Jurisdiction Project

Irian Jaya

In February 2007, Irian Jaya was renamed West Papua, but not legally confirmed.(Indonesian: Papua Barat; formerly West Irian Jaya or Irian Jaya Barat) It is the least populous province of Indonesia.

Irian Jaya shares the island of New Guinea with Papua New Guinea. Area: 420,540 km² (162,371 sq mi). Land boundaries: Papua New Guinea 820 km. The terrain consists of widespread mountain ranges which cover more than 75% of the land, deep valleys, swamps, grassy plateaus, and rainforets second to the Amazon making it 'the lungs of Asia'. Despite its generally tropical climate, snow caps many of West Papua’s mountain ranges, including the 16,503-foot peak of Puncak Jaya.

Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Located on the western end of the island of New Guinea. It includes the Bird's Head (or Doberai) Peninsula and surrounding islands.

Latitude and Longitude:
Lat. 4°5′S Long.137°11′E

Time Zone:

Total Land Area:


Tropical. In the monsoon season the rainfall can be very heavy, up to 5.500 mm a year. Some of the largest rivers in Indonesia are flowing here, Baliem, Memberamo and Tariku. In the south west regions the rivers have created large areas of mangrove swamps and tidal forests.

Natural Resources:
fish, timber, and precious metals. Irian Jaya has 4,587 km of waterways. 16,000 species of plants, 124 endemic genera. The longest lizards and largest butterflies, 700 birds,450 endemic birds, 180 mammal species including 70 marsupials; 70 species of bats. In 1997, many of West Papua/Irian Jaya’s forests were incinerated in a nationwide epidemic of forest fires. Estimates are that more than a million hectares were scorched.


Total GDP:

Per Capita GDP:

% of GDP per Sector:
  Primary Secondary Tertiary

% of Population Employed by Sector
  Primary Secondary Tertiary

External Aid/Remittances:
Rep. of Indonesia. NGOs.


Labour Force:

Year: Unemployment Rate (% of pop.)

70 percent of the Indonesia’s natural gas reserves are located offshore, with the largest reserves found off Natuna Island, East Kalimantan, South Sumatra, and Irian Jaya. Freeport McMoRon has been drilling since 1967. In 2007 its Grasberg mine drilling program invested US$2.4 mn: Grasberg is one of the world's largest gold and copper producers with annual output of about 3.4 million oz. gold plus 1.7 billion lbs. (766,000 tonnes) copper. The massive, open-pit operation processes roughly 220,000 tonnes of ore per day with an average grade of about 1.7 grams gold per tonne and 1.2% copper. The operation also produces several million ounces of byproduct silver annually. The Free Papua Movement has long used opposition to Freeport's mine as a focal point, citing limited benefits to locals and making accusations of environmental damage.

Niche Industry:

Jayapura is the largest city, boasting a small but active tourism industry.


Imports and Exports:

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Number of Airports:

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Other Forms of Transportation:

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Energy Policy:
The Tangguh liquid natural gas (LNG) project Indonesia's first project under the new oil and gas regime, 2006 with financing from China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC), Mitsubishi, INPEX, Kanematsu, LNG Japan and Nippon Oil. The overall project is expected to cost approximately $5.2 billion.

Year Total Energy Production (Mwh) Thermic (Mwh) Geothermic (Mwh) Other (Mwh) Total Energy Consumption (Mwh) Domestic (Mwh) Commercial (Mwh) Public Service (Mwh) Industry (Mwh) Public Lighting (Mwh)


Official Currency:
Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Banking and Insurance:
Number of Banks and Credit Unions: 1
Number of Agricultural Credit Unions:
Number of Insurance Companies:


Financial Services:
Pt. BPD Papua (d/h BPD Irian Jaya), Jayapura. Commercial banking.


Public Ownership:
2002 Electricity Law,Power Market Supervisory Agency, allows certain markets for power generation to be open for competition from 2007. 2008, retail market competition is scheduled. Power producers will be able to sell directly to their customers rather than through PT PLN.So far foreign and private companies have shown little interest in investing in Indonesia’s electricity sector.

Land Use:
Logging, mining, and petroleum concessions; transmigration—and later, timber and oil palm plantations—were established without regard for existing local forest land uses or the customary (adat) law systems governing them.

