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.

Papua Partners statement on COP26 Climate Change Talks

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Take Action

Write a letter to Alok Sharma who is the President of COP26 or to your MP to take urgent action on Climate Change and ensure that the voices of Indigenous People are heard at the COP26 Climate Change talks in Glasgow starting on 31 October

Take Action and Write a letter to the President of COP26 and your MP

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Stories from our Partners

The Struggle of Papuan Women in Tiru and Yum

The Struggle of Papuan Women in Tiru and Yum

The Struggle of Papuan Women in Tiru and YumBy: Rode Wanimbo In Lani and Walak languages—languages spoken in the Central Highlands of West Papua, tiru means a pillar. There are four tiru (pillars) that stand firmly in the middle of the Lani roundhouse...

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Savings groups

Savings groups

Rebuilding financial capital has been a vital component in building up resilience and moving towards ending post disaster dependency. This has been key to the work of YAPELIN and Papua Partners in the second phase of the disaster response. Since the...

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Response to Flash Floods

Response to Flash Floods

People are now gradually starting to lift their heads and start to think about their futures after having everything torn away from them by the flash floods. It is very hard to imagine having everything you have built up and everything that you depend on...

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Stopping Violence Against Women

Stopping Violence Against Women

Yasumat have continued to expand the church and community mobilisation project, equipping local churches to transform their communities. They are now working with about 50 local churches amongst the Yali, Hupla and Kimyal tribes in the remote Yahukimo...

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Youth Engagement for Peace and Justice

Youth Engagement for Peace and Justice

Over the past few years we have seen the increasing frustration from young people who feel they are not being listened to by the government or the church. They see so many problems around them and want to act but don’t know what do to effect change....

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Quiz Night – March 2018

Quiz Night – March 2018

Many thanks to Grant for organising another fantastic Quiz Night and fish and chip supper – with excellent questions and puzzles from Malcolm! Great fun was had by all and the evening raised an amazing £3,030! Thank you so much to all who came for their...

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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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