Birds-of-Paradise Help Inspire Conservation of Forests in West Papua

Watch the video to experience the beauty of the island of New Guinea and meet the people in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua who are determined to save its forests. The largest tropical island in the world, New Guinea is home to more than 600 species of birds, including 27 bird-of-paradise species, many of which live nowhere else on earth.

With more than 75% of its forests still intact, New Guinea’s forests are also globally important for climate change mitigation, but are at risk because of development for palm oil, timber, and infrastructure. As the governments of Papua and West Papua and international partners have sought conservation solutions, your support has helped the Cornell Lab of Ornithology provide science, compelling stories, and inspirational film and photography of the birds-of-paradise to raise awareness of these spectacular birds and the region’s rich biodiversity.

In 2018 Manokwari Declaration, the governors of Indonesia’s two New Guinea provinces committed to conserve 70% of the forest cover for the western half of the island, an exciting blueprint for the future of climate change mitigation, conservation, and sustainable livelihoods.

Global interest in Papua’s birdlife is leading to increased opportunities for wildlife tourism and bringing newfound economic benefits to local communities. Realizing this vision will require much work and investment but, if achieved, will create a brighter future for Papua’s people and wildlife—and for the world.

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