As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd. Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing. 19th July 2018 - ENTA…read more
Research highlights the destructive impact on Papuan National Parks from road construction
Recent research conducted by distinguished research Professor William Laurance and his team at Queensland’s James Cook University considers that the West Papuan Trans-Papua Highway road building scheme will create three major new hotspots of deforestation resulting in biodiversity loss, greenhouse-gas emissions and devastation to some of the world’s richest National Parks, coral reefs and offshore coastal fisheries.
The Pacific island of New Guinea, which harbors one of the world’s largest and most intact tropical rainforests, is the epicenter of Australasia’s tropical biodiversity. The island’s unique denizens include tree-kangaroos and birds of paradise that are representative of a fantastically diverse regional flora and fauna and human populations that are genetically distinct from all others alive today.
The current research and analyses from James Cook University highlights that these unique rainforests are being carved up by the “massive, ill-advised, and exceptionally risky road-building scheme” associated with The Trans-Papua Highway.
The Highway will sprawl like a massive spiderweb over much of the Indonesian-ruled, western half of New Guinea, known as Papua or West Papua. Totalling 3,200 kms in length, this highway network will penetrate deeply into densely forested or remote mountainous regions to increase access to minerals, fossil fuels, timber, and land for agri-business ventures, including vast palm oil plantations. Many road segments will traverse precariously steep, virgin terrain.
Among the worst impacts of the Trans-Papua Highway will be the deforestation hotspot in central Papua that will abut the world-famous Lorentz National Park, a World Heritage Site, bringing forest disruption right into the park.
Prof Laurance describes the Lorentz National Park as a “global jewel”, having recently ranked 13th out of more than 173,000 protected areas worldwide in terms of its biological uniqueness and irreplaceability.
“Lorentz is so highly valued because of its rare Australasian biodiversity, its size (at over 2.3 million kilometre2 is the largest protected area in South east Asia), and its massive elevational and geological variety; the park stretches from the southern coast and lowland rainforests to the snow-capped peaks of Papua’s central mountain range.”
“The park’s biodiversity is renowned, harboring 80% of Papua’s native mammals, two designated endemic bird areas, 34 distinct vegetation types, and many relict species of great evolutionary significance dating to the time more than 180 million years ago when all the Southern Hemisphere’s landmasses were joined in the supercontinent, Gondwana.”
However, as Prof Laurance highlights, “as part of the Trans-Papua Highway, roughly 200 kms of new roads will cut across Lorentz, greatly increasing human access to 50,000 hectares of designated mining concessions inside the park. In environmental terms, this is a giant red flag. Increased roads inside Lorentz will surely intensify pressures to exploit the park and its adjoining forests.”
A second deforestation hotspot is in southeastern Papua, an area with extensive lowland forests and vast tropical peatlands that have built up over thousands of years. Prof Laurance states that “if Indonesia’s central government proceeds to undertake wildly ambitious schemes, such as a massive rice and oil palm venture that could span 1.5 million hectares, then toxic runoff from acid-sulfate soils, fertilizers, pesticides, and gold mining could devastate some of the world’s richest coral reefs and coastal fisheries just offshore.
The third deforestation hotspot is in central-eastern Papua, and will consume some of its most remote and least explored ecosystems. The region is home to diverse indigenous peoples; lowland forests and high-altitude cloud forests; and alpine regions that are bastions for relict Gondwanan species, such as marsupials, cassowaries and emus, and many archaic plants.
Read the full analysis by Prof Laurance and his research team here.
Image above: The southern crowned pigeon is among the globally threatened species found in Papua's Lorentz National Park. Luc Viatour/ Wikimedia Commons
Image top: The Trans-Papua Highway will open up vast areas of previously untouched forest for palm oil plantations, such as this one in eastern Papua. Ulet Ifansasti/Greenpeace
13th January 2019 - Major parties make funding commitments to revive Kakadu’s tourism industry
21st December 2018 - More than 2,000 hectares added to South Australia’s parks
14th November 2018 - Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park receives international ocean refuge award
23rd October 2018 - 4,500 hectares added to NSW national parks estate
15th October 2018 - Traditional owners to jointly manage six Victorian National Parks
18th September 2018 - New Parks Victoria Act looks to strengthen park management
7th September 2018 - Victorian first as traditional landowners take on park management
20th July 2018 - Watarrka National Park Joint Management Plan is now Operational
12th November 2014 - Only one in four protected areas is well managed
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
We are the leading providers of kids fun multi-sports programs for Sport and Recreation Centres. Programs cover twelve common sports as well as Gross Motor Skill Development and suit children from as…read more
Clubware’s online gym software is not your run of the mill management system. It has been carefully designed to incorporate all the elements that a fitness club would need. How did we do that?…read more
Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…read more
@leisure is a team of experienced leisure, aquatic and sports facility managers and planners, with market modelling, sports management, recreation planning, business and GIS qualifications. We have…read more
Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…read more
Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…read more
Augmented Creative is an open organization of like-minded and highly dedicated, creative people who conceive, plan and execute visual solutions. We pursue new and innovative visual ideas to help…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!