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EditPhoto Title:Community-driven Conservation in Papua New Guinea
EditImage Description:Women and girls at the Celebration of the YUS Conservation Area Dedication in the Teptep village, Papua New Guinea
EditPhoto Credit:© Bruce M Beehler
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With 1% of the world’s land mass, Papua New Guinea contains 5% of the world’s biodiversity — and CI is empowering local communities to protect it.
Papua New Guinea, an ecological and cultural place like no other, is nestled in the southwestern Pacific Ocean’s Coral Triangle north of Australia. A land of many contrasts, the country boasts rugged, cloud-shrouded mountains, where agriculture has been practiced for over 9,000 years, alongside uninhabited islands surrounded by reefs teeming with life. Rich in biodiversity, its forests are home to birds-of-paradise, tree kangaroos, long-beaked echidnas, birdwing butterflies and thumbnail-sized frogs — among other species, many not yet discovered or studied. Surrounded by seas colored by corals and reef fishes and islets that serve as nesting areas for turtles and sea birds, Papua New Guinea also has over 800 living languages, making it one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world.
For nearly 20 years, CI has worked with communities, governments, industries and agencies throughout Papua New Guinea to develop innovative conservation of important species and ecosystems. We have also worked with local communities and researchers to identify new species in Papua New Guinea’s forests, streams, reefs, caves and mountains through our Rapid Assessment Program’s field assessment, providing vital information about the country’s biodiversity to community and government leaders as they plan for a sustainable future.
Build local capacity
CI plans to empower the people of Papua New Guinea through on-the-ground, community-driven conservation initiatives and to advise local and national governments on sustainable environmental planning. CI’s current efforts focus on the island communities of Milne Bay in eastern Papua New Guinea. In partnership with the provincial government and communities there, we are building local capacity in natural resource management and conservation.
For example, the Learning and Training Network for Community-based Marine Resource Management — established by Papua New Guinea’s Centre for Locally Managed Marine Areas, along with CI, the Department of Environment and Conservation, and local nonprofits — promotes understanding and good practices in community-based resource management through education materials, outreach, training, mentoring, exchange visits and continually bringing new management tools to stakeholders.
CI aims to further empower these communities to recognize and use their abilities to maintain and improve their livelihoods through sustainable management of their environment. With our wealth of experience in community empowerment and conservation advocacy success, we have also implemented “Spreading the Reach” campaigns and created materials that facilitate positive environmental management in Milne Bay’s remote communities that do not often receive development support.
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EditDefault Title:A precious part of our Coral Triangle[Optional]
EditYoutube Video Id:v-pWKqeX-w0
More of Our Work Links
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EditImage Alt Text:View of a man in a boat and underwater coral reef in Bird's Head, Raja Ampat, Indonesia. © Conservation International/photo by Sterling Zumbrunn
EditTitle:Bird's Head Seascape
EditImage Alt Text:Wayag Lagoon, Bird's Head Seascape, Indonesia. © Will Turner
EditImage Alt Text:Coral reef in Viti Levu, Fiji, Oceania. © William Crosse