West Papua – Indonesia

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West Papua (Indonesian: Papua Barat) is a province of Indonesia. It covers the two western peninsulas of the island ofNew Guinea. Its capital is Manokwari, although the largest city is Sorong, and the 2010 census recorded a population of 760,855; the latest official estimate (as at January 2014) is 877,437.

West Papua Province was created from the western portion of Papua (province) in February 2003, initially under the name of West Irian Jaya (Indonesian: Irian Jaya Barat); it received its current name in 2007. The province covers theBird’s Head (Doberai) and Bomberai peninsulas and the surrounding islands of Raja Ampat. With a population of 877,437 in 2014. (Wikipedia)

West Papua is a tropical island with primeval rain forests, powerful rivers, beautiful beaches, lakes, and mountains. The highest mountain is Mount Jayawijaya, with snowcaps covering its 5,000-meter-high peaks. The area is also rich in natural resources, including fish, timber, and precious metals. These, however ever, have become a source of conflict between the central government and local peoples.

West Irian Jaya is a hot, humid island rising from the sea with some of the most impenetrable jungles in the world and yet also has snowcaps covering 5,000meter – High Mountain peaks, towering over glacier lakes. West Irian Jaya is Indonesia’s largest and easternmost province and covers the western half of the world’s second largest island. It is a land of exceptional natural grandeur, with beautiful scenic beaches, immense stretches of marshlands, cool grassy meadows and powerful rivers carving gorges and tunnels through dark and dense primeval forests. The most heavily populated and cultivated parts of the island are the Paniai Lakes district and the Baliem Valley to the east.

The people of the island can be divided into more than 250 subgroup, which are closely related to the islands along the southern rim of the Pacific and include among others, the Marindanim, Yah’ray, Asmat, Mandobo, Dani and Afyat. Those in the central highlands still maintain their customs and traditions and because of the terrain have virtually been untouched by outside influences. Communications hove always been difficult here and different tribes have lived, for the most part, in isolation even of each other, resulting in an incredibly diverse mixture of cultures.

POPULATION

The province has a population of approximately 800,000, making it one of the least populous of all Indonesian provinces. The capital of Irian Jaya Barat is Manokwari. The most populated and cultivated parts of the island are Paniai Lake district and Baliem Valley to the east. The population comprises migrants from Java and indigenous people from diverse tribes, such as Dani of Baliem Valley in the central highlands, Asmat of the southern coastal region, and Ekari of Wissel Lakes region. The official language is Indonesian, but the indigenous people, reflecting the isolation and small numbers of the tribes, speak at least 250 languages.

GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION

The province contains one city, Sorong, and 8 regencies:

  • Manokwari
  • Fak Fak
  • Sorong Selatan with its capital is Teminabuan
  • Raja Ampat with its capital is Waisai
  • Kaimana
  • Bintuni Bay with its capital is Bintuni
  • Wondama Bay with its capital is Rasiei
  • Sorong Regency
  • Sorong city

 

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