This two-day conference, hosted by Western Sydney University and the West Papua Project examines, for the first time, the multidimensional relationship between the Pacific region’s two most pressing concerns – climate change and West Papua’s resource-driven conflict.
We are thrilled to announce that the conference keynote speaker is the Hon Ralph Regenvanu, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Vanuatu.
The Pacific region is at the frontline of anthropogenic, greenhouse gas-instigated climate change. The island of New Guinea, the most bio-diverse island on earth, contains vast swathes of rainforest, the world’s third largest after the Amazon and the Congo. The western half of the island of New Guinea—West Papua—though, is losing its forests through legal and illegal logging at breakneck speed and through clearing of land for so-called food and energy estates, while mining of its extensive gold, copper and natural gas resources is taking a huge environmental toll in the highlands and along the coast. In addition the Indonesian government and transnational corporations have lodged over 50 licenses for coal mines in addition to substantial investment in drilling for oil. Land grabbing, intentional forest fires, timber cutting, palm oil plantations, mining and oil production are all accelerating climate change. At the same time the embroilment of Indonesian security forces in the plundering of West Papua, a process driven by military rackets and commercial interests of politicians and foreign-owned companies, is aggravating West Papua’s independence movement as an entire people envision the imminent destruction of their lands and ways of life. Climate change in the Pacific and pernicious resource and governance politics in West Papua, probably the two most catastrophic threats to the Pacific, require urgent analysis and pioneering solutions. The conference will hear from climate change scientists and analysts of West Papuan politics, and will utilise Open Space Technology to elicit creative strategies and policy advice from expert participants.
Climate Change Science
Alex Gupta Sen
A View from West Papua
Emile Kledden (Forest Peoples Programme)
Selwyn Morgan (Awas MIFEE)
Koreti Tiumalu (350.org)
Social Science and Politics
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