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Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Biodiversity conservation labour is great but workers few

42 graduates pausing after receiving their
Certificates in Biodiversity Conservation with
the DPM Hon. Davis Steven, UPNGs Vice Chancellor
Professor Frank Griffins, Professor Simon Saulei
head of Biology Division, Mrs Beatice Waiin
- Deputy Dean (Academic) and now
A/ Executive Dean, and Dr. Jane Mogina
representing ExxonMobil, PNG at the UPNG’s
Drill Hall.  Picture by Liberty Betuel


There is so much work to inform, educate, empower, manage and sustainably use our natural resources but the workers are few.

Deputy Prime Minister Davis Steven highlighted this fact at the second graduation of UPNG’s Certificate program on Biodiversity Conservation at the UPNG’s Drill Hall on Friday 20, December, as guest speaker for 42 community based conservation practitioners from all over Papua New Guinea including the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

The first batch of graduates under this program was held in late 2017 with an enrolment of 24 trainees.  These graduates have graduated with UPNG certified Certificates approved by the University Senate and the Council.

Mr. Davis also emphasised the need for Policies and Laws to be developed and used as guiding principles that are fundamentally important to govern our nation.

In congratulating the students for completing their three weeks intensive course on Biodiversity Conservation, he stressed the important role Policy and Law play in managing our country’s natural resources, our economy, society, cultures, politics and infrastructure development.

He further thanked UPNG for its leadership and responsibility to train the 42 students despite their limitations. 

Mr Davis pointed out that this training is a step forward in addressing the challenges school leavers face in pursuit for further studies.

“The education system is developed for the exclusive intelligent people.  Our landowners are already educated with traditional knowledge.  But we need to be re-educated with the scientific knowledge and skills to compliment what we already know.  There is lack of scientific knowledge. Many of us just need basic knowledge. This course is therefore important and relevant,” he reiterated.

UPNGs Vice Chancellor Professor Frank Griffins added that, this program marks an important milestone for the University’s outreach work in reaching out to educate and train our people not only through their normal Diploma, Degree and Postgraduate programs, but at a certificate level for people who could not make it to the University.

“Our certificate program in biodiversity conservation is a practical skills based program and comprises three modules:  1) The Establishment and Management of Community Organisation; 2) Marine Biodiversity Conservation; and 3) Terrestrial Biodiversity Conservation,” he said.

The 42 graduands have just completed Marine Biodiversity and Terrestrial Conservation training.

Prof Griffins said the University has realised the need to contribute towards the government’s drive to conserve and utilize its great natural capital in biodiversity through capacity building.  In 2001 they identified: Participatory Project Planning and Design; Conservation Areas Management; Organisational Strengthening; and Development of Delivery of Course consisting of Modules.

He said: “These were then expended into workable training modules under the Strengthening Conservation Capacity Project (SCCP) funded by MacArthur Foundation over a 9-year period.”

Key modules developed under SCCP included:

·         Biodiversity Conservation Policy and Law;

·         Protected Area Establishment and Management;

·         Organisational Establishment and Management;

·         Fund Raising and Proposal Writing;

·         Economics of Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Services; Public Education; and Community Engagement and Participation.

With support from Mama Graun Conservation Trust Fund and Exxon Mobil under its Biodiversity Offset program since 2016, the University through its Division of Biological Sciences established a Centre dedicated to Biodiversity Conservation studies and Research at UPNG.

“This then set the scene for the establishment of Biodiversity Conservation program dedicated to Biodiversity Conservation studies and Research to be included in a degree program as well as a certificate program for the University’s community outreach,” said Prof Griffins.

“By training the Stakeholders through the Certificate Program,” Prof Griffins said, “the University aims to address long-term sustainability of biodiversity conservation at Community Level.”

He pointed out that there is also a plan to develop a bridging Program – a diploma and degree programs in Science through this Biodiversity Conservation Program.  This will enable people wanting to earn a University degree but were unfortunate not to do so because of lack of space or through the entry selection processes.

Furthermore Prof Griffins said, in 2017 the School of Natural and Physical Sciences through the Division of Biological Sciences established the Centre of Biological Conservation and Natural Products and also incorporate training programs.  This included: a year-long coursework for Post Graduate Degree in Science (PGDSc) and Honours with a minor thesis and a two year Masters in Science Program by Research in this area of study.

He said in 2018 the PGDSc by coursework and MSc by research were initiated with the enrolment of 12 PGDSc students.  These students have graduated earlier this year.  Four MSc students will continuing their program and should complete their studies and graduate in 2020.

To achieve this objective, maintain its current programs and develop new ones, Prof Griffin highlighted the need for partnership and collaboration.

He said to mount these teaching and learning programs as well as research and development the University needs one additional academic and two technical staff to add to the two academic staff and one technician who are being supported by Mama Graun/Exxon Mobil biodiversity offset commitment.

Prof Griffins called on the Government and relevant stakeholders to support UPNG so it can fund its research.

“Such partnership should: Address the needs of the country and its institutions; be transparent and on equal footings; projects developed must be locally conceptualised or initiated, driven and managed; must produce results that are relevant to our local setting and also contribute to the body of knowledge; and outputs have local meanings and can be customized to local situations for implementation,” stressed Prof Griffins.

Dr Jane Mogina a former lecturer at UPNG, currently a senior biodiversity advisor to ExxonMobil PNG said the objective for supporting this capacity building program is to ensure that communities are empowered to do conservation on their own land.

“In 2017 I was there to witness the first graduands under this sponsorship program.  I was so proud to see them graduate back then and am still proud today.  We hope this course gives you the tools so you keep doing what you are doing.  What you do at the community level is very critical for biodiversity conservation,” she said.

She thanked Prof Simon Saulei and his team of staff for making time available to train the graduands instead of going on leave or taking this time to do research.

