In mid-October this year, a five-year collaboration agreement was signed between the Papua Natural Resources Conservation Agency (the provincial office under the Indonesian Ministry of the Environment and Forestry) and WWF Indonesia aimed at strengthening landscape-based conservation efforts.
However, one day after it was signed, this joint collaboration agreement was cancelled (Oct 16) by the Ministry’s Director General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation Wiratno through a letter addressed to Rizal Malik, CEO of WWF-Indonesia.
One of the considerations behind the cancellation, as stated in the letter, was that the process involved until the agreement was signed had procedural defects and was not in line with the ministry’s collaboration mechanism with third parties.
The revoked agreement covered the working area of the ministry’s Papua Natural Resources Conservation Agency, spanning the equivalent of more than 7.6 million football fields spread across one city and 9 regencies in the province of Papua.
The Lorentz, Mappi and Meurauke landscapes, which form a major part of the area included the cancelled collaboration agreement covering in excess of 7 million hectares, are shown in the section of the agreement’s attached maps below.
Feedback from WWF Indonesia
Following the cancellation of the collaboration agreement, CEO of WWF-Indonesia Rizal Malik responded in writing (Nov 1) to questions put to him by foresthints.news (Oct 31).
“We regret the cancellation of the cooperation agreement, but understand that it is the full right of the ministry,” he asserted.
“(However) with or without the collaboration agreement, as an Indonesian civil society organization, we will not stop striving to save the environment in Indonesia including by supporting government efforts within the conservation area,” Malik added.
Ministerial decree issued
Three days after the collaboration agreement was cancelled by means of a letter from the director general, a ministerial decree was also passed (Oct 18) to scrap the cooperation agreement legally.
This ministerial decree was issued because the collaboration agreement process had deviations making it inconsistent with the proper procedures and was legally flawed, both in terms of the authority and substance of the cooperation as well as in the cooperation area’s map.
This part of the working map attached to the agreement depicts the Jayapura, Sarmi, Yapen and Supiori landscapes covering almost half a million hectares, which are also part of the collaboration agreement cancelled by the ministry.
The cancelled collaboration agreement had only one attached map with the WWF logo titled ‘working area map of the WWF Indonesia – Papua Program’ involving a cooperation area 116 times the size of Jakarta.
In fact, the ministerial decree states that this solitary attached map was one of the reasons underlying the cancellation of the collaboration agreement, alongside a set of legal considerations behind its cancellation.