West Papua (Papua Barat) Covers the two western peninsulas of the island of New Guinea, West Papua is one of Indonesia’s two provinces located in the western part of the island of Papua. The capital is Manokwari, but the largest city is Sorong. The 2010 census recorded a population of 893,362 for the whole province. The total area of the province is approximately 10.0 million hectares, of which 9 million hectares are forest and 1 million hectares are peatland. With forest covering 90% of the total area of the province, West Papua has some of the most pristine primary forests in Indonesia. Plantation and crop area is minimal relative to primary and secondary upland and swamp forest. Over the course of 5 years (2006-2011), degradation rates reached nearly 600 thousand hectares. The deforestation and degradation rate is exceptionally low compared with other Indonesian provinces. The calculation of above ground carbon stock in 2009 amounted to 1,514.79 million tons and was conducted using the Tier-1 methodology based on the IPCC.
The province has tremendous potential, be it agriculture, mining, forest products and tourism. Pearls and seaweed are produced in Raja Ampat district while the only traditional weaving industry called Timor cloth is produced in Sorong Selatan district. Pure fragrant nutmeg can be obtained in Fak-Fak district. In addition, nature tourism is also one of the mainstays of West Papua, such as Cenderawasih Bay National Park located in Teluk Wondama district. After decades of top-down government management of forestry operations, with little consultation with affected communities, many indigenous communities in Papua and West Papua are far from clear about their rights to land and natural resources. 80% of the indigenous communities are in rural areas and 70% of these are officially classified as poor, with little access to information on government plans for their natural resources.
At the Green Governors Gala COP 13 (2007) in Bali, in front of the world’s political and business leaders, The Governors of Papua and West Papua expressed their support for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, or REDD+. The strategic issues raised in the SRAP document (Provincial Strategy and Action Plan) include (1) Increasing and aligning provincial conservation policies; (2) Accelerating establishment and operation of forest management units (KPH); (3) Addressing uncertainty of customary community rights; (4) Implementation of a community-based forest management paradigm; and (5) The policy of limiting the sale of logs to outside West Papua. The objectives of the implementation of the REDD+ Strategy and Action Plan in West Papua Province are (1) Reduce degradation and deforestation due to conversion of forest land and forest area functions; (2) Increase efforts to rehabilitate degraded land and development of community plantations; and (3) Improve forest and land governance and management through the implementation of development of Forest Management Units (KPH).
More information can be found on the GCF Impact Platform.