Dr Mogina challenged the graduands to influence their leaders to ride on this wave and to support community conservation efforts just like what the DPM Mr Stevens is doing in Esa’ala District in Milne Bay Province.

Speaking on behalf of the 42 graduands, Daina Budia, 59, single mother, with four children, from the Ga’ida, clan, Kadawarubi Tribe, of Tureture village, in Kiwai LLG, South Fly District, Western Province, called on all stakeholders particularly the corporate entities, local MPs, provincial governments, and relevant government departments to join Exxon Mobil in funding community based Biodiversity Conservation projects managed and driven by local communities.

Unless this is done the gap to find more workers to achieve Biodiversity Conservation outcomes in PNG will be just talk without action.

Present at the graduation ceremony were Professor Simon Saulei head of Biology Division with his staff who ran the training – Mr Pius Piskaut, Mr John Genolagani, Mr Alfred Ko’ou, and Robin Totome. Others included important dignitaries Mrs Beatice Waiin- Deputy Dean (Academic) and now A/ Executive Dean, and Dr. Jane Mogina representing ExxonMobil PNG.  They were joined by other UPNG staff, representatives from CEPA, JICA, Dr. Jeffrey Noro and his wife, Mama Graun’s executive director, Paul Lokani, Mr. Damien Ase who co-authored the Protected Area Bill 2014 with Dr/former Judge Brian Brunton, and relatives of the graduands.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Karkum unite to save leatherbacks


A leatherback nesting at Karkum. Picture: Lead field researcher 
Dr Lily Sar,  film producer Eggert Gunnarsson
 and cimatographer Dilen Doiki (CSCM,UOG).

Tears rolled freely down my cheeks as I was being interviewed by TVWAN and NBC reporters at the Adventure Park on  June 5, 2019, as we celebrated the World Environment Day (WED).  I was overwhelmed with joy.
The theme for this years WED was, ‘Clearing the Air, Combating Air Pollution: Clean Air + Clean Technology = Healthy Future’.
Today marks a significant historical event in my campaign to save the most endangered leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).  Karkum villagers have finally united to take ownership of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project (STRP).
After more than a decade of leatherback conservation efforts in Karkum, I am happy to hear Alphonse Igag (Jnr) from Karkum sharing their positive story.  He told reporters and myself that, his community have shifted from habitually killing and eating sea turtles to protecting, restoring and sustaining their populations.  He also emphasised that this project has enlightened them to discuss other cross cutting issues such as their population growth.
Mr. Igag stressed further that this project has encouraged them to extend their conservation efforts from the coast to include Ridges to Reef.

Alphonse Igag (jr) presenting The
Turtles Return to Vagi Rei from CEPA
at the Adventure Park during the
WED celebrations.
Picture: Wenceslaus Magun
Karkum village

Karkum village is situated about 75kms northwest from Madang town.  Karkum villagers speak the Gawak language. They share land and sea boundaries with Sarang and Mirap villages on the coast.  In the hinterland, they share their land and water resources with Dimer and Basken villages.
Karkum villagers rely heavily on garden food crops for sustenance.  Some of them own and run pmvs and trade stores, whilst the majority of their village folks earn money from garden food crops, betel nut, poultry, piggery, fishing, mustard, cocoa, coconut and vanilla farming.
Karkum villagers are predominantly Catholics, with few joining Seventh Day Adventists, and other protestant denominations.  Their children attend both St Pauls Mirap Primary School, and Karkum Christian Academy.  Their nearest Health Centre is at Mugil, about 30 km towards Madang town or Bunabun Sub-Health Centre, also about 30 km towards Bogia.  Unfortunately, Bunabun SHC is currently closed due to the ongoing conflict between the Manam Islanders at Mangem Care Centre and the traditional land owners.
According to 2011 National Statistics report, ‘Sum_Fig-CU Level-Madang’, in 2011, Karkum had a population of 862 persons.  This population continue to grow with an annual growth rate of 0.3%.
The population growth of Karkum impinges on their natural resources. Their population growth is putting immense pressure on their land, water and sea resources.
Mr Igag said, unless they take actions to control their population, it will affect their lives, thus, making them become another endangered species in their own local habitat.

Tag of the leatherback that nested at Karkum.
Picture:  Dr. Lily Sar and team.
In Search for Equilibrium

Mr Igag accompanied me to Port Moresby for the launching of a film titled, ‘In Search for Equilibrium Biodiversity Conservation and Livelihoods’. The film was launched in the evening at the Airways Hotel.  The film was produced by the Centre for Social and Creative Media (CSCM), University of Goroka (UOG) led by Field Researcher , Dr. Lilly Sar with CSCM technical team comprising of producer Eggert Gunnarsson and cimatographer Dilen Doiki.
The film documented Karkum leatherback conservation story amongst three other community based conservation projects which included: Tenkile Tree Kangaroo conservation project; Ronji marine conservation as part of YUS Tree Kangaroo project; and Angoram Crocodile Conservation project, managed by Sepik Wetlands Management Initiative Inc.
According to Dr Sar, the film aimed to communicate community initiatives on biodiversity conservation for sustainable habitat management and improvement of resource owner livelihoods to a broader audience.  This documentary film was funded by UNDP with support from the Madang Resort Hotel.
In this film Adolph Lilai, Mathew Dalek and other community leaders expressed Karkum’ desire to unite and to take full ownership of STRP as reflected in Mr Igag’s remarks.
After project funds ceased in December 2012, ad hoc monitoring and evaluation showed that some members of Karkum village were killing and eating sea turtles and their eggs.  But not all Karkum villagers were breaking their Conservation Deed Trust enacted in 2008. Majority of the villagers were for the project.  However, it took a long time for them to actually come together and anonymously unite to support the sustainability of this project.  This is evidently documented in the film, ‘In Search for Equilibrium Biodiversity Conservation and Livelihoods’. This is a positive indicator that must be harnessed.

