Forest zone protection in the Papuan Bird’s Head through sustainable forest management by indigenous communities and government

About the publication

  • Published: November 2016
  • Series: --
  • Type: NGO reviews
  • Carried out by: Robert Hewat and Angel Manembu
  • Commissioned by: Regnskogsfondet
  • Country: Indonesia
  • Theme: Climate and environment, Indigenous peoples
  • Pages: 188
  • Serial number: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organization: Regnskogsfondet
  • Local partner: Paradisea
  • Project number: GLO-0850 QZA-12/0764
NB! The publication is ONLY available online and can not be ordered on paper.




This report presents the findings of the mid-term evaluation of Yayasan Paradisea Manokwari’s (Paradisea) work on implementation of the Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) funded project titled “Forest zone protection in the Papuan Bird’s Head through sustainable forest management by indigenous communities and government” between January 2013 and October 2016.  The evaluation was conducted by two independent consultants during October 2016, using qualitative methods, including document review, interviews, group discussions and field observations as well as quantitative and spatial analysis methods.

Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) was founded in 1989 as the Norwegian branch of the international Rainforest Foundation network and became an independent foundation in 1996.  Today it is one of Europe's leading organizations within the field of rainforest protection.  RFN espouses a rights-based approach to rainforest protection, as well as civil society strengthening and legal and policy advocacy.  RFN works with local partners in 13 rainforest countries in South and Central America, Africa, South-East Asia and Oceania with funding from the Norwegian government, other international funds and donations.  RFN has been working in Indonesia since 1998 and currently supports 8 Indonesian civil society organizations (CSOs) working in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua as well as at the national level.

Paradisea is a local NGO which was founded in 1998 with support from World Wide Fund for Nature Indonesia Program (WWF-IP) to support indigenous communities in the area of agroforestry, ecotourism, indigenous rights and sustainable natural resource management.  Up until 2012 Paradisea was a small organization, which mainly focused on assisting local birdwatching guides in the Mokwam Valley (Arfak Mountains) and farmers in the Kebar Valley (Tambrauw Mountains) with marketing of cash crops.

The Arfak and Tambrauw Mountains - The project focuses on empowering indigenous communities to manage forests in and around the Arfak Mountains, North and South Tambrauw Strict Nature Reserves (SNR) and 3 proposed connecting corridors.  The Arfak Mountains SNR was proposed in the early 1980s and gazetted in 1995 with an area of 68,325 ha.  It is situated near the east coast of the Papuan Bird’s Head and ranges from near sea-level to around 2,940 meters altitude, including most of West Papua’s highest peaks.  The North and South Tambrauw SNRs are located in the north and central Bird’s Head and cover an area of 368,365 ha and 519,621 ha.  They cover the heart of the Bird’s Head Montane ecoregion, which is a globally important hotspot for floral and faunal biodiversity. 

Highland Arfak and Tambrauw communities, include the Hatam, Moile, Meyah, Soughb, Mpur, Ireres and Miyah tribes, who traditionally lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle focused on swidden agriculture, hunting and gathering.  Since the 1950s they have been resettled into nuclear villages, though their traditional subsistence systems remain more-or-less intact and sustainable.  Influxes of migrants as well as logging, oil palm and other forms of resource exploitation and infrastructure development has led to significant environmental impacts, and the acceleration of processes of social and economic change, including loss of land, and the erosion of traditional ecological knowledge and resource management systems.   Papua and West Papua Provinces have the lowest Human Development Index (HDI) in Indonesia (57.3 and 61.7 respectively) and Tambrauw and Pegunungan Arfak Regencies have the lowest HDI’s in West Papua (49.77 and 53.73 respectively in 2015). In particular access to education and health services and life expectancies are low, and maternal and infant mortality rates, and food insecurity are high.

