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Tropical Rainforest in Papua




road along the Gunung Meja Forest in Manokwari of West Papua


Forest in West Papua is a tropical rainforest that is highly rich in bio-diversity.  Today, the size of this forest is shrinking rapidly due to logging and conversion of the forested areas in to monoculture palm oil plantation, human settlements and agricultural areas. At least 5 million hectares of forested land in Papua is being targeted by conglomerates for bio-fuel projects. As an important ecosystem, West Papua forest has to be preserved. Deforested areas should be reforested to restore its functions in maintaining the equilibrium of global the environment. Tropical rainforest is important for all of us because it is the largest producer of oxygen that we breath every time. During the days, the trees perform photosynthesis in which they absorb carbon dioxide gases and emit oxygen.

In recent years, illegal and irresponsible logging continue to threaten the existence of this forest. There are hundreds of animal species that live in the jungle of Papua as well as various precious plants that have important role in supplying food both for animals and villagers living near the forest.

In the picture below, we see how the indigenous Papuan climb a giant tree to catch bird living in a hole of its branch. The drawing was made by Papuan artist Paull Warere. He wants to tell the viewers how important the trees are for the livelihood of villagers.

The forest or jungle is their source of food. They hunt animals such as boar, deer, kasuari bird, kuskus, soa-soa and many animals as food for them. In addition, they also harvest vegetables such as the leaves of Ganemo, Gohi, Pumpkin and etc from the forest. Large rivers in West Papua have become the main route of water transportation linking many villages from coastal up to the interior mountainous region. 

Although the modern society who live in big cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan and Semarang do not directly depend their living on tropical rainforest of Papua, the CO2 emission that their motorcycles and cars release or emit into the atmosphere is a heavy burden for tropical rainforest of Papua to neutralize. The more CO2 gases we emit into the air, the more likely the acid rain will harm the leaves of the trees.

Therefore, it is important for us to reduce our CO2 emission by lowering the use of fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources. The easiest thing that we can do is reducing the use of plastics, increasing the use public transportation and minimizing the use of air conditioning machine in our homes. by Charles Roring in Manokwari




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