Papua is one of
Papua is the official Indonesian and internationally recognized name for the province. During the colonial era the region was known as Dutch New Guinea. The province was known as
The capital of Papua province is Jayapura. Most of the population depends on subsistence farming, especially the cultivation of rice and maize. The main industries include copper (with the largest concentration of copper in the world at Tembagapura), palm oil, copra, maize, groundnuts, pepper, tuna, gold, oil, coal, and phosphates. It is mostly a mountainous and forested region, with the
A central East-West mountain range dominates the geography of
Both North and West of the central ranges the land remains mountainous mostly 1000 to 2000 m high covered by thick rain forest and a warm humid year round climate. The third major habitat feature is the southeast lowlands with extensive wetlands stretching for hundreds of kilometers.
The wide area of Papua is 420,000 sq km/162,000 sq mi.
Papua population based on 2000 est. is 2,220,900. It has some 240 different tribal peoples, each with its own language and culture. Indigenous Papuans in West Papua and
The population of Papua province and the neighboring West Irian Jaya, both of which are still under a united administration, totaled 2,646,489 in 2005. Since the early 1990s, Papua has had the highest population growth rate of all Indonesian provinces at over 3% annually. This is partly a result of high birth rates, but also from immigration from other regions in
According to the 2000 census, 78% of the Papuan population identified themselves as Christian with 54% being Protestant and 24% being Catholic. 21% of the population was Muslim and less than 1% were Buddhist or Hindu. There is also substantial practice of animism by Papuans, which is not recorded by the Indonesian government in line with the policy of Pancasila.
A vital tropical rainforest with the tallest tropical trees and vast biodiversity, Papua's known forest fauna includes marsupials (including possums, wallabies, tree-kangaroos, cuscuses), other mammals (including the endangered Long-beaked Echidna), many bird species (including birds of paradise, cassowaries, parrots, cockatoos), the world's longest lizards (Papua monitor) and the world's largest butterflies. The island has an estimated 16,000 species of plant, 124 genera of which are endemic.
The extensive waterways and wetlands of Papua are also home to salt and freshwater crocodile, tree monitor, flying foxes, osprey, bats and other animals; while the equatorial glacier fields remain largely unexplored.
In February 2006, a team of scientists exploring the
Papua province has governed by a directly elected governor (currently Barnabas Suebu) and a regional legislature, DPRP (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Papua). A unique government organization that only exists in Papua is the MRP (Majelis Rakyat Papua / Papuan People's Council) that was formed by the Indonesian Government in 2005 as a coalition of Papuan tribal chiefs, tasked with arbitration and speaking on behalf of Papuan tribal customs.