In Papua New Guinea the customary harvest of wildlife and natural resources is an essential part of people’s lives. Natural ecosystems have provided food and shelter as well as important spiritual and cultural values for thousands of years. Most Papua New Guineans still live in rural areas and depend on forest and coastal resources for most of their food, shelter, and medicine. However, with a growing human population and cash economy there is a real risk that the harvest of wildlife and natural resources will become unsustainable thereby threatening people’s food security and placing populations of wildlife at risk. Consequently, WCS PNG is working with local communities to try to ensure that the use of wildlife, forest resources and fisheries is sustainable.
Our approach always begins with consultations with communities to understand the issues they are facing, their priority concerns, and the current tools they have to manage their resources. Thereafter WCS PNG works alongside the communities to develop sustainable hunting and harvesting strategies that complement their existing management tools. Some these resources include: Admiralty cuscus, Pesquet’s parrot, mub crabs, sea cucumbers, reef fish, and native timber trees.