CSCM,UOG film crew lead project
researcher, Dr Lily Sar, and her team interviewing
Wenceslaus Magun at Donbor hamlet, NCR, Madang
for the film In Search for Equilibrium.
Picture: Benny Lodd
The Turtles Return

Apart from the CSCM/UOG film my book also motivated Karkum villagers to start taking steps to manage their resources sustainably.
When presented copies, they were really excited and happy to see a book written about their project.  They thanked me for promoting them at the national and international level for writing this book.
This book gives profound information on leatherback sea turtles.  It covers seven resource management steps used in establishing this project, and highlights the challenges encountered.  It further makes recommendations on the best steps to take to sustain this project.
It is an excellent resource material for both the upper primary level schools to Universities.  The book was published with funding support from the Melanesian Tourist Services and Sir Peter Barter’s family.


In just three days in Port Moresby, Mr Igag had shared his story from his community’s perspective to a broader audience. He used the CSCM,UOG film, and my book, to share the message with corporate stakeholders, NCD Governor, Hon. Powes Pakop, East Sepik Governor Hon. Allan Bird, Sandaun Governor Hon. Tony Wouwou, staff from UNDP, CEPA, NGO partners, schools, media and the general public.
He mingled well with the community representatives from Tenkile, Ronji and Angoram and learned so much from these community based organisations.  He had brought these stories back to his community and shared with his people.
He hopes that by sharing these stories, it may shed some direction to map out their sustainable resource management road, guided by their lessons learned and the positive light of hope that is flickering in their hearts.

(Left to Right) Dr Lily Sar chatting with
Tamalis Akus UNDP SGP Coordinator
at the time of filming at Donbor hamlet.
Picture:  Benny Lodd

Why fund leatherback conservation?

By taking small steps to save, protect, increase and sustain the populations of the critically endangered leatherback seas turtles, Karkum villagers have joined Ronji, Angoram and Tenkile villagers to: Conserve their biological diversity; Sustainably use its components; and Share the benefits from the use of their genetic resources in a fair and equitable manner.
They have not only attempted to fulfil these three Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBDs) objectives but have contributed towards achieving CBD Targets 11 and 12 and related laws, treaties and policies.
In 1992, PNG signed the Treaty on CBD and ratified it in March 1993.  Under this obligation PNG must fulfil its international commitment of Aichi Biodiversity Target under CBDs objectives which calls for all governments who have signed the CBD treaty and ratified it to fulfil it.
Target 11: “By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services of protected areas and other effective area based conservation measures and integrated into the wider landscape and seascape”; and
Target 12: “By 2020, the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained”.
PNG has joined 193 countries to sign this legally binding treaty.
PNG also ratified the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITIES) in 1976, which meant that Papua New Guineans are forbidden to trade endangered species.
Furthermore, the International Union for Conservation Network (IUCN), identified leatherbacks as one of the top five key species that is critically endangered.
All these treaties sync well with PNG’s Goals Four and Five, the Protected Area Policy and the Fauna Protection and Control Act, 1966/1976.
Scientists predict that the western Pacific leatherback population is in fact on the brink of extinction.
This is qualified by Karkum villagers’ local knowledge. The village elders interviewed informed me that between 1960 and 1980, more than 20 leatherbacks nest in a season.  Today they only see one or two leatherbacks coming to nest.   Sadly, with lack of ongoing awareness, these turtles are killed or their eggs harvested and eaten.
To prevent further decline of the critically endangered leatherback sea turtles populations, ongoing beach monitoring and tagging excises are needed.  This will enable scientists to assess the impact of turtle conservation efforts carried out by all stakeholders.  Long term major funding support is needed to sustain the Sea Turtle Restoration Project in Madang.
Leatherbacks like other sea turtles are migratory.  To ensure their populations are restored effectively and sustained, advocacy and conservation efforts must expand to Bougainville, East and West New Britain, New Ireland, Manus, Milne Bay, Central, Morobe, Oro, National Capital District, East Sepik and Sandaun provinces respectively.

Leatherbacks Key Features

As a nation we need to take pride of our unique leatherback sea turtles.  It puts us on the global map because of its unique features.  Leatherback is also a tourism product. Karkum village guest house was a testimony to once a thriving tourism opportunity. It generated income and created employment opportunities for the village folks when tourists visited Karkum.
The leatherback sea turtle is the largest sea turtle on Earth.  It existed since the era of the dinosaurs, about 200 million years ago.  It measures up to 2.7 metres and weighs almost a tonne. Of the seven sea turtle species, it does not have a shell.  It dives the deepest reaching almost 2000 m deep.  It swims the furthest.
From its nesting beaches in our maritime provinces in Morobe, Central, Milne Bay, East and West New Britain, New Ireland, Bougainville and Madang, it travels through Oro, East Sepik and Sandaun provinces all the way to West Papua before swimming to Gulf of Mexico and Southern California to feed.  Other leatherback populations swim to Australia and New Zealand and return.
When they reach 14 years of age they travel back to their original nesting sites to lay their eggs.  This is a journey that takes about two years to complete after surviving so many threats.  Their major threats come from long-line, dredge nets and gillnet fishing by industrial fishing activities offshore. Other threats come from marine predators and human beings.
They are susceptible to overwhelming human threats once they reach their nesting sites. Humans kill them for protein or harvest their eggs for sale in local markets.
Rising sea level and king tides is also a major problem that is now exacerbated by Climate Change effects.  Rising sea level and king tides wash away their nests, and their nesting beaches.  Predation from feral animals such as pigs, and dogs, and from goannas, birds, and sharks, fish and other marine debris, including plastics and contaminants continue to remain a major threat to their survival.
Unless communities who share their beaches with this endangered gentle and gigantic turtle are empowered, motivated and supported to take full ownership of the leatherback sea turtle conservation effort, we won’t meet the global targets at the national and local communities.
It’s a lesson learned.  This experience has taught us that when local communities who share their habitats with key species take ownership of sustainable conservation efforts, positive outcomes can be achieved.
In addition, threatened turtles conservation, restoration and monitoring programs must be supported with long term funding.   This will enable NGO partners or Community Based Organisation to build the capacity of local communities on turtles, waste management, project and financial management trainings, and other trainings based on their needs.
Funds will also be used for livelihood support for local communities.  Beach rangers will also be trained and supported to collect and supply accurate data to Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) or to the South Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP).  With data, scientists can measure turtle conservation efforts at local communities against CBDs Target 12 and relevant international and national treaties and policies.
Karkum villagers have raised their hands to address this global issue at their community level.  To support them sustain this project contact Alphonse Igag on 71520447 or contact the scribe for his book, The TURTLES RETURN to order copies for your school or community, department, company, and NGO or email him on and make a donation. To learn more about MAKATA visit:

