West Papua green investment
The government is inviting the private sector to participate in promoting green investments to empower farmers in Papua and West Papua and to reduce the two provincial economies’ dependency on oil palm plantations and forestry. Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said that at least 24 companies, including American coffee company Starbucks, had expressed interest in green investments in the nation’s westernmost territory.
The government is looking to raise about Rp 2.8 trillion (US$200 million) for the green investment program through private-sector grants and investment as well as state funds. The investment program aims to help local farmers cultivate cash crops such as cacao, coffee, nutmeg, sago and algae as well as develop local ecotourism.
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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.