Massive de-forestation of old growth forests for international export. Mine tailings and acid leakage are a major environmental concern to farming, clean water, and the forests.

Marine Activity:


Marine Life:
Irian Jaya is located on the Sahul Shelf. Sea depths in the Sunda and Sahul shelves average 200 metres.

Critical Issues:
water pollution from industrial wastes, raw sewage.



Political System:
Based on Roman-Dutch law. Irian Jaya Province has 'special autonomy'. Prov. Governor local head of exec. branch. The province is administratively divided into seven regencies (kabupaten) and one city (kota), Sorong city . Papau Community Parliment(MRP)(culture & tradition) the Parliment of Papua (DPRP) is the legislative body of the province.

Political Parties:
The Free Papua Movement strives for independence of the area from Indonesia. The MRP (Majelis Rakyat Papua/Papuan People's Council) 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.

Important Legislation:
Indonesian governance is controversial. In 1999 it was proposed to split the province into three government-controlled sectors: Central Irian Jaya (Irian Jaya Tengah), Papua (or East Irian Jaya, Irian Jaya Timur), and West Irian Jaya (Irian Jaya Barat)where a local government for Jaraka was established (2003) and later declared unconstitutional by fed. courts.

Principal Taxes:
Taxes paid to Indonesia through the licencing of exclusive mineral rights to the Freeport Corporation since 1967. Freeport McMoRan, U.S. based company is Indonesia's largest taxpayer and investor.

Associated Power:
Republic of Indonesia

Indonesian.Suffrage: 17 years of age; universal and married persons regardless of age. 18 years of age for selective compulsory and voluntary military service; 2-year conscript service obligation, with reserve obligation to age 45 (2006)



Pop. approx. 800,000. The people of the island can be divided into more than 250 subgroups. The most populated and cultivated parts of the island are Paniai Lake district and Baliem Valley to the east. The population comprises migrants from Java and indigenous people from diverse tribes, such as Dani of Baliem Valley in the central highlands, Asmat of the southern coastal region, and Ekari of Wissel Lakes region.

Island Area (km sq.) Population % of Total Population
Irian Jaya 420 800,000 0.34%

Only a small fraction of the income from the valuable resources is for the benefit of the local population, something that has contributed to the growth and support of OPM, the movement for Irian Jaya's independence (OPM - Operasi Papua Merdeka - Operation free Papua. OPM is behind many guerrilla actions in the area).

Year Resident Population

Age of Population: 0-14 15-24 25-49 50-64 65 and up


The Indonesian government's Transmigration Program (1969-1989) moved farming families from Java, Madura, and Bali to various rural locations including Irian Jaya and aided the farmers with homes and land in order to grow rice.

Crude Birth Rate:

Life Expedctancy:
Irian Jaya has an HIV positivity rate that is the highest of Indonesia's 27 provinces (0.6/10,000).

Crude Death Rate:

Indigenous: Melanesian (including Aitinyo, Aefak, Asmat, Agast, Dani, Ayamaru, Mandacan Biak, Serui), Non-indigenous (including Javanese, Bugis, Bataknese, Minahasanese, Chinese.)

Class Division:
The problems confronted by the government Transmigration Program included land disputes with the local population and environmental concerns over the suitability of land for settled agriculture, especially the forests.

Indonesian official language, 200 indigenous Papuan and Austronesian languages, and another 300 dialects.

54% Protestant, 24% as Catholic, 21% as Muslim, and less than 1% as either Hindu or Buddhist (2000 census). Animism is practiced among the major religions, but not recorded by the Indonesian census.

 There is a large discrepancy of education between provinces. West Papua has a much lower Net Enrollment Ratio (40.5%)to other Provinces. Rural areas have low literacy levels compared to urban areas due to lack to teachers and facilities.

Education System:

Total Pre-schools:()
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Total Professional Schools
Universities: 1


Number of Schools per Island:


Students Enrolled:


Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) campus at Abepura houses the University Museum.

