This project aims to assess and propose pathways of an integrated and sustainable financing to support the government and project implementers to attract local, national, and transnational funding to support inclusive Ridge-to-Reef (R2R) conservation and climate projects in Southwest Papua, Indonesia, while fostering equitable livelihoods for local and indigenous communities.


Raja Ampat and Sorong Districts, Southwest Papua Province, Indonesia


Southwest Papua, located in Indonesia, is renowned for its rich biodiversity encompassing its vast forests and diverse coastal ecosystems. The coastal area of Southwest Papua boasts globally significant biodiversity within its mangrove forests, coral reef habitats, and ocean. However, as in many other parts of the world, Southwest Papua manages its resources in a complex governance arrangement by different sectors at multi scales. Given this condition, there is a possibility of disjointed planning between sectors, with limited to no integration between terrestrial and marine planning. This may result in a loss of opportunities to create synergy between sectors where problems could be addressed with integrated and holistic actions. A new approach that could integrate different sectors and actors at different scales and landscape is essential.

The R2R approach presents a holistic approach to conservation and sustainable development, taking into account the vital interconnectivity between forests, land use, and mangrove ecosystems, whereby the conservation and land use in the upstream areas significantly impacts downstream ecosystems. Moreover, there is a need to build connections and integrate the plans in different landscapes by recognizing the roles of key stakeholders, including indigenous peoples and women, in managing resources by including them within the plan.

However, similar to other conservation approaches and models, the R2R implementation in Indonesia, specifically in Southwest Papua, is facing significant challenges in securing sustainable financing, particularly for inclusive climate change projects. Despite the R2R potential in conserving ecosystems and promoting climate resilience, existing financing mechanisms and governance structures lack coherence and appeal, limiting the realization of inclusive R2R projects.

So, how can a financial mechanism for sustainable and equitable Ridge-to-Reef management be designed to contribute to social, economic, and nature-positive development in Southwest Papua? This research project will address this question and formulate an inclusive and pioneering R2R strategy, contributing to climate change adaptation, mitigation, and resilience while concurrently benefiting indigenous communities, local populations, and women. 


By engaging with key stakeholders at local, regional, and national levels, this project proposes pathways for an integrated and innovative sustainable financing mechanism and a decentralized governance framework that allows stakeholders a greater say in decision-making and minimizes the imbalance of power to support inclusive R2R climate change projects in Southwest Papua. 

Several methods will be employed to achieve the desired research outputs, including the co-development of baselines and tools for managing, integrating, and monitoring upland forests, watersheds, and mangrove forests, as well as the co-development of R2R architecture that incorporates Gender Equality, Disability Inclusion, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) indicators. Additionally, the study will incorporate GEDSI indicators to identify enabling conditions and mechanisms that facilitate equitable R2R implementation.

The project is organized into three components which reflect the three key outputs of the project.

  • Output 1: A comprehensive feasibility study and strategy on R2R implementation in Southwest Papua and its contribution to inclusive climate change projects.
  • Output 2: A proposed mechanism for effective governance of the area between upland forest, watershed, and mangrove forest, by considering GEDSI at national and subnational levels.
  • Output 3: A proposed sustainable financing approach to assist project implementers and government to attract local, national, or transnational funding from public-private sources to support R2R climate change projects in Indonesia.

These outputs will be achieved through the implementation of activities and deliverables under the three components of the project, and a synthesis report that integrates all findings from the three outputs.


This project is a collaboration between WRI Indonesia and some leading research institutions and universities, including:

This project was funded by KONEKSI, Australia's knowledge and innovation flagship program in Indonesia, as 1 of 38 knowledge partnerships as the inaugural recipients of Environment and Climate Change Collaborative Research Grants.