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Leatherback Turtle Data Needed

This Leatherback turtle in Mirap, Madang escaped death, thanks to the
beach rangers from Mirap who saved it.  This eminated from TIRN and
MAKATA's STRP's efforts in empowering local communities
to protect and restore their populations. Photo: Wenceslaus Magun

Please help us carry out a turtle survey.

Turtle Survey - September 2016
Start Date:_______________________
End Date:__________________________
Name: _____________________________________
Contact Details: Ph (Digicel/Bmobile):________________Email:______________________
Aim: Get a snapshot of whether there is an increase in the killing of leatherback turtles in order to assess their conditions and take appropriate steps to address them.
1.        Raise awareness about the endangered status of sea turtles;
2.       Document whether leatherback are being killed;
3.       Document other species that are being sold commercially rather then taken for subsistence purposes.
4.       What type of enforcement activity is occurring?
1.       Where is the turtle being sold?
2.       How much is for subsistence versus commercial consumption?
3.       What species?
4.       Who is catching the sea turtles and where?
5.       How important is sea turtles as part of subsistence diet?

Please email the completed form with all the information to Wences Magun on: and to confirm text or call me on Digicel:71959665

Blog: Facebook: Save PNGs Endangered Turtles 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Fear of darkness

Council Members of ELC Karkar District, 
attending the 6th Karkar District Youth Conference 
at Kuluk Village, Bagabag Island, Madang, PNG.

Rev. Nungot Galat, president 
Karkar District

ELC-PNG’s Karkar District Youth Conference Request for documents relating to Solwara 1 Project

More than 1000 members of 6 parishes within the ELC-PNG’s Karkar District, representing more than 50,000 members including other churches attending this conference have called upon the State and Nautilus to release documents relating to Solwara 1 Project.

The youths representing Kulubob circuit, Tagub circuit, Bumsol circuit, Bagiai circuit, Samoan circuit, and Bagbag circuit made this call at the ELC-PNG’s 6th Karkar District Youth Conference at Kuluk village, Bagbag Island, Madang, Papua New Guinea from Friday 24th to Sunday 29th of July, 2016.

Bagabag Circuit youths welcoming
 the delegation to Kuluk Village.

The youths write seeking access to documents regarding the Solwara 1 Deep Seabed Mining Project (Project) from Mining Minister, Minister for Conservation Environment and Protection Authority and Nautilus. 

Section 51 of the Constitution provides that every citizen has the right of reasonable access to official documents. This right of access to information is subject only to the need for such secrecy as is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society in respect of certain matters.

L-R John Simoi, Wences Magun, 
and Karkar District Youth 
Coordinator Kubai Kadim

Accordingly, the youths kindly seek access to the following documents:
1.    The Environmental Permit (WD-L3-234) granted to Nautilus Minerals Inc (Nautilus) (or related entity) on or around 29 December 2009, including the particulars of all imposed conditions;
2.    Any amended Environmental Permits granted to Nautilus (or related entity) and related conditions;
3.    The Inception Report for the Project prepared by Nautilus and submitted to the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) on or about May 2007;
4.    The final Environmental Management Plan for the Project or most current draft if not finalised, and any amendments to that document;
5.    The independent review of the oceanographic aspects of the EIS conducted for DEC by Cardno Lawson Treloar Pty Ltd in 2009;
Some members of Bagabag circuit posing in front of the 5 star
conference center
6.    All oceanographic data held in relation to the Project, including surface current measurements at and near the Project site; 
7.    Any other DEC commissioned independent reviews of the EIS and their supporting studies;
8.    Any further studies or modelling held by DEC in relation to the EIS, including studies on social, cultural, health and economic impacts of the Project;
9.    Any costs-benefits analyses conducted in relation to the Project, including any analyses of other existing and potential future uses of the Project area;
10.  Any reports regarding other marine development activities (e.g., gas and oil drilling, military use, bridge construction, bottom trawling) in the vicinity of the Project area.
11.  Any further documents that include references to changes to the specifications of the Project;
12.  The Ports Upgrade and Operations Deed between Nautilus and the state owned enterprise PNG Ports Corporation Ltd (PNGPC);
13.  Any existing Port Service Agreement between Nautilus and PNGPC;
14.  Any permits held by Nautilus under the Dumping of Wastes at Sea Act 1979 relating to the Project;
15.  Any approved or draft Ballast Water Management Plans relating to the Project;
16.  Any approved or draft management plans or other documents for the Project which detail emergency management procedures or risk management processes; and
17.  Full copies of all studies, reports etc. referred to in the EIS for the Project.
Karei beach, at Kuluk Village, where Mel
Togolo, from Nautilus landed and was told
by Bagabag Islanders NOT to do
seabed mining near Bagabag Island.