The rights of Indonesia’s indigenous peoples were recognized in the Indonesian constitution, but have always been provisional on the national interests, and were effectively annulled by subsequent laws.  Since the 1970s many of Indonesia’s indigenous peoples have been dispossessed to make way for logging, mining and plantations, and the establishment of conservation areas.  Since 1999 the process of constitutional and legal reform and decentralization has generated opportunities for the recognition of indigenous rights and application of traditional ecological knowledge in community-based natural resource management.  Most notably in 2013 the Indonesian Constitutional Court ruled that the declaration of the national forest estate was unconstitutional and forests growing in areas legally recognized as belonging to indigenous peoples should be returned to customary owners.  Since 1999 successive presidents have made commitments to strengthen recognition, protection and empowerment of indigenous peoples.  For example, President Widodo’s electoral platform (the Nawacita Agenda) included commitments to empower indigenous and local communities, including returning 12.7 million ha of forest to communities under various social forestry schemes, including customary forest rights (Hutan Adat).  However, progress has been slow, with only 15,577 ha of customary land claims recognized by regional decrees and regulations, whereas no customary forest areas have been recognized by the National Government. 




The overall project goal is to protect large swathes of the most biologically and ecologically significant areas of the Bird’s Head Montane Ecoregion through the empowerment of indigenous communities to sustainably manage forests in Arfak Mountains, North Tambrauw and South Tambrauw Strict Nature Reserves and three proposed connecting forest corridors, including through:

1)      Strengthening sustainable livelihoods: through training and promotion of cocoa and coffee production, processing and marketing (as well as ecotourism in the 1st year of the project);

2)      Securing Customary Territory and Resource Rights by establishing clear boundaries of the tribes and clans whose customary territories overlap with the project’s target corridors and adjacent areas of the Arfak Mountains, North Tambrauw and South Tambrauw Nature Reserves;

3)      Building Customary Institutions: Building consensus within and between tribes and clans regarding territorial boundaries and the rules, roles and responsibilities relating to forest management, revival of traditional ecological knowledge and customary resource management systems;

4)      Promoting Good Governance: Achieving formal government recognition and protection of the tribal and clan territories mapped in each of the projects target corridors, including through advocacy to accommodate community territories with spatial planning and monitoring in the field;

5)      Promoting Conservation Area Management: Advocating for the status of the Arfak, North and South Tambrauw SNRs to be changed to national parks, to allow for zonation based upon customary land-uses, incorporation of 3 proposed connecting forest corridors, and other important areas into the park, and engagement of indigenous communities incollaborative management;

6)      Environmental Awareness Raising and Civil Society Capacity Building: Furthermore the project promotes environmental awareness raising across all of the four work streams.





The methodology applied during the evaluation was largely qualitative and participatory, but also included limited quantitative and spatial analysis.  Specific methods applied included:

  • Literature review: covering project planning documents, annual reports, activity reports and other administrative documents from 2013 to 2016, maps, customary forest proposals, audio-visual materials and other advocacy materials prepared by Paradisea and other local organizations, as well as relevant secondary references on social and ecological conditions in the project target area, government statistical reports, news articles and relevant national, provincial and regency level.  In total over 100 project documents and over 60 secondary information sources were reviewed as detailed in Annexe 5.
  • Consultations and interviews: including semi-structured interviews, informal discussions and focus group discussions (FGDs) with management and staff of Paradisea and RFN, representatives of other civil society organizations and the University of Papua (UNIPA) based in Manokwari, representatives of key agencies from the government of West Papua Province and Tambrauw, Pegunungan Arfak and Manokwari Regencies, private sector stakeholders and direct project participants from selected communities, including men, women and children from the indigenous Hatam, Moile, Sougb, Miyah, Irires and Mpur ethnic groups.  In total 135 respondents were consulted as detailed in Annexe 4.
  • Field visits: including visits to communities spread across each of the three corridors in order to meet and discuss with local community members and representatives of village, district and regency level government, directly observe the outcomes of project interventions and threats on the ground and discuss progress and obstacles to project implementation with Paradisea field staff.  In total 10 villages were visited as outlined in Annexe 3.   
  • Presentation of findings: At the commencement and conclusion of the evaluation the evaluation team facilitated brief workshops involving the majority of Paradisea’s personnel.  The initial workshop focused on introducing the evaluation team members, clarifying the purpose of the evaluation and canvassing the expectations of Paradisea personnel in relation to the evaluation.  During the final workshop the evaluators presented the preliminary findings of the evaluation and provided Paradisea’s team members with the opportunity to provide direct feedback and draft their own recommendations for the way forward towards the achievement of the project’s goals. 
  • Data Analysis: Data was analyzed by the evaluators based upon the 5 key criteria laid out the ToR including relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability, as well as a review of Paradisea’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to organizational structure and capacity, administrative and reporting procedures and performance, and structures for decision-making and following up and implementing decisions.   These analyses were primarily qualitative, based-upon the evaluators’ experience with similar programs.  Where appropriate and feasible quantitative analysis methods were also applied, such as to evaluate efficiency and financial management, whereas spatial analyses were used to measure progress towards realizing the projects goals of mapping customary territories and its impact on provincial and regency spatial planning.   Participatory analysis was also conducted through consultations with Paradisea team members and through the final workshop.  


