Late last month the government of the province of West Papua, on the island of New Guinea, approved legislation that establishes the eastern Indonesian province as the country’s first ever conservation province. This legal framework will ensure that sustainable development and conservation are placed at the forefront of any economic activity or development.
West Papua is one of the last bastions of unexplored wilderness on the planet. The 120,000 square kilometre province is one of the most biodiverse regions of the globe, both on the land and below water, and as such has been considered an area of global priority for conservation.
Asia Pacific Superyachts (APS) Indonesia’s Thomas Taatjes, a proud member of SeaLegacy, was thrilled with news of the incredible success of the ratification the volunteer group has been pushing for with great effort for some time in West Papua.
“SeaLegacy and the individuals and network organisations mentioned in the announcement following have been working hard to bring about this ratification that will give West Papuans’ autonomy and self-determinable access to their resources,” reported Thomas.
“We all feel that this is a very important development to ensure that arguably the most beautiful and marine biodiverse area on the planet gets the attention, recognition and protection that it rightly deserves, I am so pleased to have been part of this process and look forward to monitoring and supporting additional developments moving forward”.
“Today, history was made”, Cristina Mittermeier, Co-Founder of SeaLegacy, wrote in a statement.
“Against an influx of seemingly insurmountable odds, the local leaders and communities of West Papua of more than 38,000 people came together to stand in defence of the natural treasures that make this incredible Indonesian province one of the most pristine and biodiverse places on earth — and on March 21, 2019, West Papua officially became the world’s first Conservation Province.”
This new environmental law will not only ensure sustainable industries and establish crucial protected areas, but it will also guarantee that West Papua’s Indigenous Peoples have access to their own resources.
“Words can’t describe how I’m feeling right now.” continued Cristina Mittermeier, “but one thing I do know is that I am so proud of the work we are doing together as a network of passionate people and organisations, like Blue Sphere Foundation, Conservation International, and Indonesian Ocean Pride, to make sure that the power of people prevails when it comes to protecting our environment. We also wouldn’t be at this historic moment in time without the tireless efforts carried out by individuals like John Weller and Shawn Heinrichs, creators of the Provinsi Konservasi film and outreach campaign that you all supported at the end of 2018.”
West Papua is one of the highly stylised cruising programs the team at APS Indonesia plan and implement for superyacht captains and owners seeking authentic and real cruising adventures. In addition to Bali, APS Indonesia also has a dedicated office in Raja Ampat and offers unparalleled support to APS clients in the vast and remote Raja Ampat.