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WWF works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, collaborating with partners from local to global levels in nearly 100 countries.
PAPUA :: INDONESIA
Noken bags—used by both men and women to carry everything from produce to babies—brim with history. Knotted and woven from plant fibers, they link Indigenous Papuans to an ancestral crafting process that is millennia old. But their future is at risk. The introduction of factory-made and foreign products, such as backpacks, has reduced local demand, while fewer Papuans are trained in the intricate bag-making process. In 2012, UNESCO declared noken an intangible cultural heritage urgently in need of saving. Now, with support from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP), WWF-Indonesia, and the Papua provincial government, Indigenous women from the northern village of Sawesuma are making major strides in preserving this ancient craft.