Tanah Maluku (the Land of Maluku) is notoriously known as a region with abundant natural resources from both land and ocean. Peoples in Maluku still preserve their local wisdom to sustain the existing biodiversity. The inherited tradition and culture are well-maintained with the prolonged existence of harmonious life among human and nature.
It is no wonder that the history records that the natural resources particularly spices have drawn attention of many countries around the globe. The existing local wisdom has so far brought the province to its legend as the largest producer of nutmeg and clove in Indonesia. Besides, Maluku has been recognized by the government as the national stock of fish with significant role to the supply chain of fish production in Indonesia.
Covid-19 pandemic from March 2020 has no sign to end yet. The positively infected patients chart has so far kept increasing. Data from covid19.go.id on 22 October 2020 showed that as from the confirmed 373,109 patients, 2,152 cases were from North Maluku.
It is undeniable that the pandemic has significantly affected to the sluggish domestic economic. North Maluku Province also suffers from the rampant pandemic impact. This could be seen from the rising number of unemployment due to layoff in the region.
The increasing number of unemployment has forced the laid-off workers to go back to their hometown and do exploitative activities as their livelihood. This might lead to some practices are not in line with sustainability principles with possible ecological damage, which also at the end would increase the risk of local transmission of Covid-19.
Starting from this apprehension, EcoNusa committed to improve an independent management of natural resources in the eastern Indonesia through Maluku Expedition. EcoNusa is in collaboration with PakaTiva Association as the local partner in this expedition.
“The expedition aims to meet the community and learn from the peoples in Maluku and North Maluku on natural resources management particularly that of forests and ocean. With the expedition, EcoNusa will also provide support to the community amidst such hard times, particularly in the context of food resilience, local economy recovery and Covid-19 prevention,” said Bustar Maitar, the CEO of EcoNusa.
The expedition will sail through Maluku and North Maluku ocean with Kurabesi ship as previously used by the former expedition, the Covid-19 Response Expedition in Raja Ampat.
“On this track, the expedition team will distribute health packs consisting of 300 units of protective health gear, 300 face shields, thousands of masks, 300 pairs of gloves. In addition to medical supplies, we will also distribute 3,500 packs of seeds, 500 sacks of fertilizer, 300 farming equipment (hoe, spray, boots), hundreds of t-shirts of health promotion, handbooks, posters and calendars,” said Adi, the logistic team of Maluku Expedition.
The activity will be done from 22 October through to 18 November 2020 within two major routes. Route I will depart from Sorong and visit 9 destinations, namely Kofiau, Gane Dalam, Bacan, Samo, Posi-posi, Gumira, Kajoa, Makian, and Tidore and end at Ternate.
From Ternate, Kurabesi will sail to Ambon Tulehu for the Route II that will visit some spots such as Nurue, Haruku, Nusa Laut, Rhun, Ai, Hatta, Banda Besar, and end up in Neira.
“I hope it could be a momentum to strengthen and share spirits to both EcoNusa and the local communities in coping with the current hardship. We want to understand further the possible synergy with the community to build a sustainable natural resources management,” Bustar said.
That afternoon, the ship which carried us in the expedition moving forward to the first destination, Kofiau.
Fotografer Ekspedisi Maluku EcoNusa Rute 1
Editor: V.A Wulandani & Leo Wahyudi