Wilson’s Bird of Paradise
I recently traveled to West Papua, Indonesia to dive the epicenter of marine biodiversity, Raja Ampat (“Four Kings” in Indonesian). In addition to incredible fish life, manta rays and a profusion of fans, corals and colors, the area has an additional attraction for nature lovers, namely rare birds-of-paradise (BoP). Nature lovers familiar with David Attenborough’s […]In search of Wilson’s bird-of-paradise in West Papua — Photofocus
Located on the western half of the island of New Guinea and long racked by a simmering violent separatist insurgency, Papua encompasses Indonesia’s two easternmost provinces.
A former Dutch colony, West Papua was formally incorporated into Indonesia in 1969, after an undisputed vote of about 1,025 representative tribal leaders. The result of the plebiscite was overseen and endorsed by the United Nations.
Since the democratization in 1998, especially since 2007, democracy by mean of elections has been introduced to increase political participation in the two provinces. The fact that the leaders of Papua and West Papua provinces are democratically elected by the people has strengthened the legality of the region as a province of Indonesia.
During the Abdurrahman Wahid administration in 2000, aside from changing the province name from “Irian Jaya” to “Papua”, Papua gained a “Special Autonomy” status, a political compromise between Papuans and the central government.
The political will of politicians in Jakarta to proceed with the implementation of the Special Autonomy was formalized in 2001 with the special autonomy law.