Thursday, November 5, 2015


2) Conservation International - Thu, 5 Nov 2015 16:43 GMT
3) AUDIO: What does good journalism mean? Lisa Er talks to David Robie


Jayapura, Jubi – Residents in Amsira and Angkasa villages, Sarmi Selatan Sub-district, need clear water and latrines, according to the findings of the Commission IV during their visit last weekend.
The Chairman of Commission IV of the Papua Legislative Council, Boy Markus Dawir, said a lot of people’s aspirations were articulated during the visit.
The main problem in both villages is clean water, public housing and sanitation facilities, he said.
“People also asked the government to build one school management to facilitate their children to school,” Dawir said on Tuesday (3/11/2015).
According to him, people also asked for extra teachers and medical staffs in their villages. This condition, he further said, is contrary with the Papua Provincial policy to provide 80 percent of Special Autonomy Funds to the Regional Government, including covering the education and health services costs.
“But the current condition at two villages in Sarmi is even alarming. The Papua Provincial Government needs to evaluate the 80 – 20 percent sharing funds of Special Autonomy Funds to the regencies. If with the conditions like this, the funds is better to pull back from the regencies to endorse another programs by Provincial Government,” he said.
One of community leader in Amsira Village, Yahya Cawer said the local government has built the road infrastructure to their village, but less attention to the public housing. “In fact, in other villages, it’s already done. In addition to the public housing, Amsira villagers also need clean water for drinking and cooking. During the time, they utilized well waters for drinking and washing. While Amsira Village is the main village,” Cawer said several days ago. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)
2) Conservation International - Thu, 5 Nov 2015 16:43 GMT
Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The world watched as wildfires raged in parts of Indonesia last month, filling the skies with smoke and even causing the country’s president to cut short a trip to Washington.
Not making headlines, however, is a recent bit of good news from the Southeast Asian country.
In October, West Papua declared itself a “conservation province,” establishing a legal framework for conservation efforts in one of Indonesia’s most picturesque regions — and a potential model for more effective conservation throughout the archipelago.
“It’s a bold vision from the government,” said Ketut Putra of Conservation International (CI), which has worked in West Papua for a decade and which consulted with the provincial governor, Abraham Atururi, on the plan.
The move, Putra said, aims to ensure that increased economic development in the province doesn’t damage the environment — specifically critical forest ecosystems — while safeguarding the region’s numerous marine protected areas, home to some of the most dazzling collections of sea life on Earth.
How it began
For more than 10 years, CI researchers have toiled to protect the reefs in an area called the Bird’s Head Seascape — named for the distinctly shaped peninsula jutting from the island of Papua in eastern Indonesia. About three-fourths of all known hard coral species can be found in these waters, which are also home to globally important populations of sharks and manta rays that draw valuable income through tourism.
“When we first came to West Papua, the main threats were from [unsustainable] fishing,” Putra said. “After a few years working with the communities and government there, we’ve been able to largely stop those problems.”
But progress in the sea was not reflected on land, as a surge in development spurred changes in land use in West Papua. Notably, the conversion of forested land in the province for agriculture and other purposes led to soil erosion, causing sediment to flow into the rivers and out to the sea, fouling the reefs.
“We spent years building this capacity for people to take care of the ocean, then we see threats coming from the land,” he said.
“If those concessions for land uses are not well-managed or well-regulated, I really worry that what we have been investing in the ocean will be undone by the sedimentation coming from those lands,” he said. “The reef system is going to be polluted, and then there will be no more reefs.”
Politics made it possible
Throughout modern times, economic development has often come at the expense of the environment — a dynamic that West Papua seeks to avoid.
Under this new framework, the province’s development “has conservation rooted as a core principle within it, with clear regulations and targets built in,” said Laure Katz, director of CI’s seascapes program.
If this sounds easier said than done, it is. With technical support from CI, the regulations are in the process of being written, and how they are written and implemented “will dictate actually how this is played out on the ground,” Katz said. “The next several months will be critical.”
The initiative owes its existence to a major political shift that went largely unnoticed outside Indonesia: a 2014 law transferring control of Indonesia’s natural resources from the country’s myriad small local governments to its 27 provincial governments. In Indonesia, where political power was famously decentralized in the late 1990s, this represented a noteworthy reversal that Katz says could strengthen conservation efforts in the country.
This matters — conservation policy can’t be effective or sustainable without political support from governments.
“Until this year, the [local] regency level was the most important level of governance,” Katz said. “And so a year ago, the [conservation province] would have meant nothing, because the provincial government would have had less authority.”
How West Papua manages its land — including important mining and palm oil concessions — under the new framework remains to be seen, but Katz points to one positive sign: The conservation initiative has the backing of the province’s local leaders, with all the local regency heads standing behind the governor when he made his announcement last month. This support will be crucial for the unheralded hard work that goes in to make effective conservation policy: writing regulations, establishing budgets and directing implementation and oversight.
Good for climate, too
Fighting climate change, while not an explicit goal of the initiative, is nonetheless an ancillary benefit, as preserving West Papua’s prominent natural features — such as mangrove forests that absorb carbon dioxide — also provides an effective defense against the effects of climate change.
“West Papua and the neighboring Papua Province have by far the greatest untouched marine and terrestrial carbon sinks left in Indonesia,” Katz said.
Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, will announce the conservation province at this year’s climate talks in Paris as a sign of the country’s climate commitments, according to Putra. It is hoped that the high-profile announcement will ensure that Indonesia is held accountable for the initiative’s long-term prospects.
‘A model for Indonesia’
A conservation effort of this scale is uncharted territory for Indonesia, but it’s badly needed, Putra said.
“This is a model for Indonesia,” he said.
“I’m dreaming of an effective example [of conservation] in Indonesia — I don’t want the recent Sumatra experience on forest fires to be experienced in West Papua. If this works, we can show how Indonesia can replicate this in other provinces.”
The world will be watching.
3) AUDIO: What does good journalism mean? Lisa Er talks to David Robie
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Item: 9472
Lisa Er
INTERVIEW: AUCKLAND (Green Planet FM / Pacific Media Watch): Freedom of the press describes the right to gather, publish, and distribute information and ideas without government restriction.  

