my article entitled The Leasing of Papuan Tropical Rainforest Too Low for Compensation Too Stupid of Conversion.
The first phase of seedling planting was conducted in January 2010. I took some pictures of the palm seedlings with a sad look. The magnificent thousands of years old tropical forest has been replaced by the palm oil plantation that will only be productive for 35 years. I wonder if the beautiful palm cockatoo birds will like to eat the fruits of these sawit trees. I don't think they will. Why? Because the sawit plant (Elaeis guineensis) is not an endemic species of New Guinea island. The previous sawit plantation run by PT Perkebunan II Medan in Prafi was a big failure. Everybody in the area knows about it. Yet the officials in the Plantation Agency and Department of Forestry of Manokwari regency just do not care about it.
It is not only Manokwari regency that is facing deforestation, most of the rainforests throughout Papua or New Guinea island experience the same problem. We need to stop this. My ecotourism campaign is one of the alternative solutions that I offer to Papuan people. Papuan should know that their forest is a precious treasure that they need to preserve for future Papuan generation. NO FOREST NO FUTURE. by Charles Roring
Also read:
  • Watching Birds of Paradise;  
  • Birding Center in Aiwatar Hill of Senopi Village

    Watching Beetles in the Tropical Rainforest of Manokwari

    Every time I go to the Table Mountain, I will always find new and interesting things. They can be birds, plants, mushroom, flowers and etc. One of them is the wonderful world of insects. Along the asphalt paved road that divides the forest, we can see various butterfly, beetle, grasshopper, weevil and crickets. I am not an entomologist or insect expert so I cannot identify the species name of all the insects that I see in the jungle. One day, I walked with two tourists from Belgium. They were Wim and Vicky Boyden. We did some bird watching and Vicky managed to shoot some photographs of hornbills eating the nutmeg fruits in the tropical rainforest. It was morning time and we decided to continue our walk deeper into the pathway that led us to a large cave at the north of the Table Mountain.
    At around 500 meters from the cave, we saw two insects. They were mating. I think they were beetles. Because their colour was dark brown, similar to the tree bark where they were attached to, I didn't see them. Vicky shouted, "Hey, look at this!" I stopped and turned to see what she had been trying to show. I moved closer and saw the two beautiful beetles that were mating. I took out my digital camera. It was a Sony Cybershot and shoot them. I didn't aware that there were beetles on my right side when I passed by a small tree whose trunk had been broken.
    One month before that I was also hiking through the forest of the Table Mountain with Rhett Butler. He was looking for a beetle named eupholus magnificus. He had sent me an email about his intention but I was not sure if we could find it in the tropical rainforest of this small flat mountain. It was nearly dark when we decided to leave the forest and walked back to my Losmen Kagum. Rhett Butler, the founder of mongabay.com - the website that promotes efforts and policies on rainforest preservation said that if he was not able to find the beetle in this mountain, he would go to Biak. When we were about to reach the asphalt road, suddenly Rhett shouted, "Hey, look at this!" I stopped and looked back. There it was, the eupholus magnificus a very exotic beetle, the living jewel of the tropical rainforest of the New Guinea island. Rhett was very happy to see it. He took it with him back to the Losmen Kagum. After taking some pictures of it, he and I walked by to the foot of the Table Mountain to return it to its original habitat.
    Besides taking pictures of these wonderful insects, I shot some nice flowers that I saw along the way to the cave. There are a lot of species of flowers in the forest. Their colors can be yellow, red, white, blue, purple and various other combination of colors which you can mention. These flowers provide nectar both to the insects and birds that will usually come in the morning.
    The tropical rainforest in West Papua is an important ecosystem in the world. Its high biodiversity should be protected and preserved for future human generations and for the whole ecosystem of the rainforest itself. With more tourists coming to Manokwari, I hope that we can help the Papuan indigenous people earn some reasonable income the the goods and services that they provide so that they will not give up their land and forest to greedy investors who are only interested in eliminating thousand years old tropical rainforest with their 35 year old palm oil plantation that gives little or no benefit to the Papuan people. by Charles Roring
    Also read:
    Night Walk in the Tropical Rainforest
    Tropical rainforest of Arfak mountains
    Tropical rainforest preservation

