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.