Steve Mara Calls for All Eyes on Papua: Highlighting Development Success and Tourism Beauty in Papua

by Redaksi

Social media is currently abuzz with two hashtags that have garnered significant attention. The first is #alleyesonrafah, All Eyes on Rafah. Rafah is a region in Palestine that is home to Palestinian civilians. This area was attacked by Israeli forces, leading to numerous civilian casualties.

Indonesia, as a nation committed to creating global peace, strongly protests the actions taken by Israeli forces against innocent Palestinian civilians. The emergence of the hashtag All Eyes on Rafah represents the concern of Indonesian citizens for the humanitarian situation in Rafah, Palestine. This hashtag aims to draw international attention to support peace in the Palestinian-Israeli region to prevent further casualties and to promote peace in the area.

On the other hand, another hashtag, #alleyesonpapua, All Eyes on Papua, has also emerged. This hashtag appeared shortly after All Eyes on Rafah and aims to emphasize that besides being sensitive to international conflicts, Indonesians are also encouraged to pay attention to the situation within Indonesia, specifically in Papua.

All Eyes on Papua surfaced, highlighting the issue that went viral in Indonesia about the Papuan people fighting against the establishment of palm oil plantations in their region.

The Awyu tribe in Boven Digoel, South Papua, and the Moi tribe in Sorong, Southwest Papua, are currently filing legal suits against palm oil companies to defend their customary forests. Their lawsuits were rejected by the first and second courts, but the indigenous communities of the Awyu and Moi tribes have continued their legal battle to the Supreme Court as their final legal recourse.

The All Eyes on Papua hashtag has attracted significant public attention as it has been shared millions of times across various social media platforms. This movement is mentioned as a form of solidarity to support Papua’s customary forests because these forests are the world’s lungs and one of the largest forests in Southeast Asia.

However, Steve Mara regrets that the All Eyes on Papua hashtag has been twisted by some parties who use it to campaign as if there is no development whatsoever in Papua, portraying it as an underdeveloped region with no human resources capable of building Papua’s future. Some even use the hashtag for political purposes, advocating for Papua’s secession from Indonesia.

According to Steve Mara, All Eyes on Papua is a good moment to share information about the success of the development carried out by the government in Papua. Every small development progress in Papua should be appreciated. For example, the Papua Bangkit Stadium, an icon of the National Sports Week, is one of the best stadiums in the Asia-Pacific, or the construction of the Trans Papua Road, the construction of grand government buildings, connecting bridges that facilitate access and boost the economy, the construction of ports and airports, special markets for Papuan women, and the allocation of special funds from the central government to local governments in the six provinces in Papua for planned programs.

Other successfully implemented national strategic programs in Papua include the construction of the Papua Youth Creative Hub, which serves as an incubator for the development of young Papuan resources, and the provision of land for the cultivation of rice and corn spanning hundreds of thousands of hectares.

Additionally, All Eyes on Papua should be a moment to showcase the increasingly excellent young Papuan resources, such as Jose Nerotouw, an elementary school student who excels in Mathematics and became a young lecturer teaching Calculus at Cenderawasih University and met Elon Musk in Bali, or other young Papuans who have brought Papua’s name to the international stage with their achievements.

All Eyes on Papua should also be used to promote Papua as a peaceful land that welcomes people of all ethnicities, religions, and cultures. All Eyes on Papua can be used to highlight the tourism potential we have, such as Biak and Serui islands, which are rich in tourism potential but receive minimal coverage, thus attracting fewer local and international tourists to these areas.

Raja Ampat, with its world-class tourism potential, should continue to be promoted, as well as ecotourism areas in the Arfak Mountains that can be viral. These initiatives will benefit the local economy and increase regional tax revenue to build a better Papua, rather than focusing on conflict and negative narratives that hinder the progress of the Papuan people in building their region.

Image 1. Kepulauan Raja Ampat.
Image 2. Jembatan Merah, Jayapura.
Image 3. Stadiun Papua Bangkit
Image 4.  Kantor Gubernur Provinsi Papua
Image 5. Kantor Majelis Rakyat Papua
Image 6.  Perbatasan RI PNG
Image 7. Pelabuhan Jayapura
Image 8. Telaga Biru, Biak.

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