We would be very grateful if you could provide the above documents within eight week of the date of this letter. If we do not receive a response from you by this time, we will consider commencing legal proceedings under section 57 of the Constitution to compel production of these documents under court order.
Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss this request for information on ph:73445130


Kubai Kadim
ELC-PNG’s Karkar District Youth Coordinator, Madang, Papua New Guinea

Cc: Nautilus
Cc: Prime Minister
Cc: Mining Minister
Cc: CEPA Minister
Cc: Minister for National Fisheries Authority
Cc: Minister for Culture and Tourism
Cc: Minister for National Planning
Cc: Madang Governor
Cc: Sumkar MP
Cc: Maror Kagin Tapani
Cc: Alliance of Solwara 1 Warriors
Cc: Hon. Gary Juffa
Cc: NGO partners
Cc: Churches

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Childhood experience motivates Wenceslaus Magun to advocate on environmental stewardship


Madang teachers doing a presentation during their Marine Environment Education Training conducted by MAKATA at Alexishafen, Madang: Photo: Wenceslaus Magun

 “When I saw the forest gone, the rivers shrinking and all the fish and other vertebrates gone, I felt like my heart was being stabbed with a dagger.”

His love for the environment was rooted in his upbringing in Utu Village near the Gogol Valley in the Transgogol area of Madang Province where one of the largest logging operations by the JANT Logging Company was rampant in the 80’s.

The unscrupulous and heartless logging activities in Madang, that destroyed a once pristine tropical virgin forest of which he gained so much from, permeated the seed of environmental stewardship in his heart.  As he grew up he desired to do something about it. This burning desire to save the remaining tropical virgin forests, pristine waters, soon developed into a holistic approach. He needs to do likewise with the marine resources and the rest of the flora and fauna that lives in those habitats.

Wenceslaus Magun is now a full-time-volunteer who sacrificed his Journalism career to drive a taxi cab in Port Moresby and earn just enough to save Leatherback Turtles in coastal villages in Madang whose beaches the gentle giants come to nest.

From 2006 till 2008 he helped Karkum village established their first Leather back Turtle conservation project, in Madang.

The Leather back Turtle project in Karkum Village was established under the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, a project of Turtle Island Restoration Network, a US nonprofit environmental organization with a mission to protect endangered sea turtles in ways that make cultural and economic sense to the communities that share the beaches and waters with these gentle creatures.

The Karkum Community signed their conservation Deed in 2008 when Mr. Magun was working as the Sea Turtles Restoration Project Western Pacific Campaigner up until the project ended at the end of 2008. Seeing that all the efforts would have been a waste, Mr Magun decided to take it upon himself and has been raising funds to keep the project going through a local organization he’s heading known as Mas Kagin Tapani (MAKATA).

MAKATA aims to continue its current programs in working with coastal communities in the Bismarck and Solomon Seas to restore and protect the critically endangered Leatherback Turtles and incorporate new goals and objectives as well based on community needs.

“Our goal is getting them through a process to think and work out what they can do to address these issues and to develop action plans to move forward. Our effort has seen Karkum village, established its locally managed marine area using conservation deed in 2008. 

In addition, he reiterated that the Kimadi and Magubem communities have also established their resource management areas in 2013 using traditional management system.

From 2009 up till 2015 Mr. Magun continues to ensure the program is sustained.  He floats this organization from his kitchen table in Port Moresby without salary since then. Much of the money obtained to run MAKATA came from his taxi service in Port Moresby, and small grants from TNC, WWF, UNDP-SGP, Santa Monica Sea Food and WiseFish, and others.

Using these small grants and income MAKATA facilitates Marine Environment Educational Awareness Programs, Media Campaigns, Community Development Trainings, Resource Mapping, Boundary Surveys, Marine Monitoring Training, Turtle Training, Convention on Biological Diversity Training, Land Use Planning for Kimadi, Magubem, Tokain, Yadigam, Mirap, Karkum, Basken and Sarang Villages in the Sumkar District and Mur, Sel, Baru, Yamai, Lalok, Male, and Bom-Sagar Villages in the Rai Coast District, totaling more than 10,000 people. 

MAKATA has adapted two conservation tools to save the critically endangered Leatherback Turtles in Madang.   They have used the Adaptive Community Resource Management Plan in Mur in 2014 using TNC grant and Conservation Deed in Karkum under UNDP_SGP. 

“In the meantime, two of the communities we had worked with, namely Kimadi and Magubem, have adapted their traditional management practice,” he said. 

He added that: “Adapting traditional management systems is one form of resource management, protection or conservation tool that is accepted and recognized by CBD under CBD’s “Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OEACM).”

He said: “Conservation Deeds in PNG are the result of a community-driven process that creates a locally managed conservation area, and a long term community stake in the protection of natural resources in ways that also meet the economic and social needs of the community.”

“These management systems recognize customary tenure system.  It’s a bottom up community based and driven resource management approach.  It gives the indigenous local resource owners power to be masters of their own destination.  It also allows them to develop management plans using appropriate traditional and customary knowledge and practices over their land tenure systems that have been used and passed down from one generation to the next.”

Mr Magun believes that an informed community will take appropriate and necessary action to mitigate threats to their habitat and biodiversity and ensure that they manage and sustainably use it for their own benefit.

“We envision a maritime conservation process planned and implemented by the partners will be sustainable. Community members will be and have been the ones to or have actually set up their marine conservation areas and eventually sign or signed their conservation deeds.

“The Conservation Deeds not only protected the Leatherback Turtles but all forms of life in the ocean as well as along the coastlines.  It’s about appreciating what God has given us and as stewards of the environment we are called to safeguard God’s creation.”

The Nature Conservancy, who is known for supporting the Hawksbill SeaTurtle restoration efforts in the Arnavon in Solomon Islands, extended its support to enhance the excellent effort by Mas Kagin Tapani whose work is not only about saving turtles but saving all forms of life in the wasters of Madang and the Bismark Sea.

With the support from TNC, MAKATA is now assisting the communities in establishing resource management plans and extending the work to other coastal villages along the Madang coast.

