Problems emerge in spatial arrangement following land conversion in Merauke regency. Protectional areas for biodiversities, ecosystem, and cultural values are getting more threatened due to functional conversion that is being done for economic development zones.
This is exacerbated by the decreasing, supporting power of land and environment for spatial allocation. Data from Regional Investment (BPMD) agency of Merauke in 2013 recorded investment plans up to 1.2 million ha that had been asked by 25 companies.
"Meanwhile, development tends to be dominated by the elite with improper approach, model, and implementation. So, participatory approach and method emerge as alternatives instead," said Wika Avelino Rumbiak, S.T., M.Sc in her doctoral promotion in Environment Studies at UGM Graduate School on Thursday (27/7).
Defending her dissertation Environment Management in the Gender Perspective Based on Mental Maps, Case Study of Malind Anim Customary Community in Merauke Regency, Papua, Wika Rumbiak said the interpretation of mental map in environment management which is behaviouristic is very important, because basically it is not normative and the target is individual behaviour that wants to accept information and apply it for decision making.
Meanwhile, the Malind Anim community is culturally ruled by pure patriarchal system, with the men ranking highest in the cultural status. Recognition of women is ruled in the culture, but their responsibility customarily is unequal with the men. As such, in their daily activities they are indeed involved but not given right for decision making. Women have more roles in domestic management and men in public domain.
"In this gender perspective, the environment as the main element always connects to women’s lives. Unfortunately, it is the women that have direct impact of the decrease in environment quality,” she said.
Wika affirmed in Merauke there had actually been efforts to explore mental maps of the Malind Anim community in order that the community can give suggestions on the concept of space ownership and concept of natural resource management. Even so, there is still agrarian and multiculture conflicts arising between customary community and external groups (private and government).
“So, agreement needs to be made between parties that support sustainable development,” she suggested, accompanied by promoter, Prof. Dr. M. Baiquni, M.A, and co-promoter, Dr. Nurul Khakim, M.Si.