Community life concept in Tanah Papua respecting forests as a mother leads the locals consider the surrounding land, water and forest as priceless assets. The community thinks if they fail to protect their assets, it means they fail to protect themselves. There is strong bond between people and their nature in Tanah Papua.
Jenny Karay, a Papuan social media influencer, said that nature is like a friend and partner to the community in Tanah Papua. Nature and human are intersecting parts and inseparable. Human depends on the nature and nature provides everything needed by human. For the reason, people in Tanah Papua have their own way to build a close connection to the nature.
“Nature is not an enemy that should be continuously exploited until it loses its capacity to back up human life. When we enter to the remote areas in Papua, we can see how people’s life (the indigenous community’s) respect and safeguard their surrounding nature,” said Jenny in MaCe event entitled “Get to Know Papua: Nature, Culture and Flavor” held by EcoNusa on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
Similarly, Miss Archipelagic Tourism of Papua 2021, Yokbet Merauje, said that Papuan nature and human will never be away from each other. Human and nature always find a word of connection. They are always connected. Such a closeness makes human in Papua recognize weather from natural hint far before the existing modern life and technology.
“Papuan community has even been able to predict weather from natural symptoms far before BMKG (Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency). From early childhood, my parents let me know the natural hints. For instance, when it is cold at night, it is possibly to rain in the next morning. My mother has taught me since my childhood to always respect nature. When we go to the jungle so seek firewood, my mother always told me not to yell in the jungle (to give respect to forests and creatures living in it),” said Yokbet.
YAPKEMA Director, Hanok Herison Pigai, believed that nature also has important meaning to the indigenous community as it serves as the source of their livelihood. He talked about coffee as an example of one of natural resources prominences in Papua. In fact, Papuan coffee is one of the best coffees in Indonesia and even in the world. Papuan community has so far produced two types of coffee, Arabica and Robusta. The most renowned Papuan coffee is moanemani Arabica coffee.
He also explained that the coffee flavor depends much on nature. The natural factors determining the coffee flavor is among others seed, climate and soil. “Coffee flavor is different from each region. The planted coffee on red soil and black will also create distinctive flavor,” Hanok added.
Hanok also said that the natural and cultural heritages in Tanah Papua currently depends much on the willingness of young generation to safeguard nature and culture in Tanah Papua in creative ways. Hence, they can protect Papuan nature and improve Tanah Papua at the same time.
Editor: Leo Wahyudi