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By : Noldy Brachman )*

The regional expansion efforts carried out in Papua are of course carried out with the aim of advancing Papua as well as making Papua more orderly. Because after all, regional expansion in Papua must provide space for local communities as a regional political commitment.

The Acting Regent of Mimika, Valentinus Sudarjanto Sumito, assessed that the expansion of the New Autonomous Region (DOB) in Papua certainly cannot be separated from the government’s attention. Including the issue in West Papua, related to population distribution is the main issue. As well as the distribution of lagging villages. There is also a poverty rate that is still above the national average.

He continued, there is also a local political configuration that is currently continuing, so that polarization between mountain communities and coastal communities is very visible. Hence, regional expansion in Papua must provide space for local communities.

The Head of the Regional Development Planning Agency (Bappeda) for Papua Province, Yohanis Walilo, in Jayapura said that the division effort had also received attention from the World Bank, which stated its readiness to facilitate the preparation of the Regional Spatial Plan (RTRW) of the new autonomous regions resulting from the expansion of the main province of Papua. 

The World Bank plans to help facilitate the preparation of RTRW in new autonomous regions and parent provinces. Of course, this must be welcomed, so that it can be realized as quickly as possible.

According to Yohanis, the actual preparation of the RTRW as the parent province should have been completed. However, due to the formation of new autonomous regions, data collection had to be carried out again. The RTRW has been completed, but there is expansion and it is based on the results of several previous meetings.

Yohanis also added that RTRW is part of the general and derivative plan and refers to higher regulations, namely development plans at national, provincial and district/city levels. RTRW is the basis for formulating space utilization policies, both in provincial and district/city areas.

On a different occasion, the Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration (Mendes PDTT), Abdul Halim Iskandar, firmly said that the inauguration of the new autonomous region in Papua would accelerate equitable development and peace in Papua, so that the welfare of the people in Papua could be more guaranteed. Abdul also hopes that the existence of new autonomous regions will no longer cause conflicts such as conflicts resulting from territorial struggles between mountain communities and communities living on the coast of Papua.

Previously, on November 17 2022, the DPR RI Plenary Session approved the Draft Law (RUU) concerning the Establishment of the Province of Southwest Papua to become law. The objectives of the expansion of provinces in Papua are contained in article 93 of Government Regulation Number 106 of 2021 concerning the Authority and Institutions for Implementing the Special Autonomy Policy for Papua Province.

The regulation states that expansion is to accelerate equitable development, improve public services, community welfare, and the dignity of indigenous Papuans (OAP). The expansion itself will certainly have a positive impact because the management of welfare and development plans in Papua will run well. In addition, the division will also increase security stability in Papua.

Apart from that, it should also be noted that the preparation of the Provincial Spatial Plan must take into account several things, including the carrying capacity and capacity of the environment as well as the alignment of aspirations for provincial development and district/city development. In line with this, the RTRW of the province of Papua will carry the vision of realizing a sustainable spatial plan to support development that is integrated, harmonious, prosperous and independent. This was raised in the exposure of the Papua Province RTRW before the National Spatial Planning Coordinating Board team in Jakarta.

Governor of Papua Barnabas Suebu conveyed eight spatial planning missions to support the vision of spatial planning for the province of Papua. Among other things, it includes efforts to realize national, provincial and district/city regional spatial planning. By paying attention to local wisdom; ie realizing the integration of the use and control of land, sea and air space, including space inside the earth, realizing the harmony of the environment and the built environment; realizing balance and harmonious development between regions; realizing the balance and harmony of activities between sectors; realize the increase in the welfare and quality of life of the community; realizing social, economic and cultural independence; and realizing dynamic state defense and security as well as national integration.

The issue that is developing in Papua Province is the division of districts where part of their territory is within a national park area, increasing environmental damage both on land, on the coast and at sea, the utilization of natural resource potentials which is still ineffective, there is no complete data on the location of villages which are representation of the existence of the Papuan population, the Human Development Index (HDI) which is still low, the need for consideration of disaster mitigation, and the absence of clear mapping of customary lands.

Spatial planning is one of the things that needs attention, it is intended that regional expansion is useful in reducing conflict and facilitating the affordability of the community for administrative management.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Bali

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