Key findings:


The evaluators found the project is highly relevant to the needs of the target communities and local, national and international level concerns relating to sustainable development, including:

  • The protection of Indonesia’s forests, biodiversity and ecological services, including water supply and mitigation of soil erosion, landslides and greenhouse gas emissions; 
  • The protection and recognition of indigenous rights, including land and resource rights, self-determination, self-governance and economic participation, as encapsulated in the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and President Widodo’s Nawacita commitments;
  • Implementation of Constitutional Court Ruling no. 35 (2013) and the national social forestry program;
  • Promoting green economic development based on sustainable utilization of natural resources; and
  • Promoting good governance through inclusive policies and implementation of existing laws relating to indigenous rights, sustainable development and social and environmental impact management.

As such the RFN-Paradisea project helps to address the key aspects of Indigenous peoples’ empowerment and sustainable local development, albeit with a need to strengthen the approach in certain areas.

Key Achievements

The major achievements of the RFN-Paradisea project up until the end of October 2016 include:

Strengthening Sustainable Livelihoods

  1. Assisting indigenous farmers to establish cocoa and coffee agroforestry systems adapted to local conditions.  However, adoption levels remain low, production, market linkages and economic benefits remain limited, and these crops remain vulnerable to pest infestations and market shocks;

Securing Customary Territory & Resource Rights

  1. Assisting indigenous forest-dependent communities to secure legal access to their own land, forests and resources, including mapping 365,474 hectares of customary territory;
  2. Supporting fulfilment of legal compliance of customary territories living in and around the 3 proposed connecting forest corridors by processing local regulations (perda) and decrees;
  3. Contributing to the preparation of spatial data on customary territories as part of the legal requirements for the realization of Consutitutional Court Ruling 35 (2013);

Building Customary Institutions

  1. Increasing the awareness of indigenous communities on the importance of their customary forest areas, especially to the younger generation in order to mitigate deforestation and resource depletion;
  2. Contributing to documentation and revival of indigenous culture and ecological knowledge systems;
  3. Facilitating dialog to help resolve conflicts and build consensus;

Promoting Good Governance

  1. Contributing to strategic linkages between customary communities, local government and NGOs to support the indigenous communities and conservation areas;
  2. Supporting efforts to develop a regulation for Tambrauw Regency to become a conservation regency in collaboration with other CSOs;

10. Leading advocacy on spatial planning, which contributed to the protection of 1.3 million hectares of forest, including around 500,000 hectares adjacent to the nature reserves and forest corridors;

11. Gaining a seat on the Provincial Social Forestry Committee, thereby greatly increasing the probability of achieving the goal of legal recognition of customary forest rights;

Promoting Conservation Area Management

  1. Initiating moves towards expanding the area and changing the status of the Arfak, North Tambrauw and South Tambrauw SNRs to a major national park covering over a million hectares;
  2. Establishing an MoU and commenced collaborating with UNIPA to prepare a proposal and supporting academic study to support the establishment of the proposed national park;

Awareness Raising and Civil Society Capacity Building

  1. Raising the profile of indigenous rights and sustainable forest management through advocacy and media campaigns at the provincial level;
  2. Raising awareness of the importance of protecting their forests amongst indigenous communities;
  3. Contributing to regeneration of civil society through recruiting and training recent graduates;

17. Establishing trust amongst West Papuan CSOs as spatial data managers and advocates of indigenous rights and good forest governance and management.

