This image features Papua, the easternnmost province of Indonesia. Papua was formerly named Irian Jaya, it changed its name only recently in 2002. The Indonesians had called it Irian Jaya, "Victorious Hot Land", when they took over control of the last of the Dutch East Indies colonies.
The scarcely popolated island is known to be a naturalist paradise, surrounded by rich, exotic emerald waters.
The population are generally tribal inhabitants, commonly called Papuans, or "frizzy haired" in Malay language. Many clans have their own language, about 250 different languages have been inventorised.
About 60-80 % (varying according sources) of the land is covered by forest. This area covered with a variety of forests (rain forests and pine forests), mountains, lakes and swamps and even glaciers (not on the image) are home to an immense variety of fauna (and especially flying fauna) and flora; many of its species are unique to the island of New Guinea. It is claimed that Papua's jungle is even more wild and impenetrable than the tropical rainforest in the Amazon Basin.
Instrument: Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS)
Date of Acquisition: 20 March 2004
Orbit number: 10749
Instrument features: FR
NE Lat/Long: N 0.36 / E 136.90
NW Lat/Long: N 1.49 / E 131.79
SW Lat/Long: S 4.33 / E 130.49
SE Lat/Long: S 5.49 / E 135.61