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State

Capital

West Papua*

Jayapura
fr. Hollandia

West Irian
Irian Jaya

Currency unit

Indonesian Rupiah

Connections

Borders

Indonesia

PNG

War

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

History

The western half of the island of New Guinea. It was colonized by the Dutch as an extension of their interests in the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia. It was transferred under UN supervision to Indonesia in 1969. The people were not consulted, though they have more in common with the peoples of Papua New Guinea than with Indonesia.

The Indonesian government encourages people from Java to move there under a plan to populate the island with Javans. However, conditions are sufficiently different to make farming with Javan methods ineffective. There is a movement - Free Papua - wanting union with the rest of the island. This seems likely to grow into a very nasty war.

Languages

Melanesian langs.

Bahasa Indonesia

 History

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

Politics

Military occupation.

Free Papua Movement (OPM) faced with the usual Indonesian brutality (see Timor).

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

Economics

Mining, the main source of discontent. The transfer to Indonesia occurred in 1969. In 1970 a US Company Freeport began to develop a huge gold mine, which the locals say is causing forest death and health problems but not giving them any share of wealth produced .

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

Green/Ecology

The immigrants from Java are cutting the forest and trying to practice inappropriate farming methods.

The Gold Mine is poisoning the soil and rivers.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

Human Rights

Indigenous peoples are denied rights to their own culture in the name of "modernization" and settlement of Indonesians. The Javanese culture is considered the norm by the government. This may amount to genocide.

Alienation of tribal land to mining companies, without consultation.

Military brutality.

Climate effects

One degree
Increased rainfall in climax forest. Probably not in danger.

Two degrees
More danger of forest damage. Rising sea level will flood coastal plains.

Last revised 1/5/07


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