Impact and Efficiency

In the period 2013- 2016 the total value of the RFN-Paradisea contract was IDR 10 billion or USD 765,403.  Despite various ongoing threats, the project is considered to be on track to achieve the desired results and has directly contributed to the protection of forest areas in the three corridors with a total area of 125,243 hectares.  Direct beneficiaries include around 7,000 Arfak and Tambrauw peoples, whose customary rights have been strengthened, although not yet fully secured.  It is hard to put a monetary value on indigenous rights and livelihoods, or biodiversity, but clearly this represents a significant outcome.  Moreover, the greater project area includes the upper watershed of the major rivers which provide water for an estimated 400,000 indirect beneficiaries living in Manokwari town and five Regencies.

Paradisea’s spatial planning advocacy work has resulted in the prevention of the downgrading of an area of 1,386,706 hectares of forest throughout West Papua, including over 1 million hectares that was to be rezoned for conversion.  This is to be equivalent to 160 million metric tonnes of avoided emissions, at a cost of IDR 65, or less than US$0.5 per metric tonne.  Whilst it’s impossible to predict when these forests would have been converted, and difficult to determine to what extent Paradisea was responsible for this outcome, based upon these avoided CO2 emission alone this project represents a very efficient investment.  

Additionally, it is difficult to attach a monetary value to RFN’s investment in civil society capacity building, but this appears to be an investment which will continue to deliver returns over many decades.   Paradisea’s work has also been supported by many government, civil society and community stakeholders and has contributed to overall improvements in environmental governance and respect for human rights.

As such the evaluators found that Paradisea’s work is producing good value for money and that the comparison of the total expenditures to the results, indicates that the RFN investment is efficient.

Project Management

Paradisea’s financial management system is reasonably well developed and efficient.  Standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been developed for accounting and procurement and all budget advances are based upon Terms of Reference (TORs) developed for each activity and reviewed by the director and finance manager.  External audits are conducted annually, and the recommendation are followed up.   Paradisea’s financial resources have mainly been used to support the objectives of the program, with relatively little spent on administration, overheads and other expenses.  The largest spending areas are activities (53,3%) and staff salaries (31,2%), whereas administrative overheads and office rent are relatively low (5.25% ). This distribution of financial resources represents value for money.

The project documents are simple but sufficient.  RFN has minimized reporting requirements, and has not been overly concerned with tracking numbers of project beneficiaries, which is often a problem for projects in Papua where population densities are low and project delivery cost per beneficiary are very high.  The project documents clearly explain the risks and challenges to project implementation and include gender and stakeholder analysis.  There is room for improvement in the stakeholder analyses, especially given that the project’s success is highly dependent upon the buy-in and support from a wide range of provincial and regency level government, civil society, community stakeholders. 

Paradisea’s team consists of 22 staff, including 10 women.  The team is relatively young and inexperienced, only a few have any previous work experience prior to joining Paradisea, and around half of them have joined the team in the last 2 years.  On the other hand they are enthusiastic and eager to learn.  This is partly an intentional strategy to mentor a new generation of civil society activists, but the implication is that most team members are learning on the job and senior staff have to spend time training and mentoring junior staff.   Consequently progress has been slower than expected, but since 2015 they have gained momentum as their experience and skills have increased and they’ve managed to overcome many social and political conflicts. 

