West Sulawesi or Sulawesi Barat (short
form Sulbar) is a province of Indonesia, created in 2004. Sulawesi
Barat or West Sulawesi is a new province established in October
5, 2004. The lack of access to public service facilities and the
very slow process of development in the region motivated the creation
of West Sulawesi. The capital of West Sulawesi is Mamuju. West Sulawesi
established by splitting South Sulawesi province. The area of West
Sulawesi is used to be the northern part of South Sulawesi Province:
Polewali Mandar, Mamasa, Majene, Mamuju dan Mamuju Utara. The area
of the province is 16,796.19 km2. Its economy consists mainly of
mining, agriculture and fishing. Its capital is Mamuju regency.
As a new province, the region faced complex
problems, especially concerning demands for building of infrastructure
and public facilities combined with bureaucracy formation and the
need for capacity building to optimalize services to the public.
Currently, this new province is under the supervision of a “caretaker”
governor; the elections for a proper governor are planned for mid
2006, after being postponed in 2005.
Exploitation of the forests has affected
nearly every region in Sulawesi, especially in West and Southeast
Sulawesi. Habitats threatened by mining activities in Sulawesi now
total over 1,181,062 hectares.