“If we do not help guide people in managing and utilizing their resources sustainably, they will exhaust all their resources as their livelihoods are very much dependent on their resources and sea turtles are no exception.”

“Our approach is different: sea turtles are a vehicle to address larger marine conservation and community livelihood issues.  For example in communities in which we conducted initial assessments, villagers raised concerns about declining fish stocks, increased industrial fishing activities, the impacts of a proposed sea bed mining, sea tailing disposal from mining activities, large scale industrial fishing zones and the impacts of a industrial port.  They also raised concerns about their other basic needs, such as neglected medical aid posts, poor water quality supply, lack of library books, and finding markets for organic cocoa, vanilla, cava and other spice crops.  Through our approach, all of these factors tie into the protection of sea turtles.

“Our long-term approach is different as well.  We do not want to set up a precedent where communities only participate in marine conservation activities when provided funds from outside sources.  Our goal is for the local owners of the resources to be the long-term guardians and stewards of their natural resources and benefit from it.  Our training have provided them with increased capacity to achieve these outcomes,” he said.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


CBD training for indigenous local community resource managers at BASKEN village, SUMKAR DISTRICT, Madang, Papua New Guinea

Some participants taking notes on Traditional Knowledge
during the CBD workshop at Basken.

Training Workshop Report
Convention on biological diversity TRAINING FOR local community resource managers IN Madang, Papua New Guinea

Report prepared by Wenceslaus Magun for CBD and MAKATA Incorporated,
May 2015
 Table of Contents

Aims and Objectives………………………………………………………….........6
Expected Outcomes…………………………………………………………...........6
Workshop Outcomes……………………………………………………….....7-21



Annex ii  

Training Program……………………………………………………….........24-25

Annex iii  

Participants List……………………………………………………………....26-27


We take this opportunity to thank the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for its continued support to the indigenous local community resource owners in Papua New Guinea through us.

On the 26-28 August, 2014, CBD sponsored Adolphina Luvongit from Mahonia Na Dari, Edward Yamai, from Mt Hagen Archdiocese and Wenceslaus Magun from MAKATA, representing NGO’s in PNG, to attend the Regional Capacity-Building Workshop for the Pacific Region on Traditional Knowledge and Customary Sustainable Use under the Convention on Biological Diversity.  With support from the World Indigenous and Local Community Land and Sea Managers Network (WIN), managed by the Equator Initiative (EI) United Nations Development agency (UNDP), they remained in Apia, Samoa and participated in the Small Island Developing States Summit (SIDS), as community ambassadors for biodiversity in the SIDS process from the 29 August to 5 September 2014. We therefore acknowledge the support from WIN, EI, and UNDP.

This will be the second CBD training in PNG for indigenous local community resource managers.  The first workshop was conducted at Mur, Rai Coast District, Madang, in December 2014, with funding assistance from TNC.

In this workshop we thank the Basken people for generously welcoming me to their village to conduct this training. Many thanks to my officer, Adolph Lilai and Karkum’s chief, Joseph Parek and his family for looking after me on my way to Basken and Michael the owner of the hire car I used.  We thank Mark Khonn, the Business Development Officer for Rai Coast District, who organized this workshop and extend my gratitude to the Basken Elementary School Board and teachers for allowing us to use their classroom for the training. 

We thank individuals and family members who looked after Mr. Magun whilst in Basken village, particularly to Mr. Avon Wail, his dedicated wife and his family. 
Finally, we thank God for His continued grace and blessings to us all!


This CBD training was conducted at Basken village, Sumgilbar Local Level Government, Sumkar District, Madang, Papua New Guinea.

It takes about two hours by road to get to Basken from Madang town, the central city of Madang Province. Once you get to Karkum along the sealed main Madang-Bogia/Sepik Highway along the coast, you then take a detour and climb the hills on a dirt road till you reach Basken village which is about nine (9) kilometers from the main road at the Karkum village junction. The road to Basken can be impassable during wet seasons and one may only get there using four wheel drive vehicles.  I was fortunate, in this trip, as the road was in a much better state when I visited Basken while overlooking the fact that the road truly needed urgent maintenance.

Basken village has 5 major clans: Makakal, Maluwo, Nawang, Bopsu and Kumberken.  They have two (2) elementary schools and one (1) primary school.  They have one (1) Aid Post with a Community Health Worker serving them. They have a few primary industries which include: 6 Cocoa Driers; 18 Copra Driers made out of local timber, corrugated iron, flat metal sheets and bush materials; 5 Poultry farms; 2 Rice Milling Machines; 1 Drum Oven; and 1 Coconut Oil Press. 
There are three Christian denominations at Basken which include: Catholic, Christian Mission Fellowship and the Jehova’s Witness.

Their Cash Crops include: Copra; Cocoa; Betel nut; and Market food crops. Other Income Sources are: 5 Trade Stores and 1 Petrol Station.  They have a registered women’s group which assists local women with business skills, and other services called, Neksab Women’s group.

Mr. Magun arrived in Madang on 25th of April and spent a few days coordinating this CBD workshop before traveling to Basken on the 29th of April. He did the workshop Overview that evening and showed a few educational awareness movies.  He began the training on Thursday 30th of April and completed it on Friday 1st of May.  He left Basken on Saturday 2nd of May and returned to Port Moresby that same day.

Some of you may have read the first report on Mur Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) training report.  For those who have not sighted it, let us take you back to why we are running this CBD workshop.

In 2014, 26-28 August, Adolphina Luvongit, Edward Yamai, and Wenceslaus Magun representing NGO’s in PNG attended the Regional Capacity-Building Workshop for the Pacific Region on Traditional Knowledge and Customary Sustainable Use under the Convention on Biological Diversity.  With support from the World Indigenous and Local Community Land and Sea Managers Network (WIN), managed by the Equator Initiative (EI) United Nations Development agency (UNDP), they remained in Apia, Samoa and participated in the Small Island Developing States Summit (SIDS), as community ambassadors for biodiversity in the SIDS process from the 29 August to 5 September 2014.

