Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs) in Indonesian New Guinea

Identifying Tropical Important Plant Areas of New Guinea, Indonesia to protect socio-economically important plant species.

Mount Jaya in Indonesian New Guinea

The assessment of Important Plant Areas (IPAs) offers a practical but rigorous means of identifying site-based conservation priorities. IPAs are aligned to Target 5 of the CBD’s 'Global Strategy for Plant Conservation' and so offer an important step towards fulfilling national CBD targets.

The tropical island of New Guinea has a relatively large amount of intact habitats remaining and has been designated as one of the three remaining tropical Wilderness areas by Conservation International. This project is part of Kew’s Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPA) programme and will work with in-country partners, especially Universitas Papua, to identify important plant areas in Indonesian New Guinea with an emphasis on the Bird’s Head peninsula (the Vogelkop) in West Papua Province. 

Kew’s role in the project

Kew has been actively working in New Guinea and has undertaken many expeditions both to the Indonesian side of the island as well as Papua New Guinea. Kew has developed a comprehensive database of all the collections of several families and will be expanding this across a range of ecologically important plant groups. Kew staff are naming, databasing and georeferencing all incoming material of these groups. Kew is developing proposals in conjunction with partners to undertake activities, including workshops, training, expeditions and community work in the Bird’s Head.


  • Consultative capacity building workshops on a range of subjects with partners in New Guinea, providing data and expertise needed to inform selection of protected areas. Training to include plant identification, red-listing, seed-banking, ethnobotany.
  • Avoiding extinction of Indonesian New Guinea’s endemic, threatened and socio-economically important plant species through inclusion in Important Plant Areas with national and/or community protection, complementing the future development plan of West Papua Province which has been designated as Indonesia’s first conservation province.
  • Producing a complete database of all specimens from the island in key ecological groups, for example legumes, Ericaceae, palms, Moraceae etc.
  • Publication of guides for identification.
  • Fact sheets for each Important Plant Area (TIPA) identified
  • Trees of New Guinea book published
  • Book on the Important Plant Areas of Guinea
  • Interactive map of New Guinea


  • UNIPA (Universitas Papua), Manokwari, Indonesia
  • Plantlife International

Bentham-Moxon Trust

Kew Strategic Output

Tropical Important Plant Areas