Establishing successful ecotourism operations in remote locations is a team effort, and ours are no exception. We have been blessed with finding partners, both from within indigenous Papuan communities and from outside the region, who share our enthusiasm and vision for a healthy, sustainable Papua for its forests and for its people. Here we introduce you to just a sampling of some of the many wonderful individuals and organizations with whom we work.
Ecotourism and training
Local guide, Arfak Mountains
Zeth is a native of the Hattam tribe, born and raised in the villages of Syioubri and nearby Mokwam in the Arfak Mountains. He is a self-trained bird guide and has led bird watching tours in the Arfak Mountains since 1994. His profound and abundant knowledge of the wildlife of his home region has established his reputation as the most reliable and successful guide in the Arfak area. His name is widely recognized in the global birding community, and he
has been written up in Lonely Planet's Guide to Indonesia. As a result of his work as a forest guide, he has been able to support his family, his community and his church. Such opportunities are extraordinarily rare for rural indigenous Papuans. Most importantly, the people of Mokwam as a whole have come to understand from his example the value in protecting the birds and forests of their land. They no longer hunt birds for food, and have traded slash-and-burn agriculture for rotating through pre-existing fallow garden sites.
Cook, Wamena/Lake Habbema
Bireun is a member of the Lani tribe from the Baliem Valley area of the Central Highlands. While working as a porter, Bireun learned how to prepare food and to present meals. He progressed his skills, became a respected cook,
and has been working in that capacity for a period of around ten years. He is now considered to be one of the best expedition cooks in the Wamena area, and expedition members can anticipate camp fire meals that easily compete in quality with those served in restaurants in Wamena. Bireun works with a group of trackers and guides who are constantly increasing the range of their working activities, their locational knowledge, and their abilities in bird identification.