West Papua (province)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

West Papua
Papua Barat
Raja Ampat Islands
Official seal of West Papua
Motto(s): Cintaku Negeriku (Indonesian)
(My love, my country)
Location of West Papua
Location of West Papua
Coordinates (Manokwari): 0°52′S 134°5′E / 0.867°S 134.083°E / -0.867; 134.083Coordinates: 0°52′S 134°5′E / 0.867°S 134.083°E / -0.867; 134.083
Country Indonesia
Largest citySorong
 • GovernorDominggus Mandacan
 • Vice GovernorMohammad Lakotani
 • Total140,375.62 km2 (54,199.33 sq mi)
Area rank5th
Population (2014)
 • Total877,437
 • Density6.3/km2 (16/sq mi)
 • Ethnic groupsMelanesian, Papuan (51.5%), Javanese (14.8%), Bugis (5.3%), Ambonese (4.4%), Butonese (4.1%), Makassar (2.3%), Kei (2.2%), Toraja (1.8%), Minahasa (1.8%), Seram (1.3%), Flores (1%), Sundanese (1%), Batak (1%), Ternate (0.9%), Chinese (0.3%), Gorontaloan (0.2%), Madurese (0.2%), Betawi (0.1%), Bantenese (0.1%), Lampung (0.1%), Balinese (0.1%), Sasak (0.1%), Dayak (0.1%), Minangkabau (0.1%), Foreign (0.1%), Others (Tobelo, ... etc.) (5.5%)
 • ReligionProtestantism (53.77%), Islam (38.4%), Roman Catholicism (7.03%), Hinduism (0.11%), Buddhism (0.08%)
 • LanguagesIndonesian (official)
Time zoneUTC+09 (EIT)
Vehicle registrationPB
HDIIncrease 0.612 (Medium)
HDI rank33rd (2016)

West Papua (Indonesian: Papua Barat) is a province of Indonesia. It covers the two western peninsulas (Bird's Head Peninsula and Bomberai Peninsula) of the island of New Guinea along with nearby islands. The province is bordered to the north by the Pacific Ocean, to the west by the Halmahera Sea and the Ceram Sea, to the south by the Banda Sea, and to the east by the province of Papua and the Cenderawasih Bay. Manokwari is the capital, while Sorong is the largest city and the main gateway to the province. According to the 2010 census by Statistics Indonesia, West Papua recorded a population of 760,422.[1]

Inaugurated as a province in 2003, West Papua was initially named West Irian Jaya (Indonesian: Irian Jaya Barat) until 2007. The name West Papua itself is also used by the Free Papua Movement to refer the whole Western New Guinea.[2][3] Consisting of twelve regencies and one city, the province enjoys a special autonomous status as granted by the Indonesian legislation. West Papua is well known by its Raja Ampat Islands which contains the richest marine biodiversity in the world.[4]


Following its independence declaration from the Netherlands in 1945, Indonesia claimed all of the territory of the former Dutch East Indies, including Western New Guinea. However, the region was retained by the Dutch until the mid-1960s, which caused Indonesia repeatedly launched military operations there. It was agreed through the New York Agreement in 1962 that the administration of Western New Guinea would be temporarily transferred from the Netherlands to Indonesia and that by 1969 the United Nations should oversee a referendum of the Papuan people, in which they would be given two choices: to remain part of Indonesia or to become an independent nation. This vote was referred to as the Act of Free Choice. However, the vote was in reportedly conducted by consensus decision-making, or consensus of elders, numbering slightly over 1,000.[a] The referendum was recognised by the international community and the region became the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya (renamed Papua in 1999). The result of the compromised vote was rejected by West Papuan nationalists, who established the Free Papua Movement (OPM). The independence movement for West Papua has continued, primarily through peaceful protest and international pressure, but also guerrilla warfare against the Indonesian administration.[8]

The province of West Papua was separated from the western portion of the province of Papua in February 2003, initially under the name of West Irian Jaya (Irian Jaya Barat). In November 2004, an Indonesian court agreed that the split violated Papua's autonomy laws. However, the court ruled that because the new province had already been established, it should remain separate from Papua. The ruling also prohibited the creation of another proposed province, Central Irian Jaya, as that division had not yet been formalised. The split is in line with the general trend of provincial splits that is occurring in all parts of Indonesia in the post-Suharto era. The province changed its name to West Papua (Papua Barat) on 7 February 2007. The new name applies from that date, but a plenary session of the provincial legislative council is required to legalise the change of name, and the government needs to issue an implementing regulation.[9]

Historical population
1971 192,146—    
1980 283,493+47.5%
1990 385,509+36.0%
2000 571,107+48.1%
2010 760,422+33.1%
Source: Statistics Indonesia 2010. West Papua part of Papua Province until 2004
Religion in West Papua (2010 census)[10]
Religion Percent
Roman Catholicism
Not Asked
Not Stated

Administrative divisions[edit]

In 2000 the areas now forming (since 2003) West Papua province consisted of three regencies (kabupaten) – Manokwari, Sorong and Fakfak. By 2010 the province was administratively divided into ten regencies (kabupaten) and one autonomous city (kota), which together were subdivided into 155 districts (kecamatan) at the 2010 Census.[11] Two new regencies have since been created; all the existing regencies and city are listed below with their populations at the 2010 Census and according to the latest official estimates (for January 2014).

