Manokwari, West Papua (ANTARA) - Acting Governor of West Papua Paulus Waterpauw affirmed that the province is ramping up efforts to preserve Wondama Bay District's forests, as they are the "lungs of the planet."

"Let us protect forests together, so they can benefit all of us," Waterpauw stated in Wasior, Wondama Bay, on Thursday.

In protecting forests in Wondama Bay, he urged the province's forestry officials to work in an optimized manner in conducting their duties, supported by the newly inaugurated building of the forestry office branch (CDK) region III at Wondama Bay.

He noted that the improvement in infrastructure will support technical officials in protecting and preserving the forest areas there.

He also encouraged forestry officials to educate the public in order to invite them to help nurture nature and the environment.

According to Waterpauw, the entire forest area in Papua is the lungs of the world.

There were 9.7 million hectares of forest in West Papua before the Southwest Papua Province was established.

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Currently, West Papua has a forest area reaching six million hectares spread across seven districts.

"Especially in the Wondama Bay District, based on the 2020 measurements, the forest area reaches 433,587.78 hectares. This is huge with the rich potential of natural resources," he remarked.

Meanwhile, Wondama Bay District Head Hendrik Mambor explained that most of the district's forest area is protected forest in the form of nature reserves and national parks, including protected marine areas.

He noted that the lack of space that can be utilized makes it difficult for the local government to realize infrastructure improvement programs.

Mambor highlighted that the district government is striving to reconstruct or rearrange the boundaries of protected forest areas, so that there is room for the development for local communities.

In rearranging the forest boundaries, his side has been coordinating with the Forest Area Stabilization Center (BPKH), the provincial government, and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

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Translator: Fransiskus W, Kenzu
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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