Collaboration Between PT Pertamina RU VII Kasim and BBKSDA PB to Develop the KOMPAK Pilot Project in Raja Ampat

Waisai, Raja Ampat, September 16, 2023 - The KOMPAK Pilot Project (Collaboration for Empowering Communities in Conservation Villages) in the Raja Ampat Regency, West Papua, was officially commenced on September 12 to 14, 2023. This project involves PT Kilang Pertamina Internasional Refinery Unit VII Kasim (PT KPI RU VII), the Large Office of Conservation of Natural Resources (BBKSDA) West Papua, the Tourism Office of Raja Ampat Regency, the Fisheries Office of Raja Ampat Regency, Fauna & Flora Indonesia NGO, the Warkesi Forest Farmer Group, the Waifoi Forest Farmer Group, the Kalitoko Forest Farmer Group, as well as the Expert Staff of the Directorate General of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

On the first day, the team visited the Warkesi location, a bird-watching site supported by the Warkesi Forest Farmer Group (KTH). PT Kilang Pertamina Internasional Refinery Unit VII contributed to the Welcome Gate construction and facilities maintenance at the location.

During the discussion session, the Chairman of KTH Warkesi, Yohanes, appreciated the support from various parties. He stated that this collaboration greatly assists the community in preserving and protecting the forest. "We are very grateful for the presence of PT Kilang Pertamina Internasional RU VII, BBKSDA West Papua, and their support for conservation programs in the Raja Ampat area," Yohanes said.

"The visits by government officials, Pertamina RU VII, SOE, and environmental NGOs can help promote our forests and make them a destination for bird watching," Yohanes added.

On the second day, the team continued their monitoring activities in Waifoi. Here, a symbolic sea cucumber harvest by the Waifoi Forest Farmer Group welcomed the group. The Deputy Regent of Raja Ampat, Orideko Iriano Burdam, and the Tourism Office of Raja Ampat Regency attended the event.

During the discussion, KTH Waifoi expressed their hope that the KOMPAK Pilot Project would continue to thrive and establish close ties. "We are extremely grateful for the KOMPAK Pilot Project, and we hope that all relevant parties will continue to work with us to develop our village," said the Chairman of KTH Waifoi, Yohanis.

Deputy Regent of Raja Ampat, Orideko Iriano Burdam, also supported this initiative. He stated that the local government would continue to support conservation efforts and community empowerment in Raja Ampat. "The local government fully supports any initiatives for the progress of Raja Ampat. Thanks to Pertamina Kilang RU VII Kasim for their attention to our community. This positive action is not only for Raja Ampat but for the world because Raja Ampat is a world heritage site that we must preserve for future generations. I hope today can be a momentum for preserving our environment and improving our climate in the future. Let us never tire of doing good things for our environment," said Orideko.

The event concluded with a sago-pounding performance by the Waifoi community.

The KOMPAK Pilot Project aims to enhance the community's well-being surrounding conservation areas through conservation-based development eco-tourism. This activity is to provide economic benefits to the community while preserving nature.

Head of the Large Office of Conservation of Natural Resources West Papua, Johny Santoso, said, "We would like to express our sincere gratitude to PT Kilang Pertamina Internasional RU VII as one of the state-owned enterprises in West Papua for their full support of the KOMPAK pilot project. Strong collaboration between state-owned enterprises, the provincial government, local government, NGOs, and community groups in managing forest areas will form a solid foundation. Our hope from the government to PT Kilang Pertamina RU VII is to continue communication and cooperation in conserving forests throughout West Papua. We have been collaborating for the past five years in the Kota Sorong Protected Forest area, and this year, we have entered the Conservation Forest area in Raja Ampat."

Meanwhile, Area Manager of Communication, Relation, CSR & Compliance RU VII Kasim, Dodi Yapsenang, stated on a separate occasion that "conservation areas aim to protect the habitat and living spaces of various species from damage. Naturally, there are communities residing around these areas. Therefore, community empowerment is needed to provide knowledge about conserving conservation areas and to empower the local community. As part of our efforts in community empowerment for conservation areas, we have coordinated the community empowerment technical and strategic implementation in the areas surrounding conservation areas, done through joint meetings with BBKSDA PB, the Raja Ampat Regency government, and other stakeholders in Waisai, Raja Ampat, and Kota Sorong. Representatives from the Ministry of Environment, Pertamina Group in Sorong, Petrogas, Head of BBKSDA PB, Deputy Regent of Raja Ampat, state-owned enterprises (BUMN), regional state-owned enterprises (BUMD), and private sector stakeholders around Raja Ampat, as well as environmental NGOs, attended these strategy meetings," said Dodi Yapsenang.

Dodi Yapsenang explained that community empowerment in the vicinity of conservation areas aims to enhance the self-reliance and well-being of communities in these conservation villages.

"The communities’ empowerment around conservation areas is not intended to reduce the quality and carrying capacity of the areas but to enhance the community’s capacity supporting the areas to protect the environment. It will improve the surrounding communities' social and economic quality. Thus, the more protected the environment, the better the community's quality of life, ultimately increasing the local population's income," Dodi Yapsenang concluded.**

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