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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Lalok and Male villages fishing to sustain their lives.

Land is life.  

It is like an umbilical cord attached to an indigenous person with ties of natural resources supplying food, clothing, protein, medicine, building materials, building his/her wealth, status, culture, religion, identity, dignity, songs and dances, knowledge, wisdom and other benefits.  It is therefore an issue of great importance to individual tribal members, families, clans and the entire village.

In many Melanesian and Polynesian societies any developmental issues relating to land or their natural resources are collectively discussed in order to reach a consensus decision.  Since individuals live in a community with their families, clans and other clans to make up a village, their needs, wants, visions or strategic management plans are made collectively and not in isolation. 

MAKATA and its CBO partners admires these values and conducts its community facilitation process  where they visit resource owners and live with them in their villages sharing stories, listening to their views, and try their best to understand the needs, threats and issues of the community using the PRA and PLA tools.  After several community visits and having established the village concerns, issues, the team facilitates community development training process to inform, educate, and empower them so they can understand better other surrounding issues that may affect them of which they are not aware of.  The team enables the communities to draw out of these workshops a road map and collectively develop their own plans on how best they can sustainably use their resources, without depleting it or allowing others to do so. 

These steps are undertaken gradually so that the initiative is driven by the community themselves using their traditional decision making processes and not by MAKATA. In this process based on their training needs, we run workshops aimed at meeting their needs.  Trainings range from community development, PNG History Timeline, PNG Biodiversity, The 4th National Goal and Directive Principle, PNG’s Protected Area Policy, PNG’s International Obligations especially the CBD, PNG’s Flora and Fauna (Protection and Control) Act 1966, Turtle Training, Marine Monitoring, Communications, Marine Environment Education, Land Use Planning and related courses.

We also participated in the 4th Workshop and helped developed the Madang Spatial Planning document.  In this workshop, we helped developed the Madang Provincial Plan for Sustainable Development and Conservation for Madang Province by:
i.                    Identifying potential for implementing it;
ii.                  Identifying key policy, institutional and other issues that needs to be addressed in it; and
iii.                Identifying actions needed to be taken to commence the process of implementing it.

Furthermore, in 2014 we conducted Turtle Training and started the Resource Management process at Mur.  We also did a baseline socio-economic and cultural mapping surveys for Yamai village, Saidor Local Level Government, Rai Coast District.   In addition, we did baseline socio-economic and cultural mapping surveys for Lalok, Male and Bom-Sagar in Astrolabe Bay, also within the Rai Coast District.

With support from Mahonia Na Dari (Sea Guardians) a local NGO in West New Britain, we introduced the Marine Environment Education Program (MEEP) in Madang.  For the first time twenty (23) head masters and senior teachers from primary and elementary schools were given theory and practical sessions on MEEP.  The workshop was hosted by the Madang Catholic Education Division. 

In December 2014, we carried out the first CBD training at Mur, Rai Coast, Madang.

Our group was also engaged in 2015 by the YUS Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program - PNG to help run their first Marine Monitoring training for their coastal marine monitors for Roinji and Singorokai in the Wasu Local Level Government of Morobe Province.

In April/May 2015, we conducted the Second CBD training for Basken and Karkum indigenous local community resource managers in Sumgilbar LLG, Sumkar District, Madang.

Due to lack of funding we could not complete the Mur Resource Management Plan. 

Furthermore, lack of funding meant we could not conduct Marine Monitoring Workshops and Turtle Tagging, and Monitoring workshops for our project site communities. 

It has also caused us to cease all our activities in Karkum, Sarang, Mur, Yamai, Lalok, Male, and Bom-Sagar communities to either review Karkum’s CD, monitor and assess their activities, or conduct training to help them establish their Resource Management Plans. 

We also could not deliver Marine Environment Education Training for Teachers, in Rai Coast, Madang, Bogia and Sumkar Districts annually. 

Plans to produce appropriate, adequate, effective and sufficient information, communication and educational awareness materials for target audience and key stakeholders including communities we work with, schools and for teachers to build environmental ethics for students to complement grass-roots community empowerment activities could not be achieved.  

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