Papua Diving, the RARCC’s main sponsor, was chosen as the destination of a field trip included in the “High-level meeting on Green Investment Blueprint for Papua and West Papua”, facilitated by the Yayasan Inisiatif Dagang Hijau (IDH).
According to the IDH, the meeting focused on the potential for green investment to bring revenue of up to USD 200 million and create livelihoods for 60,000 families in both Indonesian provinces, while following the principles of inclusive and sustainable development.
In the list of high-level government leaders present at the meeting was the coordinating minister for Maritime Affairs and Investments Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, the minister of Cooperative and SMEs Teten Masduki, the minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo, the head of Investment Board Bahlil Lahadalia, the deputy minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Angela Tanosoedibjo, and the governor of West Papua Dominggus Mandacan.
Around 200 people from the Indonesian government, national and international businesses, civil society organizations and indigenous and religious entities joined the event held at Swiss-Belhotel Sorong on the 27th February.
The goal of the meeting was to have a sustainable economic plan for Papua and West Papua, and the pillars of the proposal were: green investment; agriculture, specifically non-palm tropical commodities like cocoa and coffee; marine protected areas to consider in fisheries; financing the protection of standing forests and mangroves; and eco-tourism with high value and low impact. Read more about the results of the meeting here.
The co-founder and manager of P.T. Papua Diving Resorts, Max Ammer, considered “very positive” for instance, that the Indonesian government won’t issue new permits for oil palm plantations in Papua anymore. There is also a “strong commitment” to not allow more logging in Papua, he said.
“It is still the beginning, but a very good beginning. Finally, people are getting the light and doing the right thing. We feel really positive about it, but it is a lot of work,” he added.
Max Ammer underlined that “more and more businesses are very serious about going green” and influencing each other in a good way. “Finally many people are really doing something, not just talking about it,” he stressed out.
On the next day, around 45 people visited Sorido Bay Resort because the resort was chosen by the organizers of the event as an example of a successful green investment in Papua.
Some travelled from Sorong to Waisai, the closest city to Kri island, by an aeroplane arranged by Papua Diving, while others came directly by boat.
In the morning, Catherine Witten, from Atlas Pearls, talked about “Enhancing local expertise in aquaculture business”, and Max Ammer and his business partner Richard Sneider gave a presentation about “Pioneering ecotourism in Raja Ampat and engagement of local communities.”
After lunch, the RARCC director Max Ammer showed the new catamarans.
“Already during the meeting [in Sorong], there were two companies that asked us to build these boats for them, so that is very positive. It is definitely one of the best contributions we can do as a company,” Max Ammer said.
From Friday until Sunday, the RARCC, Papua Diving and Kayak4Conservation had the honour to host eleven guests. One of them was Enki Tan, the executive chairman of Giti Tire, which in 2019 was ranked as the 11th tire manufacturing company in the world based on revenues.
Paul Polman, co-founder and chair of Imagine, a benefit corporation and foundation accelerating business leadership to achieve the Global Goals, also stayed with us, alongside with Valerie Keller, co-founder and CEO of Imagine.
Among our guests were Neo Gim Huay, managing director of Sustainability at Temasek, an investment company headquartered in Singapore, and Mark Le Menestrel, a tenured professor at University Pompeu Fabra (Spain), visiting professor at the INSEAD (France) and senior associate at The Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership (United Kingdom).
Tom Owen Edmunds and Felicity Wade, both from World Resources Institute (WRI), the IDH CEO Joost Oorthuizen, the ecotourism consultant Jose Luis Sanchez and Gary Roberts, a pilot working for Adventist Aviation Indonesia, stayed at our facilities too.
From our partner Conservation International, we hosted Richard Jeo, senior vice-president of Asia-Pacific Field Division, Robert Baigrie, senior director of the division Developed Markets of the Asia-Pacific Field Division, and Meity Mongdong, director of the Bird’s Head Seascape Program.
Richard Sneider is the chairman of Earthbar LLC, a health supply retail company, and he was a co-founder of One World Star Holdings International LTD. He is IUCN FFSG Global Chair and Patron of Nature at the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Richard Sneider is also part of the Chairman’s Council of Conservation International, the Board at the Los Angeles Zoo, and the Board of the Humpty Dumpty Institute, and an extreme explorer.