Honorary Doctorate (April 2011)
His Excellency, Governor Barnabas Suebu was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in April 2011 in recognition of his significant contributions to rainforest conservation and preservation and his sustained service to the Papuan community through educational links with local, national and international bodies.
His Excellency, Barnabas Suebu, Governor of the Indonesian Province of Papua has won worldwide acclaim for his contributions to conservation. Governor Suebu’s work led directly to the conservation and preservation of over 23 million hectares of rainforest. The conserved forest represents the most biologically diverse forests on the planet. The forest reserve systems that he implemented protect over 50 percent of all of Indonesia’s endemic species. In establishing these reserves, the Governor has led the preservation of the single largest stretch of continuous rainforest in the world. Governor Suebu was listed in Time Magazine’s ‘Heroes of the Environment’ in 2007. He graduated with a Bachelor of Law from the Cendrawasih University in the Indonesian province of Papua. Among the Governor’s many other achievements he has been: the youngest leader of a liberal political party in Indonesia; the youngest leader of the Papuan Parliament; elected Governor of the Province of Papua in 2006; declined the invitation of the President of Indonesia to become a Minister in the National Government so that he could continue to serve his people in Papua; and is a former Indonesian Ambassador to Mexico, Honduras, and Panama.The Governor and Papuan Provincial Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of the Sunshine Coast designed to achieve: carbon forestry and landscape rehabilitation; restoration of degraded rainforest ecosystems; reform of teacher training in the Province of Papua; and to design, develop, and implement e-learning strategies for universal access to education.