In order to commemorate World Wetlands Day 2022, which takes place on 2 February, the Papuan Provincial Government organized various events that ran from 21 January to 2 February 2022. This year, World Wetlands Day ran under a theme of 'Wetland Action for People and Nature’. This celebration of World Wetlands Day was the perfect occasion on which to raise awareness of the importance of wetlands in terms of the conservation of biodiversity and climate change. On the agenda during this year’s celebration were the dissemination of information to students and nature lovers about the Ramsar site, migratory bird watching and a drawing competition for elementary school students.
The main celebration of World Wetlands Day was held on 2 February in Wasur National Park’s camping ground in Merauke Regency, Papua Province and was attended by the Deputy Regent of Merauke Regency, H. Riduan, S.Sos., M.Pd. The event featured various activities, including the planting of eucalyptus trees and releases of wild animals by the Papua Natural Resources Conservation Center (BBKSDA) in Rawa Biru. Among the animals released were 300 Irian Arowanas (Scleropages jardinii) from the provision for the 2021 catch quota, nine long-necked Papuan tortoises (Chelodina novaeguineae) which had been translocated from Jakarta in 2021, three Soa Payung (Chlamydosaurus kingii) and eight blue-tongued lizards (Tiliqua gigas), which had been translocated from South Sumatra in 2021.
During the main event, the Deputy Regent of Merauke pledged the commitment of the Merauke Regency Government to building synergies with Wasur National Park as regards the development of nature-based tourism and products within the Wasur National Park area. This commitment was formalised through the signing of a commitment document by stakeholders expressing support for the management and protection of wetlands within Wasur National Park.
Wasur National Park features the largest wetlands in Papua Province, which span an area that plays a vital role in protecting the sustainability and function of wetlands and that also plays an important role as a stopover and migration destination for migratory birds. Through the issuance of Presidential Decree No. 48 of 1991, Wasur National Park officially became part of the Ramsar site (International Convention on the Conservation of Wetlands of Important Value) on March 16, 2006.
During the event, Wasur National Park also engaged in the promotion of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) developed by various customary communities that are partnering up with the national park. The development of NTFPs and the environmental services carried out by these community groups have become a driving force and motivating factor as a source of creative economic activities that provide economic benefits for supported community groups.
For more information, please contact:
Ruben Yogi, Junior Adviser for GIS and Forest Mapping
Theodora F. Resubun, Advisor for Sustainable Forest Management and Coordinator for Papua Province
Mohammad Sidiq, Strategic Area Manager for Sustainable Forest Management and Coordinator for Papua and West Papua Provinces