Scientific Study, Ground for West Papua Development

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Region Secretary of West Papua Province, Nataniel Mandacan, representate statement of West Papua Governor on the opening of Papuan Young Scientists (IMP) Bootcamp in Manokwari. (Dok. EcoNusa Foundation/ Lutfy Mairizal Putra)

Data analysis and research results serve as the ground for sustainable development announced by the West Papua Province. The province was declared as a province of conservation on 19 October 2015 and transformed its name into a sustainable province. Since then, West Papua has collaborated with various stakeholders to run its policy for the welfare of native Papuans and conservation of natural resources in the Land of Papua.

The statement was made by Governor of West Papua Dominggus Mandacan who was represented by the Secretary, Nathaniel Mandacan, on the opening of Papuan Young Scientists (IMP)Bootcamp in Manokwari. The event was held in cooperation of West Papua’s Research and Development Body (Balitbangda), Cenderawasih University, Papua University, Musamus University and EcoNusa Foundation.

“The results and follow-ups of the activity could serve as inputs to the government through technical institution for adoption. A development requires scientific data and study so that our dream to bolster the native Papuan welfare and to improve natural resources management protect could be protected in certain and measurable way,” said Dominggus.

The IMP facilitates research at university level under the “Sustainable Development in Tanah Papua” as the central theme. From early registration on 6 April 2020, there have been 10 research proposals that were shortlisted to scholarship for research fund, assistance and research seminar.

West Papua’s Balitbangda Chief Charlie D. Heatubun said that the sustainable development is an integrated part of study results. The richness of natural and cultural resources in Tanah Papua are the suitable objects for research as many of them remain unrevealed. 

Referring to the latest research in Nature journal, Papua Island has the highest score of flora biodiversity in the world and shifting Madagascar from the top. The studies involving 99 researchers from 19 countries found that Papua Island is the home for 13,634 vegetation species and 68 percent of the figure is endemic species.

“Young researcher in Tanah Papua has duty to reveal the hidden ‘mystery’ through research. Thus, young researchers will make Tanah Papua notable by their contributions to science and peoples’ welfare,” said Charlie.

Meanwhile, Papuan University’s Vice Rector III, Keliopas Krey, appreciated the IMP as the implementation of Campus of Freedom (Kampus Merdeka) program as the follow-up of Freedom of Learning (Merdeka Belajar) program. Campus of Freedom provides opportunities to students to seek out new experiences outside the university. 

“Freedom of learning is when the students are facilitated for learning with anyone like practitioner, industry, media and even study without any limit of physical lecture. This is the concept of freedom of learning. So, the Papuan Young Scientists Bootcamp could be one of ways to implement our support to the central government policy concerning with campus of freedom and freedom of learning,” said Keliopas. 

Editor: Leo Wahyudi and V. Arnila Wulandani

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