By Elaine Vaina
| December 11, 2014
Mangroves are an important forest ecosystem for many coastal communities in Papua New Guinea.
Conservation of this forest ecosystem for sustainable harvesting and management of resources that it provides is vital for the sustainability of livelihoods.
WCS New Ireland under its mangrove rehabilitation and protection initiative has been carrying out mangrove health assessments on several island communities in the province.
This WCS PNG initiative is funded by the USAID Mangrove Rehabilitation for Sustainably Healthy Forest (MARSH) Project.
An audit team from USAID Manila visited WCS New Ireland last month (November) and carried out a progress check on the MARSH funded project.
The team of USAID Regional Inspector Generals, Michael Hutchinson and Virgillio Cruz spent one week in New Ireland with the WCS team to find out whether or not the funds provided under the MARSH project was use in achieving the project goals.
They visited island communities where WCS’s Mangrove expert Mazzella Maniwavie had conducted mangrove health surveys and they also visited proposed island sites where WCS PNG will be carrying out mangrove restoration and replanting.
Key community members and locals were consulted for their understanding of the project. They were also consulted on the daily use of the mangrove resources for the sustainability of their livelihoods.
The other provinces that are also funded by MARSH are the National Capital District (NCD), Central, Manus and West New Britain.