The CBD Workshop’s and SIDS Summit’s, Outcomes calls us to implement the Samoa Pathway.  In order to do that, we ran a CBD workshop at Mur village Madang using TNC grant in December 2014.  This will be our second CBD workshop.

The target audiences of the workshop were indigenous local community resource managers from Basken and Karkum. Indigenous local community resource managers from Dimer and other inland villagers did not make it even though we had extended the invitation to them. They have instead asked us to run a separate training for themselves.

This workshop covered both Plenary Sessions using flip charts, Group Work, Group Presentations and Plenary Sessions on CBD and Traditional Knowledge using PowerPoint presentations.  In the evenings we showed the participants and the rest of the villager’s educational awareness videos ranging from “Mi Inap” a local movie which promoted self reliance in a village in Rai Coast, Madang to “Gifted Hands” a movie that tells the story of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. 

On Friday during the video session we got the participants to present their resource management strategies for Karkum and Basken communities to the audience.  It gave the participants the opportunity to actually present their work to the rest of the community members.

All the participants and their community leaders agreed that we should not present them their Certificates after the workshop until a proper graduation ceremony is arranged when they will invite Mr. Magun to present them their Certificates.

They also assured Mr. Magun that they will use all the flip charts with notes written on them for all the Sessions and carry out awareness in their respective communities at their own convenience and time.

The training motivated shy villagers who had traditional knowledge but felt “small” or not so important/insignificant to feel proud of themselves.  They came out and shared their traditional knowledge and skills to the rest of the participants.  One participant spent quite some time with Mr. Magun telling him his creative and innovative skills and abilities which he use to build village technologies for pulping rice, scraping coconuts, and making modified torch out of used and broken equipment parts and wood.  This participant later visited Mr Magun prior to the video session at night and showed him his wooden hand crafted “Kalibobo” light house with actual light blinking when he switched on the battery controlled light switch.  The artwork was so impressive Mr Magun wished he had sufficient money to buy it from him. 

We did not do the Monitoring and Evaluation exercise however, the participants urged MAKATA to conduct a similar training again so that many more villagers and indigenous local community resource managers can attend.  They told Mr. Magun of how happy they are to have learned about how to manage their resources, PNG’s Biodiversity, PNG’s 4th National Goal and Directive Principle, the Protected Area Policy and about CBD and their Traditional Knowledge.

At the end of the workshop, Mr. Magun left the address of the CBD on one of the flip charts on the classroom wall and encouraged the participants to write to the CBD Secretariat for assistance.

For the full list of workshop participants including their names and contact details, refer to participants list in Annex III.

Aims and Objectives
Aim:    Empower indigenous local community resource managers on Resource Management, PNG Biodiversity, PNG’s Fourth National Goal and Directive Principle, PNG’s Protected Area Policy and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Traditional Knowledge.
Objective:       Participants empowered to see how their resource management efforts links with PNG’s 4th National Goal and Directive Principle, PNG’s Protected Area Policy and the Convention on Biological Diversity and Traditional Knowledge with the 3 CBD Objectives:
(1)    Conservation of biological diversity.
(2)    Sustainable use of its components; and
(3)    Fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of genetic resources

Expected Outcomes
Expected outcomes of the workshop are as listed below.
·         Twenty nine (29) indigenous local community resource managers gained knowledge on Resource       Management, PNG Biodiversity, PNG’s 4th National Goal and Directive Principle, PNG’s                   Protected Area Policy, Convention on Biological Diversity and Traditional Knowledge.
     These participants learned that the CBD under Article 8, paragraph (j) respect, preserve and                 maintain traditional knowledge of Indigenous Local Communities’ relevant to the conservation          and sustainable use of biological diversity; promote its wider application with the approval and           involvement of the holders of such knowledge; and encourage the equitable sharing of the                 benefits.
·         Participants gained knowledge on Aichi Biodiversity Targets
·         Participants encouraged to work with experts to adapt ‘Other Effective Area-base Conservation Measures’ that can be effectively used to achieve Aichi Biodiversity Target 11.

Workshop Outcomes

This report is written in English.  All the Sessions were also prepared in English but presentations were all done in the Melanesian Tok Pidgin the most commonly used language in PNG.

Day 1. Wednesday 29th April, 2014

Mr. Magun left Madang about 1 pm and arrived at Karkum village about 4pm in the afternoon.  He called into chief Joseph Pareks house who welcomed him to Karkum.  He spent a few minutes there at Karkum with Joe and his family catching up on their turtle conservation project’s activities and other local issues before hitting the road again for Basken with MAKATA’s Community Facilitator, Adolph Lilai who comes from Karkum.

They arrived at Basken about 6pm in the evening.

After being introduced to the family Mr. Magun was to stay with, Mr. Lilai returned to Karkum to bring a digital camera so we could capture photos from the workshop. Before leaving for Karkum Mr. Lilai got Basken Village Recorder, Mr. Henry Baleng to help Mr. Magun with Basken baseline study and assist him in the training as he was committed to some work back at Karkum village.

Whilst Mr. Lilai left for Karkum village, Mr Magun had something to eat before showing a few videos starting at 7pm to the locals at Basken.  When most of the villagers arrived, he was formally welcomed to Basken by their Ward 7 Councilor, Mr. Joe Lamit who then asked him to introduce himself and give the overview of the planned workshop.

The day’s activities ended at about 12 mid night.

Day 2. THURSDAY 30TH APRIL, 2015

Session 2: Introduction, workshop overview, Resource Management Plan, PNG Biodiversity, PNG’s 4th National Goal and Directive Principle, PNG Protected Area Policy and Introduction to CBD - Facilitator: Mr. Magun

Plenary Session 1: Workshop Aim, Objectives, Overview and Resource Management

We started the workshop at 9am with an opening prayer led by Wenceslaus Magun. Mr. Magun then welcomed all the participants and introduced himself.  He then asked each of the participants to introduce themselves. 

