Announcing A New Planting Project in West Papua
It is with great joy that we announce the launch of a new planting project for TreeSisters! Working with our long term planting partner, Eden Reforestation Projects (Eden), we will now be funding the planting of trees in West Papua!
Where is the new planting project?
The project is located in the village of Ansas, on the south coast of Yapen - a remote island of West Papua (1), and part of South East Asia’s so-called “coral triangle”. This is a triangular shaped area of tropical marine waters famous for the Raja Ampat Islands, which contain the richest marine biodiversity in the world. Yapen is only accessible by ferry or plane from other regional islands and is 8 hours by motorised canoe from Serui, the capital of Yapen.
This project will help the village of Ansas replant their mangrove forest. About 3,000 People live in Ansas. They are farmers, fishermen, hunters and gatherers who live without electricity or running water. They are indigenous people with a strong identity and culture. Sadly, they have suffered a long history of being discriminated against.
What is happening with the trees in West Papua?
Mangroves in West Papua are highly productive ecosystems that play a crucial role in nutrient dynamics in the coastal areas of this region. These forests are essential to all life, but especially to the marine animals of West Papua. If the mangrove forests disappear, the region will be more vulnerable to typhoons and tsunamis, thousands of endemic bird species will be without habitat, sea life will all but disappear and local villages will be unable to fish and feed themselves.
Despite all of the incredible direct benefits of the forest, these mangroves are under threat: facing pressure from deforestation for oil, gas, wood, charcoal and palm oil. Whilst they are protected by law in West Papua, there is a significant challenge in enforcing and policing the policy. This is never more true than in the remote area of Yapen, where increasing corporate interest and pressure for land and natural resources threaten the mangroves.
So what can we do?
In partnership with Eden, this project will help the Ansas community to set an example of mangrove restoration and help the village to rise out of poverty.
The project will start by employing 22 people, chosen from the community, to plant 500,000 trees per year over the next 2 years. Eden has already identified the first planting site, which will soon be home to an estimated 1 million mangrove trees, covering about 66 hectares!
Employees will earn a regular income from the planting activity, which will benefit the whole community. The project aims to empower women and enable them to step into their leadership, with a goal of employing 60% female planters.
The direct benefit of the project is the reforestation of the depleted mangrove forest. It also has a number of indirect benefits such as:
- Families employed in the project will be able to send their children to school with savings they make
- The opportunity for employees to create microenterprises from savings generated
- The community will be able to reclaim stewardship of, and pride in, their local landscape
- Improved fisheries
- Increased biodiversity and wildlife
- Increased resilience against storms and flooding events.
A deepest thank you to you - all of this is only possible with your support.
We feel so honoured to be bringing this project into the TreeSisters family. Now, when you donate to TreeSisters, your donations will be funding the planting of trees in Brazil (Atlantic and Amazon), Madagascar, Nepal, India, Cameroon, Mozambique, Kenya and West Papua.
Thank you for your continued support and keep an eye out for more updates from our brand new projects as the year unfolds.
If you would like to find out more about donating to TreeSisters, you can do that here.
By Jennifier Stevens
Photos provided by Shutterstock
(1) West Papua covers the island of New Guinea’s two westernmost peninsulas and the smaller islands around them.