The Inspiring Efforts of West Papua Grassroots Community Leaders

west papua

West Papua still has a long way to go in terms of development and conservation efforts in the region.

However, these inspiring grassroot community leaders wasted no efforts in trying to help gain people’s help in the effort.

Natural Conservation

West Papua’s rainforest is Indonesia’s last line of defense against the seemingly unstoppable march of global warming.

Conservation efforts will need all the help it can get from both the government and local community leaders.

It’s because of these great leaders that grassroot communities in West Papua are involved with conservation programs. One of those leaders is Lukas Rumetna.

Lukas Rumetna is a household name in marine conservation on the eastern part of Indonesia.

Born in Merauke, May 22nd, 1967, Rumetna has been actively advocating West Papua’s coastal wildlife conservation since 1995

When he oversaw sea turtle spawning programs in Jamursba Medi beach, Sorong Regency.

At the time, local communities were reluctant to join Rumetna and his team to guard the turtles’ nest.

In order to gain support, Rumetna reconnected local people with the belief that sea turtles are the reincarnation of their ancestors.

This awakened a previously dormant sense of belonging and respect from local communities to the turtles.


While it’s true that West Papua is still lacking behind in terms of development, it does not mean that the government is unwilling to accelerate West Papua’s growth.

The government’s good will is supported by grassroot leaders of Papua and West Papua. This support is crucial for the acceleration of Papua and West Papua’s development programs.

During a hearing with President Joko Widodo and other key government officers,

61 public figures from various backgrounds expressed their aspirations to elevate the well-beings of Papuans and West Papuans.

Abisai Rollo, key figure from the entourage, expressed the collective concerns, hopes, and needs of all Papuans to the President.

Rollo stated that President Joko Widodo had received the aspirations of the Papuans during the hearing that took place in State Palace, October 19th, 2019.

One of the aspirations, the establishment of new provinces in Papua (South Papua, Central Papua, and Central Mountain Papua), was realized on November 11th, 2022.


In the education sector, one of the most famous names is perhaps Hans J. Wospakrik.

Wospakrik helped bring Papua into the scene of national higher education stages by becoming a physics lecturer in Bandung Technological Institute (ITB).

His dedication, perseverance, and devotion to physics granted him the title of Greatest Physicist from Atma Jaya University.

As a physicist, Wospakrik’s magnum opus is perhaps his newly invent mathematical models to help comprehend physics phenomenon and Einstein’s General Relativity Theory.

His research papers were publish in international journals such as International Journal of Modern Physics, Journal of Mathematical Physics, etc.

He once joined Martinus JG Veltman’s research that eventually grant Veltman his Nobel Prize in 1999.

Wosparik then continued his Doctorate education, graduating in 2002 from Durham University. He then taught physics in ITB until his passing in 2005.

Outside his research papers, Wosparik was also a book author. One of his books simplified and presented Einstein’s General Relativity Theory to the masses.

His other book, Dari Atomos hingga Quark (translate: From Atomos to Quarks) digests mankind’s journey to understanding the tiniest parts of the universe.

Grassroot community leaders are the spearhead of the development and conservation in both Papua and West Papua.

Without their inspiring efforts, Papuans development as a society will not be accelerate to this degree.