As a painter, every time I make an artwork, I will try to identify and show its vocal point. For me, eco-tourism promotion in Manokwari
is centered in three vocal points.
- The first is the Papuan people themselves,
- the rainforest, and
- the marine environment.
I have frequently stated that my main motivation in promoting this eco-tourism program is to create jobs for the indigenous people so that they will be able to improve their standard of living without needing to destroy their natural resources. Tropical rainforest and coral reef environment can be "exploited responsibly" to bring prosperity among the indigenous Papuan people through this travel or eco-tourism program.
Two weeks ago two European travelers went to Akmuri village in Kebar valley. They helped the local Papuan people built the well, water tower and washing platform. The construction of this clean water facility was organized by Wally and Coby from SDSP foundation who raised the money from members of a Protestant Church in the Netherlands and children in their neighborhood. This simple but important project greatly improves the health condition of the villagers because they are now able to drink clean water. Eco-tourism is not only about bird watching, or snorkeling. It is about how we can bring positive impacts to the local people.
A few days after publishing a post entitled Clean Water Facility for Papuan People in Akmuri Village
, I received an email from a tourist who wants to support such project. I explained that he can participate in other program such as free books for Papuan children. Another tourist who visited Arfak mountains also contacted me and said that he is interested in constructing micro-hydro power plant for villages in West Papua. The interaction between tourists and the indigenous people will bring new ideas on how we can improve the living condition of the indigenous Papuan people. From little projects that the tourists support, we will be able to see a brighter future for West Papua. by Charles Roring
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