Laws, Policies and Strategies


In 2014, the previous Governor Abraham Ataruri signed the Rio Branco Declaration (RBD). The signatories of the Rio Branco Declaration committed to reduce deforestation by 80% by 2020 if they received adequate, sufficient, and long-term performance-based funding. In 2016, Indonesia members have put together a work plan to implement declaration, including West Papua. West Papua Province has invited public and private investments to support the development of forest management units in the province.

In 2015, West Papua declared its commitment to becoming a conservation province. Since then, a draft of the Special Autonomy Law has been formulated. The draft is currently being finalized in the parliament. There have been some criticisms regarding the process of announcing the declaration of a conservation province considering that most land in West Papua is owned by indigenous people. Hence, from a social perspective, without a proper consultation process with indigenous groups, this could be seen as being similar to commercial land grabbing. However, if done properly, this commitment can present a significant opportunity for West Papua to define its own, unique development pathway that differs from other provinces that have experienced massive deforestation and degradation.

Currently, West Papua aims to build on Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012 that recognized the land rights of indigenous people in state forest areas. A draft Special Autonomy Law on the acknowledgement and protection the indigenous people rights on land has been drafted. The draft is currently under discussion in the provincial parliament. This regulation is fundamental for the recognition of indigenous land claims and should be signed into law before any large-scale land use activities, such as plantation estates or conservation activities, should be allowed in West Papua.

Efforts for developing and monitoring jurisdictional sustainability indicators have also been initiated. The project is financed by European Forestry Institute. The indicators were initially developed through a public consultation process at the provincial level, which should be further improved through more stakeholder consultations. A monitoring system to track the sustainability indicators is under development.

Strategies and Policies

West Papua Provincial REDD+ Action Plan (SRAP) - Published in April 2013, the REDD+ Action Plan highlights the general condition and issues of forestry, vision, mission, issues, implementation strategies, specific basis, accomplishment measurements, monitoring, reference emission level, and mitigation actions.

Local Action Plan for Greenhouse Gases Emission Reduction (RAD-GRK) Completed in 2011, the RAD-GRK provides a medium term action plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions across sectors in West Papua through 2020. The Projected Business as Usual (BAU) of West Papua Province by 2020 without mitigation action intervention, the forestry sector occupies the largest share of GHG emissions by 98%. The strategy was formalized in 2012 through governor decree. Chapters of the RAD-GRK are available for individual download: Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7

Laws and Regulations:

Draft Regulation on Customary Forests 2016 - Draft regulation on customary rights in the province of W Papua.

Provincial Regulation 15/2013 - Regarding Waste Management has been a strong push for the province to commence proper waste management to prevent pollution in major residential areas in the province.

Governor Regulation 12/2013- Regarding Timber Circulation – West Papua originally banned transporting raw logs to promote downstream timber industry through the issuance of Governor Regulation 2/2008. However, the ban caused problems with the production and sale of legal timber due to weak downstream industry. The issuance of Governor Regulation 12/2013 to revise Governor Regulation 2/2008 aims to prepare the downstream timber industry so the ban could be put in place in near future.

Provincial Regulation 11/2013 - Regarding the Protection of Women and Children from Violence provides a strong basis for developing policies, programs and activities to acknowledge and protect the right of women and children in the province.

Provincial Regulation 4/2013 - Formalizes the Provincial Spatial Plan of West Papua 2013-2033. The plan was revised in 2015 and the total protected forest area in the spatial plan decreased by 1.9 million hectares, from 5.3 million hectares to 3.3 million hectares. In the revised plan, this area is devoted to agriculture and other cultivation uses.

Governor Decree 674/98/III/2012 - establishes of coordination team to implement provincial action plan on GHG reduction to coordinate, socialization, facilitate, and monitoring of the related activities.

Special Autonomy Law 21/2001 - West Papua Province, which was established in 2003, enjoys the special autonomy status based on Law 21/2001. The Law was first issued for the entire Papua island, before it was split into two provinces, Papua and West Papua Provinces. The special autonomy status grants the authority for West Papua Province to manage the province, including the environment and natural resources, according to the local situations in the province. Specifically, the Law stipulates the authority of the provincial government to pursue economic development considering the sustainability of natural resources, respecting the rights of indigenous people, and ensuring the social protection of people in the province. Furthermore, the Law also stipulates the establishment of Indigenous People Council (Majelis Rakyat Papua) which represent the indigenous people groups in the decision-making process. The Law was further detailed into several provincial special autonomy laws, including Special Autonomy Laws 5/2010 on the selection of the Indigenous People Council representatives and 6/2012 regarding the authority of the Council.

Institutional Framework

Provincial Forestry Agency - manages and oversees the forestry sector related issues, including policy formulation.

Plantation Agency - controls the non-forest areas land use, plan, and issuance of the permits.

Environmental Agency – has authority over the protection and management of the environment, including climate change related issues.

BAPPEDA - the Provincial Development Planning Agency that coordinates on the policy formulation of the regional development planning with sustainable development and low carbon as the basis

Zoning and Spatial Planning

West Papua's Spatial Plan was formalized through the provincial bylaw 4/2013 and covers the period 2013-2033. The Spatial Plan was revised in 2015, reducing the protected areas by 1.9 million hectares to 3.3 million hectares and increasing areas designated for cultivation.

Engagement and Participation with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

The People's Assembly of West Papua represents indigenous Papuans and has certain powers for protecting the rights of indigenous Papuans based on respect for traditional customs and culture, as well as for women's empowerment and the establishment of religious harmony in West Papua Province. West Papua Regional Law 4/2012 specifies how the Assembly’s membership is constituted.

Further, West Papua aims to take advantage of the constitutional court decision 35/2012 on land right acknowledgement. A draft Special Autonomous Law acknowledging and protecting indigenous peoples’ land rights has been developed. The indigenous/customary forest (Adat forest) plan represents a form of recognition of customary rights for forest areas and their forest resources.