Name Area (km2) Population
Census 2010
2014 estimate
[citation needed]
Capital Number of
2014 estimate
Sorong (city) 656.64 190,625 219,958 Sorong 6 0.757 (High)
Fakfak Regency 11,036.48 66,828 77,112 Fakfak 9 0.647 (Medium)
Kaimana Regency 16,241.84 46,249 53,366 Kaimana 7 0.610 (Medium)
Manokwari Regency 11,674.76 187,726 216,614 Manokwari 29 0.693 (Medium)
Manokwari Selatan Regency
(South Manokwari)
2,812.44 18,564 * Ransiki 0.553 (Low)
Maybrat Regency 5,461.69 33,081 38,067 Kumurkek 11 0.553 (Low)
Pegunungan Arfak Regency
(Arfak Mountains)
2,773.74 23,877 * Anggi 0.536 (Low)
Raja Ampat Regency 8,034.44 42,507 49,048 Waisai 17 0.608 (Medium)
Sorong Regency 7,415.29 70,619 81,486 Aimas 18 0.612 (Medium)
Sorong Selatan Regency
(South Sorong)
3,946.94 37,900 43,898 Teminabuan 14 0.582 (Low)
Tambrauw Regency[13] 5,179.65 6,144 7,028 Fef 7 0.494 (Low)
Teluk Bintuni Regency
(Bintuni Bay)
20,840.83 52,422 60,489 Bintuni 24 0.604 (Medium)
Teluk Wondama Regency
(Wondama Bay)
3,959.53 26,321 30,371 Rasiei 13 0.562 (Low)
* The areas and 2014 population of Arfak Mountains and South Manokwari Regencies are included in the figures for Manokwari Regency, from which they were removed.

Subsequent to the 2010 Census, two new regencies – South Manokwari Regency (Manokwari Selatan) and Arfak Mountains Regency (Pegunungan Arfak) – were created from parts of the Manokwari Regency, while 4 districts of Manokwari Regency were added to Tambrauw Regency. The 2010 Census figures quoted above for all four of these regencies relate to their area as established in 2010.

On 25 October 2013 the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) began reviewing draft laws on the establishment of 57 prospective regencies/cities (and 8 new provinces).[14] This included a new province of Southwest Papua to be created out of the existing West Papua province, together with eight new regencies and one city to be formed within the existing West Papua Province – Malamoy and Maibratsau (both taken from Sorong Regency), North Raja Ampat and South Raja Ampat (both from Raja Ampat Regency), Raja Maskona (from Teluk Bintuni Regency), Okas (from Fakfak Regency), West Manokwari (from Manokwari Regency) and Imeo (from South Sorong Regency), while the new city is Manokwari (from Manokwari Regency).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Different sources cite various figures, including 1,022,[5] 1,025[6] or 1,026.[7]


  1. ^ "Badan Pusat Statistik". www.bps.go.id. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  2. ^ Saltford, J. (2003). The United Nations and the Indonesian takeover of West Papua, 1962-1969: The anatomy of betrayal, 1st edn. Routledge, London.
  3. ^ Cribb, R.B.; Kahin, Audrey (2004). Historical Dictionary of Indonesia. Scarecrow Press. p. 313.
  4. ^ "Raja Ampat, Indonesia". panda.org. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  5. ^ Brad Simpson, ed. (9 July 2004). "Indonesia's 1969 Takeover of West Papua Not by "Free Choice"". National Security Archive. Retrieved 2013-01-17.
  6. ^ "Breaking Free From Betrayal". New International. 5 November 1999. Retrieved 2013-01-17.
  7. ^ Richard Samuelson. "About West Papua". International Parliamentarians for West Papua. Retrieved 2013-01-17.
  8. ^ Li-ann Thio (2006), "International law and secession in the Asia and Pacific regions", in Marcelo G. Kohen, Secession: International Law Perspectives, Cambridge University Press
  9. ^ "Papuan province changes name from West Irian Jaya to West Papua". Radio New Zealand International. 7 February 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
  10. ^ "Population by Region and Religion in Indonesia". BPS. 2010.
  11. ^ Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011.
  12. ^ Indeks-Pembangunan-Manusia-2014
  13. ^ Undang-Undang Nomor 56 Tahun 2008 tentang Pembentukan Kabupaten Tambrauw di Provinsi Papua Barat (Law Number 56 of 2008 regarding the Formation of Tambrauw Regency in West Papua Province). In Indonesian.
  14. ^ Jakarta Post, 14 November 2013

External links[edit]