Tutup Sasi on Wayag Island Marks Commitment to Protect Biodiversity in the Raja Ampat Area

Raja Ampat – The traditional closing ceremony of Sasi marks the commitment of the Kawe people from Salpele and Salio villages to protect the surrounding area. “We hope that everything the Kawe tribal people do is for the future of their children and grandchildren. They are not only spectators but they become managing actors who are able to manage the wayag area, ”said the chairman of the Raja Ampat Maya Adat Council, Kristian Thebu, on the sidelines of the traditional event.

On November 3, 2020, on Wayag Island, the community held a traditional Sasi closing ceremony. The Sasi closing activity was attended by the Chairman of the Maya Tribe, the Regent of Raja Ampat, the Raja Ampat Police Chief, the Head of the Raja Ampat Water Police, BKKPN Kupang Wilker Raja Ampat, PSDKP Wilker Raja Ampat, Blud KKPD Raja Ampat, West Papua KSDA Center, the Reef Foundation Karang Indonesia, Fauna Flora International and the Papua Nazareth Foundation. Along with this customary event, a Customary Regulation was also stipulated which regulates the protection of the marine biota ecosystem on Wayag Island and its surrounding islands.

Sasi is a local wisdom that has been carried out from generation to generation to maintain the natural balance of an area. This term refers to the periodization of the use of biodiversity in the region. When the community agrees to close the Sasi, no one may take certain marine biota in the agreed area. In the context of the Raja Ampat region, these important biota include turtles, lola, clams, sea cucumbers and lobsters.

“The basis for us to encourage this sasi in Wayag (Raja Ampat area) is because there are many violations that have occurred in this place. Both from within the indigenous community itself and from outside. Especially in very important biota, such as turtles, sea turtles, shrimp, Taripang, “said Kristian Thebu. Although Wayag Island and the surrounding islands which are included in the Raja Ampat area have become a conservation area. However, violations that destroy the balance of nature still occur. “It’s useless to have a conservation area, but people still commit violations,” he said.

Therefore, the community through elements of the customary, religious and local government councils agreed to encourage the implementation of sasi. Not only that, this local wisdom is also being strengthened by customary regulations. So that it has the power to regulate the community in efforts to protect and utilize a conservation area.