Monitoring and evaluation is largely consultative and is not systematically structured.  The logframe is fairly rudimentary, it does not clearly elucidate the projects goals or clearly demonstrate how different activities will contribute to the achievement of those goals, and over the years some activities have moved between outputs.  It also lacks clear output indicators or means of verification, making it difficult to use as a tool for tracking progress towards achievement of the goals. 




The RFN-Paradisea Partnership- The RFN-Paradisea partnership is effective and  mutually  beneficial.  Paradisea’s capacity has increased significantly as a result of RFN’s support and their cutting edge work on indigenous empowerment and sustainable forest management is making a significant contribution to RFNs goals. The effectiveness of RFN’s support is based on their flexibility, responsiveness and willingness to minimize the administrative burden on their partner.

Relevance and Goals – The ambitious program goals should be maintained and even augmented with several additional goals, but with the understanding that Paradisea may not be able to achieve all of the projects goals by 2020 for a variety of reasons, which are beyond their ability to control. 

Project Design / Logframe – The logframe is rudimentary and not entirely consistent.  It should continue to be treated as a planning tool rather than a binding workplan.  As the current project has reached the mid-point it is a good time to overhaul the structure of the workplan / logframe including:

  • The outputs should be redefined to more clearly convey the goals of the project;
  • Stronger linkages should be made between activities and how they contribute to outputs and goals;
  • Objectively verifiable indicators and means of verification should be included;
  • An additional column be included to clarify why certain activities were not implemented as planned;
  • Outputs 2 and 5 should be combined as they are the same set of activities in different areas;
  • Each major target area should be allocated a clearer name;
  • Empowerment and mitigation of negative impacts on women, youth and marginalized community members should be strengthened, either as a separate output or cross-cutting theme;
    • Environmental awareness raising activities should also be incorporated either as separate output or as a cross-cutting theme incorporated into all outputs.

Network and Alliance Building – In order to achieve their ambitious goals Paradisea needs to strengthen existing collaboration with local and national CSOs, UNIPA, and provincial and regency level government and they will need to build alliances with a wider range of strategic partners including:

  • Paradisea Board of Directors, who include several key representatives of provincial government;
  • Various provincial and regency level government agencies in Manokwati, Pegaf and Tambrauw;
  • Key government agencies in Manokwari Selatan, Teluk Bintuni and Maybrat Regencies in order to gain their support for the proposed national park;
  • Key customary representative institutions including Lembaga Adat West Papua, Dewan Adat Papua and Dewan Adat Daerah and the Papuan Peoples’ Council (MRP);
  • Major internaltional conservation organizations including Conservation International and WWF;
  • UNDP, who are about to commence a program in Pegunungan Arfak Regency;
  • Reporters and other representatives of local print and electronic media organizations;
  • Religious organizations such as Catholic Sekretariat for Justice and Peace and the GPKAI church.  

Communications and Outreach Strategy - Paradisea should develop a communications strategy to improve awareness of their work and maximize the pressure on policy makers.  This should include:

  • Stakeholder analysis to identify stakeholders and what kind of approaches/materials are needed;
  • Development of clear messages regarding the project to be conveyed to various stakeholders;
    • Identify potential partners who can support communications campaigns; 
    • Engagement with the wives of decision makers through Family Welfare Groups (PKK);
    • Strengthen use of mass media including radio, print media, television and posters/billboards;
    • Build a network of environmentally concerned journalists;
    • Development of appropriate communications media such as posters, comics and AV-materials;
    • Strengthen use of social media including the Paradisea Facebook page, website and blogs;
    • Text message blasts may be a useful means of conveying information to large number of people;
    • Recruit a communications and awareness raising specialist;
    • Improve documentation of media coverage.

Communications Media and Methods - Paradisea should also consider trialling the use of participatory media approaches, such as  ‘Photo Voices’ of ‘Self-directed video’ approaches, whereby communities are empowered to develop their own communications media and reflect upon matters of concern to them. 

