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School of EcoDiplomacy (SED) 2019 Report: Jayapura

Environmental threat and the massive potential of youth become the motivation for EcoNusa Foundation to initiate the School of Eco Diplomacy (SED). EcoNusa sees the importance of youth participatory, especially those who live in the urban area of the Land of Papua, to become the advocate and ambassador for environment conservation through modern approach using social media and campaign.  

Tanah Papua is home to 33.7 million ha of forest and rich biodiversity. Papua’s sea is part of the ‘Coral Triangle’ region. It is estimated that 75% of the world’s hard corals are in this region. For example in Misool, Raja Ampat in six minutes dive, divers can find up to 382 species of reef fish. The culture and native language in Papua is also very diverse, it is estimated that nearly 500 language tribes exist in Tanah Papua, which among them upholds traditional culture and local wisdom in managing their forests and seas.

The existence of forests, seas and other ecosystems is very important for the people of Papua. The forest is seen as a mother who is the source of life for Papuan people who still uphold the culture and order of their indigenous people. Unfortunately, this natural and cultural wealth is being threatened by large-scale industry in managing forests and other natural resources. The result is not only the potential to change the microclimate and eliminate biodiversity, but also threaten the livelihoods of indigenous Papuans.

In addition to indigenous peoples, young people are also a group that is threatened to accept the consequences of the industrial development model. Statistics for 2018 mention the population of adolescents aged 16-30 years in Indonesia equal to as many as 63.82 million people or equivalent to 24.51% of the total population. While the youth population in the provinces of Papua and West Papua reaches 1.5 million people. With this large population, young people in Tanah Papua have two choices: as victims or as drivers of change of mindset and involved in sustainable development models in the region.

This environmental threat and the potential of the young generation is behind the Econusa Foundation to initiate the School of Eco Diplomacy (SED) program. EcoNusa sees the importance of involving young people living in cities in the Land of Papua to encourage environmental preservation in ways that are popular in social media and real action.

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