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Monday, September 23, 2013

PNG's Department of Environment and Conservation not supporting Karkum Leatherback turtle project

PAPUA NEW GUINEA MARINE PROGRAM ON CORAL REEFS, FISHERIES AND FOOD SECURITY, National Plan of Actions 2010-2013 coral triangle initiative's Goal # 5: Threatened Species Status Improving reads: "Threatened Species in PNG waters include all marine turtle species, dugong and whales and dolphins. Marine habitats such as seagrass and mangroves are also being threatened. Under this Goal, programs and activities are being developed to address the threatened status of these species. DEC, the University of PNG, and partner NGOs such as WWF, TNC and CI have ongoing programs that are addressing the threatened species. Through activities listed below, the efforts of each institution will be coordinated to achieve overall Goal whereby status of this threatened species are improved and outputs measured. Recently, Community Based Organisations have become involved in protection of nesting turtles such as the Kamiali Leatherback turtle project and the Karkum Leatherback turtle Project. DEC is supporting such projects." Then it splashed a photo of the Karkum Conservation Area bill board on the page and says, "Photo Courtesy of Makata Inc." Our concern is that since the establishment of our project in Karkum and the neighboring villages in Madang, we have NOT received any form of support nor even a Support Letter which we requested for from DEC! This is a mockery at its best and we do not want DEC to use our efforts to promote its cause!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

SeaWeb trains Karkum, Sarang and Basken villagers on communication skills

More than 50 leaders from respective community based groups in Sarang, Basken and Karkum villages participated in a three days workshop on communication skills at Karkum village, Madang, Papua New Guinea.
The workshop was held from the 17-20 September and was facilitated by SeaWeb's PNG Country Program Manager, Adi Anaseini Vesikula Ban in partnership with our local group, Mas Kagin Tapani.
The participants learnt how to use message box as a potential communication tool to identify community issues, problems, steps to address them, solutions that may result from taking on these steps and the benefits that come with it.
They also learnt public speaking skills, how to conduct meetings and how to take meeting minutes.
Speaking on behalf of the participants at the closing of the workshop village magistrate and Sarang community leader, Joe Hurim said this was the first time they have received such a training.  He thanked Ms Ban and myself for building the capacity of his community leaders and assured us that they will surely use the skills in their respective duties at their respective communities.
Ms Ban in accepting this acknowledgement told the participants that she had a perception that they might not understand the content of the course she presented because she had prepared it in English and delivered in both Tok Pidgin and English but the result proved her wrong.
“You guys have proven me wrong!” she stressed.  She was impressed with the group and individual performances of the participants in the various exercises they did and is convinced that the participants will practice what they have learnt.
On behalf of MAKATA I thanked Ms Ban and SeaWeb for giving time to come out and train the villagers in our project sites. This is the first time a partner NGO has come to run a training to local villagers in our project site communities. 
In saying that I also invite other partner stakeholders to come to our project sites and empower communities that share the beaches where the leatherback turtles come to nest with skills that will help them take ownership of their turtle conservation and marine management programs in ways that will improve their livelihood.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sarang villagers take steps to save leatherback turtles in Papua New Guinea

This is a great story to reflect the true meaning of independence in Papua New Guinea. Sarang villagers take  initiative to save, protect and restore the population of the critically endangered leatherback turtles without outside help. MAKATA recognised this initiative and rewarded them with a week-long turtle training. We also did a boundary survey for their marine conservation area. The villagers have indicated that they will establish their Community Based Organisation known as SAKAR Locally Managed Marine Area. SA stands for Sarang and KA stands for Karem. This to me is the best independence celebrations news.See story on Page 6 of Post Courier, Thursday, September 12, 2013 and Page 25, PC, Friday, September 13, 2013. Link: