Baliem Valley: a paradise in peril

The island of New Guinea is recognised globally for its extraordinary biodiversity, including almost all of the world’s Birds of Paradise. Papua still has 70% forest cover, yet its Baliem Valley, which includes part of the Lorentz National Park World Heritage Site, supports one of the highest rural population densities in Papua.

The Samdhana Institute and the Department of Forestry of the Government of Indonesia, both Members of IUCN, are working to identify sustainable options for Baliem Valley’s forests and its dependents, who live in the heart of Papua, the Indonesian half of New Guinea.

The future of World Heritage

IUCN Deputy Director General Poul Engberg-Pedersen explains the role IUCN plays in the work of the World Heritage Convention and outlines some of the challenges that need to be addressed to improve its effectiveness.