Trans-Papua Road Considered to Eliminate Thousands of Hectares of Forest

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PAPUADAILY –The construction of the Trans-Papua Road, which is included in the national priority project (PSN) and is in progress, is considered to have removed thousands of hectares of forest.

This was revealed in the Launching of the Desk Study Results, “Analysis of the Influence of the Major Project Development Plan for the Trans Papua Road on the Socio-Ecological Aspects of Papua”, which was held by the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), Tuesday (06/07/2021).

In the long term, the construction of Trans-Papua is predicted to eliminate forest cover covering an area of ​​three times the size of Yogyakarta City, which is 12,469 hectares.  Around 4,772 hectares of which are protected forests.

The Trans-Papua project covers nine roads and is planned to be built for 2,300 kilometers. Until now, based on satellite imagery, there are 74 kilometers that are still disconnected and are in the advanced development stage.

In her presentation, Walhi researcher Umi Marufah revealed, since the project started in 2001 until 2019, many forests have been lost.

During this period, approximately 34% of non-forest areas were lost.  The remaining 22% of the conservation protected forest area and 44% of the production forest were also lost.

Umi said that the construction of the Fakfak-Windesi road had removed nearly 4,000 hectares of production forest.

Furthermore, on the Wagete-Timika road section, more than 2,000 hectares of production forest and 500 hectares of protected forest have been lost.

Then the Wanggar-Kwatisore-Kp Muri road section also lost more than 1,500 hectares of production forest and 500 hectares of protection and conservation forest.

Meanwhile, the Wamena-Elelim-Jayapura road section has lost almost 1,500 hectares of protected forest and 2,500 hectares of production forest.

“From year to year there is a decrease in forest cover along with the increasing length of the roads being worked on,” said Umi.

Walhi predicts that, in the short term, when forest clearing occurs again to continue the construction of the remaining 74 kilometers of roads, it could eliminate 57 hectares of forest.

“If there is another road opening, it will eliminate 57 hectares of forest cover, 20 hectares of which is protected forest,” explained Umi.

Meanwhile, for the medium term, with the side effect of 100 meters left and right of the road, Walhi predicts that the potential loss of forest cover could reach 1,290 hectares.

In addition to the loss of forest cover, several biodiversity such as protected flora and fauna are also threatened.  Like the Purple Shoes Orchid and the Mbaiso Tree Kangaroo