On November 22-23, 2018 the Papua Development Forum was held successfully. The seminar on the theme of Papuan Development in the Context of Special Autonomy for the Papua Province included the Donor Meeting: Collaborative Understanding between the Papua Regional Government and Development Partners in Supporting Papua Development as one of the events in it.
Special Autonomy is an exclusive authority recognized and granted to the Papua Province, including its division, to regulate and manage the interests of the local community according to its initiative based on the aspirations and fundamental rights of the Papuan people. Papua’s special autonomy is regulated in Law 21/2001. In this law, there is an emphasis on recognizing and respecting the fundamental rights of indigenous Papuans and creating a government with popular participation per Papuan culture.
New Development Strategy
The development of Papua led by the Government of President Joko Widodo uses a strategy that prioritizes a welfare, an anthropological, and a sustainable evaluative approach. These new approaches are contained in the Presidential Instruction 9/2017 concerning the Acceleration of Welfare Development in the Papua Province and West Papua Province. The top priorities are in the fields of health, education, local economic development, governance and law, basic and digital infrastructure. The implementation is carried out by 26 ministries and institutions. The monitoring is carried out through the President’s visit also through the National Monitoring System (Sistem Pemantauan Nasional or SISPAN) by the KSP (Kantor Staff Presiden or Presidential Staff Office), Bappenas (Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional or National Development Planning Agency), and BPKP (Badan Pengawasan Keuangan dan Pembangunan or Financial and Development Supervisory Agency).
The primary objective of the Donor Meeting seminar is to direct Papuan development partner institutions to focus on the sectors contained in the President Instruction. Then partner institutions are also encouraged to contribute to the non-conventional area which is oriented towards increasing the capacity of human resources such as through creative economy, non-formal education, assistance in the distribution of technical knowledge about livestock/agriculture/plantations.
However, there is still a need to discuss and evaluate special autonomy related to alignments, empowerment, protection, and respect for Indigenous Papuans. The Papua Provincial Government prioritizes good and environmentally sustainable development, justice, benefit, transparency and responsibility to the community. For this reason, the Medium-Term Regional Development Plan 2018-2023 is currently being drafted in which Papua’s vision of 2100 has been contained.
Answering Papua’s Strategic Issues
The Development Challenges of Papua are mainly due to the varied geographical characteristics. The Papua Provincial Government is committed to maintaining forest cover by 80%, but in 2010-2018 there was an increase in deforestation because the licensing authority shifted to the districts. In 2018, deforestation licensing authority was returned to the province so that the region could seek rejuvenation of Papua’s forests. Another challenge is the level of poverty. There are 27% of underprivileged families in the 2017 Papua data, and this number has decreased significantly since 2013. Some of the highest in poverty territories are La Pago and Mee Pago.
These various challenges then form the basis for formulating the Seven Strategic Issues in Papua. These seven issues will serve as guidelines for the Central Government, Regional Governments, and Development Partners in developing Papua and West Papua. The seven points are:
1. Accelerating Sustainable Economic Development Based on Local Superior Commodities through the Development of Strategic Areas in Five Indigenous Territories
2. Enhancing Inter-Regional Connectivity through Infrastructure Development that Pays Attention to the Principles of Sustainable Development
3. Forest and Environmental Damage Control
4. Increased Access and Basic Service Quality, Education, and Health
5. Preservation of Art, Culture, and Strengthening Indigenous Institutions
6. Reducing Regional Inequalities and Urbanization
7. Increasing Welfare of the Border Area
Because these strategic issues and development challenges in Papua need to be crossed with the cooperation of all parties, development partner institutions need to consult with the Regional Government to develop an action plan so that the programs implemented are following local needs and take place in the right area.
The Success of the Special Autonomy Fund
Special Autonomy Funds are given to reduce inequality, alleviate poverty, equate education. In 2002-2016, the special autonomy fund granted by Indonesia to Papua was IDR 47.9 T with allocation in health of 15% (IDR 7.18 T). In 2017, this fund fell by IDR 8.024 T; for Papua at IDR 5.62 T and West Papua at IDR 2.41 T. In 2018, this fund also dropped by 8.03 T.
Because of the Special Autonomy Fund intervention, poverty in Papua fell from 46.35% (2000) to 28.54% (2016). Meanwhile, poverty in West Papua fell from 39.31% (2007) to 25.73 (2015). For Papua Province, around 80 percent is allocated to districts/cities, and the rest is returned to the province. While West Papua only returns 10% of the funds to the province.
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