On the Environment

West Papua

One of the last untouched corners of the planet

The Land of West Papua is home to the third-largest tropical forest area in the world and stands as one of the last remaining resources we have for tackling climate change.

One of the most biodiverse regions on earth, it holds the world’s largest mangrove forest and significant peatlands. These habitats hold four times the amount of carbon that an average terrestrial forest does.

Despite this, West Papua has become a hotspot for extractive industries, fuelled by weak governance, and a lack of enforcement measures by the Indonesian government. Large areas of West Papua have already been converted for logging and palm oil interests, encroaching and appropriating land owned by indigenous communities that have lived in relative harmony with the region’s forests for thousands of years. Often local people are paid a pittance for their land and lose their homes, their means of growing food and their livelihoods. Watch this short documentary from the BBC to see how one Oil Palm Company certified by the FSC has caused devastation to the future of local people.

Mining, logging and oil palm interests fuel social and political conflict and unrest, which has led to increased militarisation of many areas of Papua where there are mineral resources and areas for potential plantations.

Our response

Papua Partners works with environmental activists and local community-based organisations to support communities displaced by land-based conflict, and natural disasters. This includes people affected by resource extraction and conflict. We work with organisations to enhance knowledge, skills and organising to protect rich local natural environments, through sustainable livelihoods, natural resource management and effective community development. Indigenous communities are supported to develop livelihoods that protect, rather than deplete, local environments.

Stories from our Partners

I Care For The Earth Community

I Care For The Earth Community

The beaches around the capital Jayapura and on the coast of Papua are often covered in plastic and other rubbish which has washed in from the sea, from the rivers, or left by visitors. Yohanna Barransano, environmental activist and Director of IWaTaLi Papua, started a...

read more

For more information on West Papua and the environment please check out the following resources:

BBC documentary on Oil Palm and Indigenous Communities – view here.

The womens only Mangrove Forest endangered by plastic pollution – view here.

Environmental News From Mongabay – view here.

Papua Partners, West Papua, Charity Newry, Northern Ireland

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