Remarks by Ambassador Blake at Ormu Village Lestari Project, Papua
Pak Basah Hernowo, BAPPENAS,
Gustavo Toto, Ondoafi (Head) of Ormu Necheibe village,
Daniel Toto, Northern Cyclops Head of Customary Community (Dewan Suku Adat),
Mathius Awaitauw SE, M.Si., Bupati of Jayapura District,
Jan Jap L. Ormuseray, SH. M.Si, Head of the Department of Forestry, Papua Province,
other distinguished guests.
I am so happy to be here in Ormu Kecil to see firsthand the work you are doing to conserve your forests, and preserve the amazing biodiversity the forests contain.
Indonesia joined the US and many other countries in Paris in December to adopt the first ever universal agreement to hold global temperature increases to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
An important part of that agreement is to preserve high carbon stock forests such as these in Papua.
That can only happen when communities such as yours understand the importance of sustainably managing your forests.
This morning I was privileged to observe first-hand the amazing cultural and biological diversity of your community and the coastal ecosystem that supports your families.
Your community-based conservation ethic was evident and I applaud your skill and dedication in managing these resources.
I was also impressed to see the value you place on your water resources. You are protecting the forest areas upstream upon which these water resources depend and you are planting sago, bamboo, and fruit trees that provide you livelihoods while conserving your forests.
Your government showed its confidence in your efforts by building the micro-hydro energy installation I just visited. Since this depends on sufficient year-round water supply, your conservation efforts will continue to bring you rewards.
I also applaud the government’s recognition that conservation of Cyclops is important not just because of the incredible biodiversity it houses, but for water security.
From small villages like Ormu Kecil to the City of Jayapura itself, a third of a million people depend upon Cyclops as the main source of their water supply.
Maintaining the ecosystem integrity of forest cover is essential to ensuring the security of water resources for this area’s ever-growing commerce, industry and people’s health and livelihoods.
The U.S. Government is committed to supporting the sustainable management of the Cyclops Mountain Nature Reserve.
We need the continued commitment of communities like Ormu Kecil and the government to protect and value these forests.
We also need you to be a part of that management, so that together, we can ensure that Papuans continue to prosper from and contribute to the Cyclops Mountain Nature Reserve.
Thank you again for coming this morning, sharing in this celebration and for your continued commitment to work with us.