    Saturday, September 4, 2010

    Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo from the Table Mountain of Manokwari

    I, Rhett Butler - the founder of mongabay.com and Nico Nauw went to the Table Mountain of Manokwari on 2 August 2010. We did some bird watching and insect watching. Although this mountain was very closed to the city and was frequently visited by hunters, we were able to see sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua Galerita), hornbills and other species of birds. Rhett brought his long lens camera so he could easily shoot the white cockatoo that was playing with his friends on the branches of a tall tree. It was still morning time when we heard the sound of cockatoo breaking the quiet atmosphere of the tropical rainforest. Carefully Rhett walked toward the source of the sound trying to find where the bird was in the canopy of the forest.
    Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
    Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
    I, and Nico Nauw - my friend who was now working as field or forest guide, decided not to make much noise in order not to attract the attention of the birds above us. I was a little bit doubtful whether Rhett could get a clear photograph of the sulphur-crested cockatoo. Why? Because we were on the eastern side of the forest that morning and the cockatoo birds were shouting from trees that were also located on the east of us. He had to face the sun ray which was not good for photography. Finally, Rhett shot his camera to the birds. He didn't show the result instantly. Two or three weeks after he had returned to the USA, Rhett sent me two folders of photographs that he took from Manokwari (the Table Mountain and the Arfak Mountains).   
    Cockatoo birds are very sensitive to the existence of human beings at their surrounding area. Once they know that there is human down there, they will fly away. So, when you go to Manokwari for bird watching, don't be hurry to see the birds when you hear their screaming sounds in the trees. Try to walk slowly and keep hiding under the leaves and twigs of the understory vegetation. You only need to spot them and aim your camera at them and shoot. 
    Also read:
    • Watching Hornbill and Caving in the Table Mountain
    • Caving in the Table Mountain
    • Hiking and Bird Watching in the Table Mountain

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    Snorkeling trip to Raimuti island of Manokwari regency

    Last August 2010, I had two snorkeling trips to Raimuti island. It is a small island in the Dorey bay of Manokwari regency. The first snorkeling trip was with Wim and Vicky Boyden and the second one was with Berth Harris and Leighton Reid (two American PhD students). I personally started offering snorkeling tour package to Raimuti island with the intention of raising awarness among the coastal and fishermen communities living along the Arfai beach about the importance of coral reef to them. I also provide guiding service for tourists who want to enjoy snorkeling around Mansinam island.  
    When I was in Raimuti for the first time, I was amazed by the beauty of the corals there although some small part of them had been damage by fishing activities. Coral reef is an integral part of marine ecosystem which we need to protect and preserve for our future.
    I always use the service of the local fisherman, Mr. Kosal Welerubun, who lives at the Arfai beach for providing boat ride to and from the Raimuti island for foreign tourists.  According to Mr. Welerubun, I am the only tourist guide who frequently bring tourists for snorkeling around the coral reef there and bird watching in the island.
    Eco-tourism scheme that I have been developing for the last eight months in Raimuti gradually attracts the attention of the local town dwellers of Manokwari who live along the Arfai beach. Every time tourists come to the area, they will come out to see what we do there. Returning from snorkeling, I always provide time to have some discussions with them and raise the importance of protecting the coastal area of Arfai by not throwing plastic bottles and domestic wastes to the sea.
    I have to express my concern in this blog post about physical development that is now going on the Arfai Hill. In the near future, government offices will be built up there and will directly be crowded with people. Then more people will come and build houses on Arfai hill. More garbage will be created and during the rainy days, plastic bottles and domestic wastes will flow to the sea. The sea will look dirty. Plastic cups, bottles and tote bags blockade the sunlight from supporting the single-celled organisms called zooxanthellae to photosynthesize.
    I expect that eco-tourism project in the form of snorkeling and bird watching tour package in the surrounding coral reef area of Raimuti island will remind the local government that the area has to be strictly protected and preserved. by Charles Roring contact email: peace4wp@gmail.com
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    Snorkeling at the beach of Mansinam island