The core of the delegation were village leaders from a range of island settlements involved in community-based ecotourism and who are members of the Raja Ampat Homestay Association (PERJAMPAT). The Association represents around a hundred indigenous, family-run, ecotourism businesses dedicated to sustaining their island home and way of life.
The exchange explored how land reform in Scotland has given communities the means to recover from bygone trauma of eviction, decades of emigration and the loss of language and identity. It revealed the common ground that rural communities in Papua share in that story, and facilitated discussions around:
(1) The importance of remembering and celebrating community language, history and identity, and of ensuring that future generations learn about these things, too.
(2) The qualities of collaborative and spiritually grounded leadership needed to hold healthy community, and to work accountably and in service of others.
(3) The role that community ownership and enterprise play in meeting basic needs such as health, education, energy and housing, while strengthening the bonds between people and with the land.
(4) Supporting organisational structures that serve to keep land in community ownership and management; and to engage government.
Read the full report here.