Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Cenderawasih University in Papua province’s capital of Jayapura and environmental organization World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) launched the Field Guidebook for Birdwatching Ecotourism in Papua, in Jayapura on Friday (Jan. 21).
The book is an outcome of a survey on bird species diversity in the lowlands of northern Papua and its vicinity islands conducted by the university and WWF in the 2016-2019 period, according to a written statement received here on Friday (Jan. 21).
The survey also becomes the basis for the development of community-based bird-watching ecotourism programs in several locations such as Rhepang Muaif and Sawesuma villages in Jayapura district, as well as Sawendui and Aryoubu villages in Yapen Islands district.
In the book launching, Cenderawasih University’s rector Dr. Apolo Safanpo said that as the first university to be established in Papua, Cenderawasih University continues to strive to improve the performance and quality of higher education services to the community.
“This book is expected to provide benefits in increasing the community capacity and strengthening the role of university in the community service,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Dr. Dirk Y. P. Runtuboi, stated that the identification of biodiversity and sustainable use are among the research focuses of Cenderawasih University in order to protect Papua’s natural wealth.
The book contains descriptions of 114 of 212 bird species found in the lowlands of Papua, making it a reference in bird observation and identification, especially for people and bird lovers.
The Papua Program Manager of WWF Indonesia Foundation, Wika Rumbiak, said apart from being a guide for ecotourism guides’ activities, this book is also a source of information and education for tourists.
“Birds are protected animals and their use is only for a sustainable tourism asset and should not be traded or used as souvenirs,” she stressed, adding that the book is also a documentation of local cultures as it was written in local languages.
Meanwhile, Head of Tourism at the Papua Province Culture and Tourism Office, Elius Wantik, said, “The book can be synergized with ecotourism programs in particular, and be useful for tour guides and the community in protecting birds, especially birds of paradise (locally known as cenderawasih) from extinction.”
This book is packed full of colors, with some astonishing facts about certain species of birds, as well as illustrations that will attract children to further learn on how to identify bird morphologies.
The book’s digital version has a bird’s voice feature that can be played on.
The uniqueness of this book makes it suitable for bird lovers, both children and adults.
Reporting by Indonesia Window