Medical Services:


 Papuans have inhabited the Australasian continental island of Papua for over 40,000 years; Austronesians for several thousand years.1545 northern coast claimed for Spain named Nueva Guinea; Dutch control of south coast west of 141 median. 1936 gold and copper discovered. Japanese occupation 1942. Reclaimed by Netherlands in 1945. UN Transfer to Indonesia 1962.

The name West Papua is used among Papuan separatists and usually refers to the whole of the Indonesian portion of New Guinea.

Recent Significant Events:
The province changed its name to West Papua 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 then issue a regulation. Yosepha Alomang received Goldman Environmental Prize (2001)the (green nobel)head of the Hamak human rights group for her environmental conflict with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. of New Orleans.

Music, Dance, Handicraft and Patrimony:
In some parts of the highlands, the koteka is traditionally worn by males in ceremonial contexts. Despite government efforts to suppress it, the use of the koteka as everyday dress by Dani males in Western New Guinea is still very common. January is the time for the 'Irian Jaya Tourism Week' when cultures from all over the island are on display in different cities.


The World Factbook 2002:http://www.faqs.org/docs/factbook/geos/id.html. Energy Info Admin, Country Analysis Briefs, Indonesia, 2007: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/Indonesia/pdf.pdf. Charles Barber,Intern'l Marinelife Alliance: http://www.iisd.org/pdf/2002/envsec_conserving_2.pdf. Thompson, Herb. "Crisis in Indonesia: Forests, Fires and Finance", Electronic Green Jl. Is 14, Sp 2001.Solomon, Jay. Drifting Apart: Indonesia Faces Crisis As Separatism Spreads With Nation's Turmoil --- Short on Cash and Leadership, Jakarta Sees Rich Papua Join Secessionist Drive --- Hoping `to Muddle Through' Wall Street Journal (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Nov 29, 2000. p. A.1. BILL OF LAW OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA NO. 21 YEAR 2001 ON SPECIAL AUTONOMY FOR THE PAPUA PROVINCE:http://www.papuaweb.org/goi/otsus/files/otsus-en.html. Papua Web: http://www.papuaweb.org/ Indonesia Tourism: http://www.indonesia-tourism.com/west-papua/.http://teacherlink.ed.usu.edu/TLresources/reference/. CIA Factbook: 2001WorldFactbook/indonesia.pdf. WHO: http://www.searo.who.int/EN/Section313/Section1520_6912.htm. Library of Congress Country Studies: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?cstdy:14:./temp/~frd_h4SH:Conservation International Melanesia: http://www.cimelanesia.org.pg/where/ci_melwhere.htm. Languages of Indonesia (Papua) http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=IDP.HIV/AIDS prevention, Timika, Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Silitonga N, Okoseray M, Ingkokusumo G, Subianto B, Wignall FS. Annu Conf Australas Soc HIV Med. 1997 Nov 13-16; 9: 151 (poster no. P67A). Provincial Health Office, Irian Jaya.http://gateway.nlm.nih.gov/MeetingAbstracts/102226396.html. Indonext.com: http://www.indonext.com/. CCNMatthews Newswire. Toronto: Oct 16, 2007, p.1: http://proquest.umi.com.rlproxy.upei.ca/pqdweb?did=1366264581&sid=1&Fmt=2&clientId=48942&RQT=309&VName=PQD. Petroleum Economist. London: May 2007.p.1. Interest heats up Southeast Asia discovery, production Hazel Cameron, Thomas Young. Oil & Gas Journal. Tulsa: Dec 11, 2006. Vol. 104, Iss. 46; pg. 18, 6 pgs. Indonesian project finance: Gas landmark International Financial Law Review. London: Oct 2006. pg. 1. Elmslie, Jim. Irian Jaya under the gun; Indonesian economic development versus West Papuan nationalism. U. of Hawai'i Pr. 2002.West Papua the facts New Internationalist. Oxford: Apr 2002. , Iss. 344; p.12. Waldman, Peter and Chip Cummins. A Tribeswoman Takes Top Environmental Prize -- and Grant From Foe. Wall Street Journal (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Apr 23, 2001. p. B.1. Anonymous. Protests against Freeport's Grasberg mine turn deadlyThe Northern Miner. Toronto, Ont.: Mar 24-Mar 30, 2006. Vol. 92, Iss. 5; pg. 3


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