West Papua is a province in Indonesia located in the west part of Papua Island. West Papua area coverage consists of Domberai Peninsula, Bomberai, Wondiwoi and Raja Ampat islands. As for the capital city, it is located in Manokwari, and the biggest city is in Sorong City. This province was expanded from Province of Papua through the constitution number 45 in 1999.
This province is bounded to the north of Pacific Ocean, to the northeast of Cenderawasih Bay, to the southeast of Indonesian province of Papua, to the south of Banda Sea, to the west of Berau Bay and the Seram Sea, and to the northwest of Halmahera Sea. The area coverage is 97,024 square km and population of 760,422 people.
Geography of West Papua and Its Animal
Most of West Papua is covered by rainforest. In the lowland coastal area, there are mangrove swamps. In the deltaic regions, we can see sago palms, nipa palms, and pandanus swamps prevail. On the low-lying inland forests, there are some wet trees like Barringtonia (Brazil nut family) and Terminalia (a source of fine wood for furniture and boats material) as well as various types of ebony.
Chestnut trees are common in the low regions and as the elevation increases, there are false beech forests, and then on the higher elevation there are conifers. Starting from the late 20th century, deforestation increased significantly, caused by the expansion of commercial logging and palm oil plantation conversion.
West Papua lies within the Australian faunal region. It means the animal life in West Papua is more similar to the one in Australia and New Zealand compared to the one in western Indonesia and the Southeast Asian mainland.
For the mammals, it is common to see the marsupials like tree kangaroos and forest wallabies, egg-laying echidnas (monotremes) and assorted bats and rats. As for the birdlife, cassowaries (a type of flightless bird), birds of paradise, bowerbirds, sandpipers and swifts are the notable birds in West Papua.
This province is also a home for a wide variety of frogs and coral reefs in Raja Ampat islands, along with the sea horses, shellfish, manta rays, turtles and numerous species of finfish. This is truly a hotspot area of biodiversity. No wonder many people want to visit this place.
Economy and Produces from West Papua
West Papua economy is dependent on several commodities from agriculture, livestock, and oil mining. As for agriculture, rice is the main staple crop, even if cassava, yams, soybean and corn are also important. Other major crops are nutmeg, palm oil, and cocoa. West Papua is known for their nutmeg, especially in Fakfak, which is also known as the Nutmeg City.
For livestock they have pigs, cattle and goats as the common animal. Agriculture, manufacturing and mining are the greatest contributors in West Papua economy, while service and trade are behind those sectors.
Manufactures include processed foods and beverages, wood products, print media and transport machinery. Even if the region is rich in copper, gold, nickel and other minerals, petroleum products are the focus of the mining industry.
West Papua Administrative
West Papua administration is divided into several regencies, Sorong City is included. Sorong City is an independent regency and is not under Sorong regency. These units are further divided into districts. These districts contain numerous sub-districts and village clusters (this is the lowest administrative level). West Papua’s chief executive is the governor.
West Papua is a rich province. It has a lot of potential within and a diverse underwater treasure. This place is a hotspot for biodiversity. Even if it is located in Indonesia, its animal is mostly alike with the animals in Australia and New Zealand.