Sentani, Jubi – The one-hectare sago forest on the outskirts of Sereh Village in Sentani District, Jayapura Regency, has turned it into a sought-after tourist destination. The local community successfully repurposed the sago forest into an attraction without harming the sago trees that have traditionally provided for the villagers' daily needs.
Jimmy Ondikleuw, a young resident of Sereh Village, shared that until now, the sago forest had solely been utilized for fulfilling the village's daily requirements. However, after careful consideration and collaborative brainstorming involving village youth, the village government, and traditional leaders, a decision was made to develop the sago forest into a tourist spot.
"Within the sago forest area, there are now seating arrangements, a spacious stage, and tables set up for visitors," He further elaborated during an interview conducted in Sereh Village on Thursday, August 10, 2023.
The new tourist destination is envisioned to offer various attractions beyond the forest itself. Plans include culinary experiences, handicraft displays, and captivating arts and cultural performances
"In the upcoming events, we will showcase artistic and cultural performances within this sago forest. Local artists are also enthusiastic to participate, reflecting their support for tourism development in Jayapura Regency," said Ondikleuw.
This innovative addition to the village's offerings is set to harness the full potential of Sereh Village. It paves the way for artisans, craftsmen, carvers, and artists to flourish.
"As the younger generation, it's time for us to strive and give our best, not only for personal growth but also to spread positive impacts to others, especially those closely tied to our village," Ondikleuw stated.
Steven Eluay, the head of Sereh Village, warmly welcomed and endorsed the community's endeavors in establishing this new tourist attraction within the sago grove. He emphasized the importance of preserving the forest and the environment in this venture, urging for collective efforts in maintaining the sago trees and ensuring the forest's long-term sustainability.
"This creative idea deserves unwavering support from all parties. The sago trees must be safeguarded. Planting more sago is essential to ensure the continued maintenance and protection of this forest by the entire Sereh village community," he asserted. (*)