Study tours - The study tours to Jambi, Ransiki and Yapen were amongst the most impactful activities undertaken. Unfortunately only men participated in these study tours.  RFN and Paradisea should conduct at least one study tours to other parts of Papua, and/or other provinces, during each of the remaining 4 years of the project and should make every effort to ensure at least 50% of participants are women. 

Staff development and capacity building – Considering that the Paradisea team is inexperienced much greater effort and resources for staff development and capacity building is required including:

  • Annual staff performance reviews including the development of personal development plans;
  • Staff exchanges/internships with organizations implementing similar programs;
  • Opportunities to attend training, workshops or seminars in Indonesia or internationally;
    • Recruitment of consultants to help with specific programs whilst transferring skills to staff.

Staff Wages and Benefits - Wages and benefits are comparatively low and the risk of staff leaving to join other organizations is high.  RFN/Paradisea need to consider improving wages and benefits to ensure retention of staff and minimize loss of knowledge and skills and recruitment and training costs.

Organizational Capacity Building and Strategic Planning – An organizational development strategy should be developed to maximize sustainability and reduce dependence on donor funding.  RFN and/or Paradisea should consider study tours for management and staff to learn from other CSOs that have developed mixed not-for-profit and income generating models. 

Sustainable Economic Development – Income generation is one of the greatest needs of Arfak and Tambrauw communities, and there’s a need to increase the project’s economic impacts and to diversify the range of crops and other sources of income, both as an entry point, as well as providing economic alternatives to the sale or rental of land and resources. It is recommended that the project’s Output 1 be changed to “strengthen community income generation through sustainable enterprises based upon the interests, needs and potential of participating communities.”  This should build upon the outcomes to date, including emphasis on agroforestry, cocoa and coffee, and other income generating activities such as:

  • Agroforestry (see below) and horticulture (vegetables, pineapples etc.);
  • Ecotourism (see more below);
  • Trial the use of soil improving plants to reduce fallow cycles;
  • Non-timber forest products – Agarwood (Gaharau), Lawang (Cinnamomum culilwan) etc.
  • Training and support on household economy management and small business development; 
  • Post-harvest processing and packaging of cocoa, coffee, nutmeg, fruits, etc.;
  • Market linkages, such as supplying local coffee, handicrafts, etc. to hotels, cafés and airport shops; 
  • Subsidized market access, such as bus or truck services to help get community products to market;
  • Traditional handicrafts for sale to visitors and through hotels and airports.

Agricultural and Agroforestry Development and Farmer Field Schools - Paradisea should strengthen their support for development of multi-species agroforestry systems, including cocoa, coffee, nutmeg, fruit and nut trees and other species.    Skilled Farmer Field School (FFS) facilitators should be recruited to provide intensive training and support to Paradisea personnel, male and female community facilitators and extensions workers in participatory training and empowerment approaches.  Cultural techniques which Paradisea should promote to assist with integrated cocoa pest management include:

  • Propagation from old Dutch cocoa varieties which display a higher degree of resistance to CPB;
  • Planting cocoa in smaller, spatially separated blocks, minimize the spread of CPB between gardens;
  • Promoting balanced agro-ecosystems through multi-species agroforestry systems;
  • Discouraging the use of pesticides, as it disturbs the agro-ecosystem and favors populations of CPB;
  • Frequent harvesting, pruning, shade management, organic fertilizers and removal of leaf litter and cocoa pod husks;
  • Spraying with seaweed or fish emulsion, as a fertilizer and to attracting ants (natural predators of CPB).

