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WCS PNG_Highlights 2019_low res
Stakeholder engagement mapping and analysis report 2018
Survey methods were utilised to understand current stakeholder engagement, as it relates to REDD+ preparedness, in three pilot Papua New Guinean provinces: Madang, East New Britain, and West Britain. These surveys represent an accumulation of knowledge from over 800 provincial stakeholders, and representatives of three national authorities and departments.
Fisheries catch-and-effort report, Kavieng District, New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea January 2019 – July 2019
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) (with co-funding from Oceans 5) allocated funds to build community resilience to climate change in the Bismarck Sea, Papua New Guinea. Part of the project was implemented by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Papua New Guinea Programme at thirteen coastal communities in Kavieng District, New Ireland Province. In addition, from 2016 to 2019, four waves of fisheries catch-and-effort data were collected at each community. In 2018, subsurface fish aggregating devices (FADs) were deployed in each community, which aim to transfer fishing effort from vulnerable reef fisheries to more resilient open water fish stocks, and fisheries management plans were implemented at each site. The catch-and-effort data can help indicate changes in fishing activity since the introduction of the fisheries management initiatives at each community.
Community report: Marine resource use and management, land and sea tenure systems, and community fishing priorities
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) allocated funds to strengthen coastal and marine resource management in the Coral Triangle of the Pacific, through subprojects in Papua New Guinea (PNG), Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji, which collectively form part of the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI). The PNG Subproject and associated Technical Assistance (TA) was executed by the Wildlife Conservation Society at ten predetermined ADB community sites around the coastline of Manus province, PNG.
Fisheries catch-per-unit-effort report, Kavieng District, New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea: 2015–2017
Between 2015 and 2017, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) collected fisheries catch-and-effort data from 14 communities in northern New Ireland Province, with an overarching goal of better understanding the health of local subsistence and artisanal fisheries. As well as providing valuable baseline fisheries assessments for communities collaborating with WCS on local marine co- management initiatives, the assessed fisheries health indicators presented here have broader implications. These include the identification of fisheries management needs in northern New Ireland Province to strengthen food security and marine-based livelihoods for a large number of seafood dependent people.
INTRODUCTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE: Supporting Existing Education Curricula in Papua New Guinea schools
A supplementary resource for teachers.
EHP Biodiversity Report
The Eastern Highlands Province (EHP) continues to hold high biodiversity values, with a desktop review indicating more than 850 vertebrate species present in the province. Key areas for this biodiversity are found in the forests on the southern and northern borders of EHP. The Daulo district and much of the Bismarck Range are the most vulnerable portion of forests due to their relative small size, and proximity to areas with high human population densities. These montane areas are also of high ecological importance as a forest corridor connecting the Bismarck Range to Mt Wilhelm. Currently EHP is not experiencing high rates of deforestation in comparison to historic losses. Current losses amount to around 225 ha per year and are mostly occurring on the fringes of existing forest areas. Most of the deforestation appears to be occurring as a result of small scale shifting cultivation. Many of EHP’s threatened species such as Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo and birds of paradise are used in cultural adornment and continue to have high cultural importance.
Forest connectivity is important for sustaining Admiralty cuscus (Spilocuscus kraemeri) in traditional terrestrial no-take areas on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea
Tambu is a well respected concept in Melanesian societies and represents a periodic cultural restriction on harvesting for the purpose of fulfilling customary obligations and restocking resources. As a result it has been suggested as the basis for conservation and sustainability in Melanesia. One species subject to tambu management is the Admiralty cuscus (Spilocuscus kraemeri), an arboreal marsupial endemic to Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, where it is a major source of terrestrial protein for forest-dwelling villagers. We investigated the denning home range and movement patterns of 10 cuscus using radio-telemetry in and around a 21-ha forested tambu area over a 28-day period. Home-range sizes were estimated using a 95% minimum convex polygon method and possible contributing factors to home-range size were assessed through model selection. Home-range size was highly variable, log-normally distributed (back-transformed mean 1⁄4 2.9 ha, mean 1 s.d.: 0.6–13.8 ha, n 1⁄4 8), and was not associated with body mass, age or sex. Additional telemetry data collected from three S. kraemeri over 74 days appeared to support the stable nature of the home ranges. Through application of Laplace’s extension of the Buffon’s needle problem we conclude that, despite potentially high growth rates and short juvenile dispersal distances, tambu areas are unlikely to be self-sustaining. We hypothesise that the apparent efficacy of tambu areas is a consequence of forest connectivity that allows the immigration of adult founders to offset losses in reproductive stock coming as a result of periodic harvest and juvenile dispersal. Lamaris, J. & Whitmore, N. (2018) Forest connectivity is important for sustaining Admiralty cuscus (Spilocuscus kraemeri) in traditional terrestrial no-take areas on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Pacific Conservation Biology24: 55–62.
Harnessing local ecological knowledge for conservation decision making via Wisdom of Crowds: the case of the Manus green tree snail Papustyla pulcherrima.
The shell of the Manus green tree snail Papustyla pulcherrima is renowned for its beauty and is subject to international protection under CITES, having been har- vested intensively in the past. To determine its threat status, and whether further conservation action is justified, an in- expensive Wisdom of Crowds approach was used to estimate the change in relative density of the snail between 1998 and 2013. Local men and women were approached around the main market on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, and asked to map the relative abundance of the snail on an ordinal scale, based on their personal observations in 2013 and 1998 (a year of cultural significance). The spatial abundance data from 400 surveys were analysed using an information-theoretic approach. A suite of cumulative link models incorporating geographical factors was used to determine the magnitude of the change and to investigate possible biological influences underpinning the re- ported pattern. High abundance of the snail was associated with intact forested areas, high elevation and low population density. A slow decline was evident, with the median percentage of map cells where the snail was categorised as plentiful decreasing by c. 20% between the 2 years. On this basis a categorisation of Near Threatened was advocated for the species. Although it is arguable that Wisdom of Crowds methods cannot be substituted for in situ quantification, the approach appears to have utility as a preliminary assessment for further conservation expenditure, and as a tool for determining threat status. Whitmore N. (2016) Harnessing local ecological knowledge for conservation decision making via Wisdom of Crowds: the case of the Manus green tree snail Papustyla pulcherrima. Oryx 50: 684–692
Integrating social–ecological vulnerability assessments with climate forecasts to improve local climate adaptation planning for coral reef fisheries in Papua New Guinea.
A major gap exists in integrating climate projections and social–ecological vulnerability analyses at scales that matter, which has affected local-scale adaptation planning and actions to date. We address this gap by providing a novel methodology that integrates information on: (i) the expected future climate, including climate-related extreme events, at the village level; (ii) an ecological assessment of the impacts of these climate forecasts on coral reefs; and (iii) the social adaptive capacity of the artisanal fishers, to create an integrated vulnerability assessment on coastal communities in five villages in Papua New Guinea. We show that, despite relatively proximate geographies, there are substantial differences in both the predicted extreme rainfall and temperature events and the social adaptive capacity among the five fishing dependent communities, meaning that they have likely different vulnerabilities to future climate change. Our methodology shows that it is possible to capture social information and integrate this with climate and ecological modeling in ways that are best suited to address the impacts of climate-mediated environmental changes currently un- derway across different scales. Maina J., Kithiia J., Cinner J., Neale E., Noble S., Charles D. & Watson J.E. (2016) Integrating social–ecological vulnerability assessments with climate forecasts to improve local climate adaptation planning for coral reef fisheries in Papua New Guinea. Regional environmental change 16: 881–889
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