TEMPO.CO, Jayapura - Papuan Customary figures demanded the government manage Lake Sentani like the management of Lake Toba in Medan, North Sumatra.
Tidores Marweri, the customary figure or ondoafi of Doyo Lama, Jayapura Regency, suggested the formation of a special body to manage Lake Sentani as to develop it as a leading tourist destination in the country’s easternmost province.
"Lake Sentani needs to be developed into one of the leading tourist destination centers in eastern Indonesia," said Tidores in Jayapura, Papua, Sunday, November 10.
Apart from its beautiful nature, Lake Sentani has historical value and potential to boost the economy of locals living on the coast of the lake.
Tirodes’s input was supported by Naftali Felle, the head of the pottery crafters community Titian Hidup in Abar Village. The man who is also the Village Chief said two villages around the lake are ready to accommodate and serve tourists.
The two villages are Kampung Asei and Kampung Abar that have their own unique crafts. Asei village is famous for its wooden bark paintings, while Abar village for its traditional pottery. Besides, Abar village has become a pilot village applying renewable energy of solar power, Naftali added.
Another new energy source was also being developed, which was in the form of charcoal briquettes from sago trunks. "This concept of ecotourism and culture could be applied in Lake Sentani areas. So a special board is necessary to handle this," he said.
Naftali went on to say that Lake Sentani had established multiple festivals to attract many tourists. However, the event was not held sustainably.
A senior researcher from the Papua Archaeological Center, Hari Suroto, said Lake Sentani is already well-known internationally. Therefore, to develop the tourism potential, the government could only determine the tourism packaging while still upholding the local wisdom.