Ecotourism Development - Paradisea should explore options for promoting ecotourism and building the capacity of local ecotourism operators including:

  • Survey and needs assessment on existing and potential ecotourism;
  • Organize a workshop to promote development of various ecotourism activities;
  • Lobby for streamlining of travel permits for eco-tourists visiting the Arfak and Tambrauw areas; 
  • Strengthen existing ecotourism activities including:
    • Cooking training for local women to provide a more varied menu for guests; 
    • Assist ecotourism guides to construct Kaki Seribu style guest houses and other facilities;
    • Other training for local ecotourism guides / staff as identified through the needs assessment;
    • Create opportunities for ecotourism guides to present at conferences, etc.;
    • Organize a study tour for ecotourism guides / entrepreneurs to visit ecotourism in Raja Ampat;
    • Support the establishment of an Association of West Papuan Ecotourism Guides / Entrepreneurs;
    • Provide assistance with marketing / promotions, or encourage the Tourism Service to play this role;
    • Promote ecotourism entrepreneurs to work with communities on ecotourism activities, such as white water rafting on the Kamundan River, caving in the Lina and Longmot Mountains, marine turtle watching, and establishment of new butterfly gardens, around guest houses.
    • Promoting customary rights and establishment of the Arfak-Tambrauw National Park through the 2nd International Conference on Biodiversity and Ecotourism (ICBE) to be held in Manokwari in 2018.

Participatory Planning for Sustainable Village Development - The 2014 Village law creates opportunities for community empowerment, but the current utilization of the village funds (Dana Kampung) in West Papua is very weak and is arguably even dis-empowering communities and creating dependency on handouts.  RFN and Paradisea should consider augmenting their existing program with a sustainable village development program, by working with community leaders and recruiting and training village facilitators to strengthen participatory planning and the implementation of village development and empowerment programs.  At the same time they could support their own goals by promoting sustainable economic development approaches, as well as improved delivery of education and health services.   This would support the development of sustainable village development and forest management plans.    

Participatory Mapping – Community Perspectives, Engagement and Ownership – Paradisea needs to improve community awareness, engagement and ownership of the participatory mapping processes, including the engagement of women, youths, children and other marginalized groups, who all have different interests and perspectives to contribute.  They need to strengthen community ownership of the maps, such as through displaying them near the entrances of churches or other prominent locations, and strengthen awareness regarding the risks involved in the loss of customary land, especially amongst the younger generations.

Gender, Youth and Management of Social Change – Paradisea needs to pay greater attention to the engagement and empowerment of indigenous women, both in terms of sustainable economic development and to ensure their customary rights to land and resources are not downgraded as a result of the process of mapping and legally formalizing customary tenure systems.  They also need to strengthen youth engagement to mitigate potential for intergenerational conflict, migration to urban centers, loss of traditional ecological knowledge and instill concern for sustainable environmental management in future leaders.  Suitable experts should be engaged to conduct more in-depth analysis of processes of social change, identify opportunities for strengthening engagement with women, youth and marginalized community members, and develop strategies to help communities to adapt to such processes of change.

Participatory Mapping, Indigenous Rights and Forest Management Innovation Forum - RFN and Paradisea should collaborate with Samdhana, JKPP, AMAN, HuMA, Conservation International and/or other organizations to conduct an Indigenous Mapping, Rights and Forest Management Innovation Forum in Manokwari.  Various organizations from West Papua, Papua and other regions who have worked on participatory mapping and forest management could present their work and lessons learned.  Participants should include representatives of relevant government agencies and other key stakeholders, and should also include a radio or television talk show to convey key issues to a broader audience. 

Documentation of Cultural and Social-Ecological Aspects – WhilstParadisea has contributed to the documentation of customary land tenure, resource management systems and other aspects of indigenous cultures, the identification and analysis of socio-cultural aspects remains superficial and generalized.  It is recommended that efforts to build their knowledge and skills in these areas be a priority, either through participating in training courses and/or workshops, or through recruiting consultants who can assist with the documentation of socio-cultural aspects whilst transferring their skills to Paradisea personnel. 

Advocacy for Territorial and Forest Rights - Paradisea’s current approach appears to be inconsistent with the existing legal framework and guidelines relating to the recognition and designation of customary territories and customary forests.  They need to review their strategy to focus first on recognition and designation of territorial rights through local decrees and/or regulations, before developing customary forest management plans as a requirement for having customary forest rights recognized by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF).  Even if the MoEF does not support the recognition of customary forest rights, these documents may be used as the basis for further action in the constitutional court. 