This right encompasses freedom from censorship, but does our media really have complete freedom in New Zealand? We need to ask this question when we see the government’s response to Nicky Hager’s investigative journalism, and Channel 7 is removed from TV in spite of having half a million viewers. 
A journalist was recently no longer required by the New Zealand Herald after writing an honest critique of the TPPA, and what happened to Campbell Live and why?

David Robie, professor of communication studies and Pacific journalism, director of the Pacific Media Centre, journalist and author answers these questions and more.

Are journalists part of a movement that merely holds up a mirror to society with all its cynicism, or are they part of a process of empowerment and action for a better world?
Why are certain topics ignored? Perhaps the headings would not be sexy enough. Perhaps sport and tabloid news are appealing to the masses more than educated comment on important events in this country and around the world.

Have the corporations bought the larger media outlets? How do economic issues affect the impartiality of the media?
Optimistic view
In spite of all this, David Robie is optimistic about the work of "our last TV public broadcaster" - Maori TV.

However, he is concerned for his students as to what sort of career they can expect in New Zealand’s media.

Political crises and indigenous issues throw a spotlight on a region’s news media and its role in democracy.

David Robie champions media scrutiny in the Pacific and believes more research will contribute much to the communications industry. This is an area where young journalists can go and experience stories that need to be reported, but they might be dangerous assignments.
For example in West Papua people are being arrested and detained for taking part in peaceful activities.

The victims of security force harassment and violence in West Papua are predominantly those who have publicly expressed their support for self-determination or independence.

We hear little about this in New Zealand, although Māori Television did a story recently. The journalists were escorted by the Indonesian authorities, however.
Embarrassing Indonesia
Perhaps if the world’s mainstream media reported on this it would embarrass Indonesia into modifying their behaviour somewhat.

Also “Understanding our neighbours is vitally important and researching and publishing on the media is an important goal for good governance for the region,” says Professor Robie.
Having been a journalist on board the Rainbow Warrior on the voyage leading up to the bombing in 1985, David has always had an interest in peace.

He talks on how peace journalism can challenge "war voyeurism".

Is a peace keeper keeping peace peacefully when carrying a gun, for example.
Peace journalism explains conflicts and the reasons for them in some depth. It gives all parties a voice, whereas war journalism is propaganda oriented and is mainly concerned with victory.
“The idea of peace journalism troubles some journalists – mostly due to a lifetime of relying on ‘conflict’ as a core news value. This is surprising, because in this era of ‘infotainment’ and super-hype in news media, this peace notion is much more about reasserting basic news values such as truth, context, fairness and depth.”
Reporters and editors have the choice to create opportunities for society to consider non violent responses to conflict.

This is an example of where journalists can be a part of the solution and not part of the problem.
* David Robie has written 10 books on the region’s politics and media, including Mekim Nius: South Pacific politics, media and educationEyes of Fire, a book about the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, and Don’t Spoil My Beautiful Face: Media, Mayhem and Human Rights in the Pacific (Little Island Press, 2014). He was awarded the 2005 PIMA Pacific Media Freedom Award and the 2015 Asia Communication Award.

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