The History of West Papua: A Geographical Approach

We’ve Heard A Lot About The Majestic Beauty Of West Papua, But We Don’t Know So Little About This Region. So, Stay With Us For A Moment To Learn More About It.

Slug: the-history-of-west-papua-and-its-natural-potential


Who is new to Labuan Bajo or Raja Ampat? Both are tourist attractions that are exceedingly popular amongst tourists. With a wide array of natural beauty and natural potential on offer, it is not surprising that Western Papua is popular amongst visitors. And one could argue that Indonesia is so blessed with a plethora of spectacular natural features, including West Papua.

In addition, the natural potential offered is extremely vast, such as the possibility of sea beads, which are renowned for being of good quality. Also, more recently, the determination of Merbau wood as a very promising commodity will be a good advantage for the Indonesian economy sector. 

This time, we are going to talk about the history of West Papua from a geographical point of view and its natural treasury.

The Federal Territory


Historically, West Papua was known under the name of West Irian. This region received the most attention because, although the Dutch began to acknowledge the proclamation of Indonesia’s independence, they were still hesitant to abandon Western Papua. Therefore, Indonesia has to move from one negotiation to another to keep Western Papua in its territory. Then it is established as a province during its development, and its governing structure has always been strengthened to the present day.

West Papua is the most westerly part of Indonesia, surrounded by different natural resources, with the city of Manokwari as its capital. The land is divided into 14 (fourteen) regencies and 1 (one) city, which are subdivided into 162 subdivisions and 1321 villages. Who would have thought that Western Papua is extremely dense and populated?



Speaking of its borderland, the Pacific Ocean guards the province on the north; Cenderawasih Bay on the northeast; the Indonesian province of Papua on the southeast; the Banda Sea on the south; Berau Bay (between the two peninsulas);  the Ceram Sea on the west; and the Halmahera Sea on the northwest.

According to the above explanation, the province is surrounded by numerous waterways, which explains why it is claimed that it has a lot of water tourism that we need to take notice of, especially for those of you who enjoy aquatic tourism. These various natural touristic recommendations you can visit are Raja Ampat, Framu Lake, Bakaro Beach, Doreri Bay, Bintuni Bay, and so on. So, come on, plan a trip to the tourist destinations of our homeworld.

Faunal Region

If we study geography in school, our teachers will never fail to teach us about Indonesia’s diverse flora and fauna, especially endemic animals or animals only found in certain locations. Can you recall which animals are endemic to Papua?

Cendrawasih, often known as the bird of paradise, is an indigenous mammal protected in Papua. Aside from Cendrawasih, there is also a cassowary with its distinctive blue neck. The conclusion of all this is that the fauna of Western Papua is identical to that of the Australian mainland.

So, in terms of faunal taxonomy, West Papua is closest to Australia. It is one of the reasons why some of the animals found in this area can also be found in Australia. Marsupials, including tree kangaroos and forest wallabies, egg-laying echinoids (monotresis), and various bats and rodents, are examples of common mammals. Among the most prominent birds are cassowaries (as previously mentioned), birds of paradise, hummingbirds, sandpipers, and swifts.

In addition, the territory is surrounded by water, making it a magnet for the abundant biodiversity of the marine region. The province is home to a diverse range of frogs and coral reefs around the Raja Ampat Islands, including seahorses, crustaceans, manta rays, turtles, and several species of fish.

The Mining Potential


Apart from what has already been stated, West Papua also boasts a very profitable mining sector. Who’s never heard of Freeport? A gold extraction site (specifically, Grasberg Mountain) that is abundant and cannot be neglected. Freeport, with its never-ending mineral resources, generates enough tax revenue to fill Indonesia’s public coffers.

It does not stop there; there are a variety of other natural resources that may be found in this area, including mineral resources. Barrels of oil mills have been retrieved from the Papuan earth’s belly to support human life. Therefore, once again, it can be stated that Indonesia is extremely fortunate to have such a wealthy motherland.

Furthermore, given West Papua’s historical and geographical proximity to Australia, which is considered to bear the world’s largest uranium reserves on the continent, the latest discovery indicated that there are approximately 89,000 tons of uranium, as well as thorium 143,234 metric tons.

What a ride and a nice journey across our lovely and lush paradise of Indonesia. Last but not least, it’s heartening to know that, aside from Bali, Indonesia also has such a beautiful tourist attraction that we can brag about to our international friends, and it is called West Papua.