Alternative Livelihood Development Potential for Improving Local Communities Economic Welfare in Small Islands in Papua

Kaber, Yuanike, Ridwan Sala, and Jemmy Manan (2012). "Alternative Livelihood Development Potential for Improving Local Communities Economic Welfare in Small Islands in Papua" Paper presented at the 9th annual conference of the HDCA, 5-7 September 2012, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Roswar Island is one island among several groups of islands in the Region of Cenderawasih Bay Marine National Park and is administratively located within the Wondama Bay District. The island has very abundant coastal and marine resources, and if managed properly, can supported the economic growth to increase incomes of local communities. The present study is an initial study to determine the potential development of alternative livelihoods as an effort to improve the economy and well-being of local communities. Survey methods and interviews with government leaders, indigenous peoples, churches, women, and youth have been conducted to obtain comprehensive data and information. Methods of implementation activities include the coordination of activities at the district level and district levels, training, processing practices and diversified products based on local resources, program evaluation and coaching. The study results show that diversification processed food products made from raw fish, bananas, potatoes (sweet potatoes, cassava, taro), black fruit, and wheat papua (Setaria italica L.), and various handicraft made from woven products of pandanus beach (Pandanus tectorius), have been potential alternative livelihoods that can be developed on the Roswar Island. Furthermore, the involvement of local government and high education institutions is very important for community empowerment which can be in form of efforts to help implement comprehensive development program for the improvement of living standards and boost the economy of local communities. Activities that have been initiated are counseling, guidance, education and training provided directly to the community. Coaching and mentoring activities are conducted on an ongoing basis and are not limited to merely the scale of the project, in which actively involve community participation, develop mental and emotional involvement and public awareness. Local economic development should prioritize the capital allowances in the form of soft loans, training and supervision of the management of coastal and marine resources, diversification of product processing / preservation of food made from local raw materials, diversification of various local handicraft products to support tourism activities, and environmental management of life. Utilization of local resources to be managed in an optimal and sustainable manner, using appropriate technology and adequate skills in production, and strengthening community organizations. Program development, education and outreach to the community, require supporting infrastructure, such as information house for community empowerment, which is expected to be a center for community development activities.

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