The Jakarta Post
Imitation crown: Two Papuan girls hold a hat decorated with fake Cendrawasih bird feathers in Jayapura, Papua, on Friday. Papua Governor Lukas Enembe issued a circular banning exploitation of the bird for accessories or souvenirs as part of efforts to protect the endangered animal. (JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)
Papua Governor Lukas Enembe has issued a circular banning exploitation of the province’s endemic Cendrawasih birds for accessories and souvenirs to mark World Environment Day.
The ban was announced by the provincial administration’s secretary, Heri Dosinaen, during an event in Nimbokrang, Jayapura regency, on Friday, as they found that Cendrawasih birds were on the brink of extinction as a result of rampant poaching of the animal.
The ban prohibits the sale of stuffed Cendrawasih and use of the birds’ feathers for souvenirs and accessories. Cendrawasih parts were sometimes placed on heads of visiting officers or guests as a gesture of respect.
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“All of that has to be stopped. As a replacement they can use imitation products of the birds,” Heri said.
The preserved birds can now only be used during a sacred Papuan procession in which bird parts are adorned on the head of an indigenous group leader.
The administration also mulled a plan to soon raid souvenir shops while finalizing a bylaw specifically detailing the ban of Cendrawasih for accessories and souvenirs.
The governor’s move received a nod from Piter Roki Aloisius of WWF Indonesia’s Papua program, who urged the administration to immediately introduce a measure to detail the implementation of the ban.
“The circular has to be announced to the world [to show] that the Papuan administration is very committed to protecting the endemic bird,” he said, later calling on everyone in Papua to obey the circular.
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A similar show of support came from Steven Rumawar, a producer of Cendrawasih imitation products, who urged everyone to join the cause.
“Let’s join hands to save the heavenly bird,” said Steven who, along with some of his friends grouped under the Noken Set Awin club, had in 2007 started an initiative to produce Cendrawasih imitation products.
The products, made of chicken feathers and wood, were painted white, yellow and brown to resemble Cendrawasih feathers. A set of head accessories was priced at around Rp 200,000 (US$15).
The Papua Environment Agency has designated five locations in the province for development of Cendrawasih conservation ecotourism and watching, including two monitoring sites in Jayapura regency — Amay in Depapre district and Rhepang Muaif in Nimbokrang district.
The others are Baraway in Yapen Islands; Sawendul in Raimbawi district and Poom in Pom district — both in Yapen regency.