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EditPhoto Title:Community-driven Conservation in Papua New Guinea
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EditImage Description:Three men walking on a bridge in Papua New Guinea
EditPhoto Credit:© Trond Larsen
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Home to highly unique sea life, plants and animals and equally diverse peoples, local custodianship is key to its protection.

Papua New Guinea sits just north of Australia and occupies the southeast corner of the Coral Triangle, the global center of marine biodiversity.

Diversity is a common theme in Papua New Guinea. Here, over 800 unique languages are spoken. On land and at sea the nation holds some of the worlds most concentrated biodiversity. Its forests are home to the highly unique birds-of-paradise, tree kangaroos, long-beaked echidnas, birdwing butterflies and thumbnail-sized frogs. Its reefs are teeming with life –decorated by bright corals and ornate reef fishes it is traversed by dugongs, spinner dolphins, sperm whales, and rare sharks. Sandy islets serve as important nesting areas for sea turtles and birds, and mangroves are nurseries for tuna destined to cross the Pacific.

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    EditSection Title:Our Role
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    EditImage Description:Matschie's tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus matschiei) mother and infant

    ​In 1996 CI opened its first office in Papua New Guinea to work directly with communities, governments, and other partners throughout the nation to protect important species and ecosystems. Working with local people and researchers, we helped identify hundreds of new species through CI’s Rapid Assessment Program. This information also provided vital information about the country’s biodiversity to community and government leaders, as they planned for a sustainable future.

    CI has supported the creation of various protected areas and on land and at sea. This includes the YUS Conservation Area in 2009, the first legally protected area of its kind in PNG, home to over 12,000 people and essential habitat for the tree kangaroo, an important cultural icon. In 2014, in recognition of this success, the community-based NGO, the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program-PNG who collectively manages the area was awarded one of the international conservation community’s most prestigious achievements, the Equator prize, for this cutting edge approach to conservation and sustainable livelihood development.

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    EditPhoto Credit: © Conservation International/photo by Russell A. Mittermeier
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    EditSection Title:Eco Custodian Advocates
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    EditImage Description:Colorful Reeftop and Snorkelers

    In 201​6, CI transitioned its national office into an independent locally managed NGO, Eco Custodian Advocates (ECA) as part of our long-term strategy towards local custodianship.

    This new NGO builds upon CI’s achievements through ongoing collaboration with local communities and government with a particular focus on further empowering community partners in Milne Bay Province, the largest maritime province in the nation, containing one third of its coral reefs.

    ECA aims to help to guide environmental policy, marine management and sustainable development initiatives for local communities. The NGO focuses on engaging stakeholders to value and protect their environment, raise awareness for empowered decision-making and facilitate sustainable natural resource management at different levels of governance in alignment with social, cultural and economic aspirations.​

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    EditPhoto Credit:© Jeff Yonover
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    More of Our Work Links

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    First Image

    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
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    EditTitle:Bird’s Head Seascape
    EditImage Alt Text:Wayag Lagoon, Bird's Head Seascape, Indonesia. © Will Turner
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    EditTitle:The Ocean
    EditImage Alt Text:Coral reef in Viti Levu, Fiji, Oceania. © William Crosse
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