On 21 March 2019, West Papua in Indonesia officially became the world’s first Conservation Province.
“Today, history was made” said Cristina Mittermeier, Co-Founder of SeaLegacy. "Against an influx of seemingly insurmountable odds, the local leaders and communities of West Papua of more than 38,000 people came together to stand in defense of the natural treasures that make this incredible Indonesian province one of the most pristine and biodiverse places on earth."
The new environmental law will ensure sustainable industries and establish protected areas, and will guarantee that West Papua’s Indigenous Peoples have access to their own resources.
"Words can’t describe how I’m feeling right now." said Cristina, "But one thing I do know is that I am so proud of the work we are doing together as a network of passionate people and organizations, like Blue Sphere Foundation, Conservation International, and Indonesian Ocean Pride, to make sure that the power of people prevails when it comes to protecting our environment. We also wouldn't be at this historic moment in time without the tireless efforts carried out by individuals like John Weller and Shawn Heinrichs, creators of the Provinsi Konservasi film and outreach campaign that you all supported at the end of 2018."
Thomas Taatje, manager of Asia Pacific Superyachts Indonesia, and a proud member of SeaLegacy comments, "SeaLegacy, individuals and network organisations have been working hard to bring about this ratification to give West Papuans’ autonomy and self-determinable access to their resources. We all feel that this is a very important development to ensure that arguably the most beautiful and marine biodiverse area on the planet gets the attention, recognition and protection that it rightly deserves."
"West Papua is one of the highly stylized cruising programs we can plan and implement for superyacht captains and owners seeking authentic and real adventures. APS saw the potential of this area long ago and has been a front runner in bringing superyachts to the region." adds Thomas. “I am so pleased to have been part of this process and look forward to monitoring and supporting additional developments moving forward."
APS Indonesia was the first company to offer specialist shore support for superyachts visiting the vast archipelago of Indonesia and the first to open an office in Raja Ampat, supported by APS HQ in Bali.
*Image credits: Shawn Heinrichs