Local Regulations on Customary Forests - Paradisea should conduct a seminar to bring together key regency, provincial and national level stakeholders to discuss the proposed regulations on the recognition of customary territories and forests.  In preparation for such a seminar a strong academic paper and draft local regulation need to be developed.  This process needs to involve people with an indepth understanding of the issues and who are respected by the national government especially the MoEF.  

Valuation of Environmental Goods and Services - A conservation economist could be hired to put an economic value on natural resources and environmental services derived from the forests of the Arfak and Tambrauw mountains, including water, biodiversity, mitigation of soil erosion and landslides, fresh air, carbon sequestration, etc.  Participatory valuation may also be a useful approach to raise awareness amongst local communities regarding the value that they derive from forests, and help them to plan for sustainable utilization of their forests and natural resources.

Financial and Administrative Management – Whilst the project’s financial management and administration is quite good, there are some weaknesses which need to be addressed, including: 

  • Training in budget planning and tracking;
  • An office manager should be appointed to relieve the administrative burden on the executive director;
  • Other administrative tools are required, such as a standard price guide for budget planning and tracking, standard formats for SOWs and SOPs to mitigate misuse or corruption of funds.

Office rental is one of the highest recurrent costs, and moving office is time consuming and expensive.  If office rental costs could be consolidated, and additional funding be found, a permanent office could be purchased, thereby reducing recurrent costs and providing a stable operational base.

Data Management – A number of steps are need to improve data processing and management, including:

  • Advanced training in GIS and data management;
  • Development of proper databases and SOPs for data processing, archiving and management;
  • Need to encourage other organizations to lodge their spatial and other relevant data with Paradisea; 
  • Need to establish a back-up repository of all of Paradisea’s data.

Paradisea personnel and representatives of provincial and/or regency level government agencies, should visit the spatial data management units (SIMTARU) recently established in the Provincial and several Regency level Planning Agencies in Papua Province to learn about their spatial data management systems.

Spatial Planning Analysis Training – Paradisea’s skills in relation to spatial planning analysis need to be strengthened and RFN and Paradisea should consider supporting training workshops including in:  

  • Strategic Environmental Assessment - the Foundation for Innovation in Regional Governance (YIPD) and the Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB) could be contracted to deliver such training;
  • High Conservation Value (HCV) assessment and Landscape Conservation Planning - Bogor-based company PT. Daemeter could be contracted to deliver such training;
  • Carbon stock surveys – Experts from the US Forestry Service, CIFOR and/or UNIPA could be contracted to deliver training and lead field surveys to more accurate vegetation and carbon maps.

Conservation International may be planning some training activities in these areas, so RFN-Paradisea should coordinate closely and share resources in this area.

National Park Proposal - The establishment of a million hectare national park will require support from a range of stakeholders.  Paradisea needs to ensure free, prior and informed consent is obtained from affected communities.  Support from the provincial and the 6 affected regency governments needs to be generated through assessment and dialog regarding the importance of the park in the context of West Papua’s vision as a conservation province.  Support from the MoEF and other central government agencies is also necessary.   Engagement with major international conservation NGOs such as Conservation International is also necessary, as they have the resources and networks required to bring this plan to fruition.  If possible members of the Norwegian Royal Family should visit West Papua to promote the park.

Renewing and Sustaining West Papua Civil Society / Graduate Volunteer Program - West Papuan CSOs suffer from a drain of experienced people into government, politics, aid projects and the private sector, which undermines their capacity and the sustainability of donor investments.  Paradisea has made a small but significant contribution to civil society renewal through recruiting a team of fresh graduates.  They should consider scaling-up their contribution to civil society renewal through a graduate volunteer program, or a graduate certificate course in community empowerment and sustainable development, whereby recent graduates could undertake work placements with Paradisea and other NGOs to gain practical experience, whilst also undertaking structures training in sustainable development.  

Published 28.02.2017
Last updated 28.02.2017