In West Papua, Indigenous Papuans make up a majority of the province’s poor, and are among the poorest demographic in Indonesia. A key question is whether poverty in West Papua can be alleviated in a way that acknowledges the rights of indigenous Papuans while preserving the forests. In partnership with our sister organization, Earth Innovation Institute (EII) and funded by European Forest Institute (EFI), Norad and International Climate Initiative (IKI – Germany), INOBU has been working in West Papua since 2014 to find solutions to this challenge. We identified the causes of poverty and environmental degradation in West Papua, and worked with the government, indigenous people and civil society to develop innovative policy solutions. The government and indigenous leaders in West Papua are committed to forging new pathways for economic development. In 2016, INOBU began work to trial an innovative new approach for sustainable indigenous commodities in West Papua, with an emphasis on the jurisdictional approach—transformations at the level of jurisdictions, in line with the theory of change across INOBU’s project portfolio.
Our goal in Fakfak is to develop a solid database of indigenous nutmeg forests and implement a multi-stakeholder plan to increase livelihoods and strengthen customary rights among the indigenous nutmeg farmers in the district. The project is developing the first sustainable district in West Papua where indigenous rights are properly acknowledged, while the welfare of communities is increased through sustainable nutmeg production, informed by rigorous research on the nutmeg supply chain. The project adopts the lessons learned in building sustainable jurisdictions in Central Kalimantan. INOBU is working in partnership with local NGO, AKAPe, which evolved out of the Indigenous People’s Council of Mbaham-Matta to support the empowerment of indigenous communities.
Through funding from the German government through the International Climate Initiative (IKI), INOBU carried out a scoping study of the ecology and productivity of nutmeg in Fakfak. In 2017, the project is being scaled up to reach more villages in the district, deepen our understanding of the ecology of forest-grown nutmeg, and to build a web-based platform connecting West Papuan nutmeg growers with buyers on the commodity market.
Opportunities. INOBU is developing partnerships to support the scaling up of its pilot work in Fakfak district, which will see the expansion of the sustainable indigenous nutmeg program.