VICTORY: Indonesia’s ‘Lost World’: Pristine Rainforests Do Still Exist

Indonesia rainforestScientists exploring an isolated rainforest in Indonesia's Papua Province, the western half of the island of New Guinea, have discovered a “lost world” with dozens of new species of frogs, butterflies and plants — as well as large mammals hunted to near extinction elsewhere, many of which were unafraid of humans. The area located in the Foja Mountains covers more than two million acres of old growth tropical forest, and is possibly the largest pristine tropical forest in Asia. It is critical that remaining rainforest wildernesses of unmatched ecological and evolutionary splendor not be lost forever, and certainly not for logging.

EcoInternet's action network had a role in protecting these pristine rainforests prior to their splendor even having been fully discovered, as we successfully campaigned with “Down to Earth” and others in both 1997 and 2001 to stop construction of a dam on the Mamberamo River that would have flooded the entire basin (we were aided by the Asia financial crisis). It is clear that in addition to dozens of outright victories conserving millions of hectares of ancient forests, together we have positively impacted the Earth in ways of which we are not even fully aware. If EcoInternet did not exist, these rainforests may not either. EcoInternet's “Earth Action Network” is the best little Earth protector in existence. Keep involved and spread the word.

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12 Responses

  1. Adam says:

    Brilliant and very exciting. Lets hope the indo govt and the malaysian
    forest rapers can be halted by this hi profile and exciting discovery!

  2. Marcel says:

    Dear Glen Barry,
    What a great pity, New Guinee: paradise lost, damnation they made such a fuzz about their discouvery.dThey hould have kept it at a low profile.Now they shout it from the roofs all over this place.

  3. Julie says:

    Fantastic news.. Lets hope its stays pristine and protected…. Thanks
    for posting this…

  4. Sue says:

    Thank you for the good news!

  5. Mary Lou says:

    Glenn, This article, with a few pictures, is in today's Phila Inquirer. M

  6. Nigel says:

    Thanks Glen for the update.. I was going to send a copy from the UK
    Independent, as I know of your particular interest in this eastern sector of
    the Asia Pacific forests systems.
    But you observed the same yourself.
    Hopefully the poison pus of the exploiters can keep their grubby criminal
    hands of this global heritage site.
    Best wishes,

  7. Chris says:

    Hi Glen,
    I thought you'd be interested in the email below that I just sent to a media rep at Conservation International.
    Dear Mr. Cohen,
    The discovery of this wonderful place is extremely exciting, but the first thing that came to my mind when I heard about it was, “I hope they don't tell anyone (except its dedicated protectors) exactly where this place is.”
    In an era when rainforest and other ecosystems are being destroyed and biodiversity is being lost, there are some places which, for the sake of all life on Earth, must be protected from any exploitation whatsoever (even, in some cases, scientific exploitation).
    So I implore you, please keep this place safe from anyone with anything less than the purest, most selfless motives. If that can be done, future generations of all species on our beleaguered little planet will be in Conservation International's debt.
    Yours sincerely,

  8. Michael says:

    Dear Glen,
    Great, but there are three letters in today's “Guardian” newspaper (in the UK) all of which express fear about what might happen next, but alas I can't find any of them on the web. One asks: “When will a Starbucks arrive there?”. Another says: “Catalogue and then get out”. An article on the same page refers to the ongoing brutality by Indonesians against the natives and their environment.

  9. Mik says:

    Does this mean we can now start exploiting the last place where we have not spoiled? How about tours?

  10. Celia says:

    This is a wonderful piece of news, What do you suggest is an effective strategy to protect its biodiversity – World Heritage Status? Money from UNEP or what?

  11. Anne says:

    I've read this and I find it reflects our human arrogance and idiocy at its
    most bigotted. Why don't we (or the brilliant scientists, etc) who have
    'discovered' this forgotten paradise, leave it alone and forget it again.
    That, surely, is the best way to guarantee its survival. What alarms me is
    that, once something like this becomes common knowledge it becomes a magnet
    for maybe well-meaning scientific curiosity – you know, useful knowledge for
    us humans about development of species, etc. Who is kidding who? Why do we
    need to know whatever secrets this pristine region holds? For whose good?
    It existed before us and it will, hopefully, exist after us – if we leave
    well alone. As I say, once it becomes common knowledge how can we 'protect'
    it – we are only ever protecting anything from us. We are the desecrators
    of this world – all of us, just by being human. We apparently can't hel;p
    it – look at our record, look at the extinct species. We never meant it –
    oh, no but we did it all the same. We are like clumsy kindergarten kids in
    a delicate china shop of nature – we poke and pry innocently and with our
    pudgy little questing fingers we break everything we touch – we never meant
    to, we are just clumsy children. And we think we are intelligent and
    caring – we have a long way to go and, on the way, we have broken a lot of
    china. There's a very wise saying, “If it ain't broke, don't fix it” and I
    think it would apply to this situation. Keep off. That's the best thing we
    can do – it's been there for millenia and it will still be there for a few
    more millenia if we just forget it.
    The whole of this article has the hidden assumption that this place suddenly
    exists because we have discovered it – 1) it wasn't lost, 2) things exist
    with or without us. We are not that important. And another thing, until we
    are really wise enough to 'know' this we would be better to wait and leave
    it, on trust. It will be there till that time.
    I think that is the best protection we can give it.

  12. Markus Dharmananda-Rhys says:

    Great comments, and I agree. Forget this place. But too late. Issue requires focus that the fools seeking to exploit are driven by HABIT of how to get and gain. Timber, per se, is an old-style method. Other materials exist, for construction, furniture, etc. NATURE does have the right to exist with or without man, and as for science, I am a scientist, and science is mostly bullshit.
    Let nature be. As it is and was. What little remains, must be allowed to remain.

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