Ecosystem Protection

Not only does Papua New Guinea contain half of the third largest tropical rainforest in the world but its reefs form part of the Coral Triangle – a region containing the world’s highest marine biodiversity. WCS PNG recognises these ecosystems are interconnected and best protected at large scales. While community level initiatives are vitally important, these lack legal recognition and cannot protect ecosystems. Consequently, larger scale environmental protection is required.  WCS PNG achieves this by:

  • Undertaking short-term conservation agreements with partner communities to curtail imminent large-scale environmental destruction.
  • Working with partner communities to develop localised conservation deeds as a means of legally protecting neighbouring conservation areas.
  • Exploring with partner communities the possibility of formal protection as Papua New Guinea Community Conservation Areas. Such areas are designed to allow indigenous communities to go about their subsistence livelihoods but offer some protection against major resource extraction such as commercial logging and mining.
  • Working with coastal communities and maritime provinces to undertake marine planning over large scales and enact Local-Level Government (LLG) Marine Environment Management Laws.
  • Undertaking rapid biodiversity surveys to quantify the biodiversity of suspected biodiversity hotspots (such as the Hindenburg Wall, Manus and Mussau Islands) and increase their international profile.
  • Developing reproducible techniques and guides for the restoration of vulnerable ecosystems (such as mangroves).
  • Partnering with research institutes and national government to optimise the positioning of essential national infrastructure while minimising environmental damage.
  • Working closely with the Papua New Guinea Government to develop and trial a national forest protection initiative known as REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation ― the “+” refers to the other benefits of forests). If successful, such a scheme would be transformational and result in large scale forest protection at a national scale.

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