He then asked the participants to go up to the flip chart pinned on the wall and indicate how much knowledge they have about the Convention on Biological Diversity.  This exercise was to give him some background knowledge on the level of knowledge the participants had about CBD.

This exercise showed that 85 per cent of the participants lacked any knowledge at all about CBD. Five per cent had heard or acquired some knowledge about it but don’t know much about it, four per cent were confused and one per cent indicated that he had some knowledge about it but is not too confident to talk about it.

Once that was done, Mr. Magun recapped the Aim, Objectives and Overview of the workshop as demonstrated on Illustration 4 and 5 above which he had done the previous night during the video show.

Workshop Aim, Objective and Overview

Aim:    Empower indigenous local community resource managers on Resource Management, PNG Biodiversity, PNG’s Fourth National Goal and Directive Principle, PNG’s Protected Area Policy and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Traditional Knowledge.
Objective:       Participants empowered to see how their resource management efforts links with PNG’s 4th National Goal and Directive Principle, PNG’s Protected Area Policy and the Convention on Biological Diversity and Traditional Knowledge to indigenous local community resource managers on the 3 CBD Objectives:
i).    Conservation of biological diversity.
ii).   Sustainable use of its components; and
iii).  Fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of genetic resources

Mr. Magun said for the participants to understand CBD, they need to first establish their own resource management areas. 

He emphasized that establishing protected areas is not simply setting aside a track of land for “protection.” Rather it requires developing a strategic landscape and land use plan or a community resource management plan.  This is a big task and requires money, technical staff, and long-term funding if we are to adapt modern scientific conservation areas management tools.

He elaborated further that in order for this protected area to be effective, their plan must address the various threats to the area and the biodiversity it supports.

Mr Magun highlighted some of the threats to give the participants a fair idea about what he was talking about by drawing to their attention what JANT had done to the vast tropical virgin forest in transgogol, the Ramu Sugar and Oil Palm plantation that has transformed a virgin grassland habitat of the Ramu plains into agro-industry, and the Ramu Nickel and Cobalt mine at Krumbukari and Basamuk plant as few examples of extractive industries activities.  He went on to point out threats by international ships berthing at the Madang wharf or other ports in PNG bringing in with them invasive or alien species, pollution, and other human social behaviors causing increase in global warming.

He reminded the participants though that establishing “protected” areas is actually not a strange concept as most indigenous local community resource managers have traditionally practiced this one way or another through the establishment of “no go zones” called “ples masalai” or sacred areas.  

He said in some communities they practiced traditional management practices by following certain rituals to create, establish and abide by those rituals in ensuring that villagers and poachers don’t enter into the “no go” zones to hunt, fish, do gardening, collect fire wood or disturb the environment.  Traditional sanctions are imposed to ensure that villagers respect the resource management areas.  Those that break the rules usually suffer from some form of illness or experience some kind of misfortunes.

Many indigenous tribal societies have practiced this and this was not something unfamiliar to the Basken and Karkum villagers.  He drew cases from Kimadi and Magubem communities some 20 km from Basken in the sea turtle restoration and protection program (STRP) under TIRN, and sustained by MAKATA as classical examples to elaborate this case. 

Mr. Magun checked with the participants if they understood what he was talking about and got a favorable response.

He then moved on to another setting in the modern case.  He said today scientists and community organizers are building indigenous resource owners capacities to adapt modern resource management strategies to fulfill  the CBD’s Objective which is linked to PNG’s 4th National Goal and Directive Principles and the Protected Area Policy. 

One way of doing this is to identify their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats using the SWOT analysis tool and the Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound or SMART analysis tool. 

He also helped the participants realize that in order for that to happen, they need to identify their Vision and Objectives or in the Melanesian Tok Pidgin he explained, “Driman Tingting or Vision and As tingting as Objective”

He then took them through a breakout group exercise and helped them develop their Resource Management Strategy Plan.

Just before lunch Karkum and Basken villagers made presentations on their SMART and SWOT analysis exercises.  We then went for lunch at about 1pm.

Plenary Session 2: Group presentations on their Draft Resource Management Plans

We resumed class at about 2pm.

Mr. Magun then asked the participants to go into their respective groups and do their presentations on their Strategic Resource Management Plan.  Both Karkum’s and Basken’s demonstrated that they grasped the knowledge and process of developing their resource management plans using their SWOT and SMART tools.  They stressed that they will deliver their presentations to their respective communities and develop it further.
This was satisfying to Mr. Magun.  He then ended this session and moved on to PNG’s Biodiversity, PNG’s 4th National Goal and Directive Principle and linked this session with it.

Session 3: PNG’s Biodiversity, PNG’s 4th National Goal and Directive Principle and PNG’s Protected Area Policy

In this session Mr. Magun empowered the participants to see a broader picture of how their resource management plans fulfills PNG’s 4th National Goal and Directive Principle and the PNG’s Protected Area Policy which also fulfills the CBD Objectives. 

He informed the participants that PNG has a land area of about 462 840 thousand square kilometers and a total sea area of 3 120 thousand kilometers according to the National Sustainable Land Use Policy document.  He said, it may seem that PNG has a huge land and sea area with a small population of about 7 to 8 million people but this is not true as some communities have much smaller land and sea areas compared to others.  He used his own people of Bagabag, Riwo, Karkar and Manam Islands as examples to demonstrate this fact.

Mr. Magun further elaborated that PNG occupies 1 per cent of the world land area, has about 6 to 7 per cent of world total biodiversity which is equivalent to 400,000 to 700,000 species from an estimated 14 million species on earth, according to PNG National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan, 2007 (NBSAP).

He added that PNG signed the Treaty on the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992 and ratified it in March 1993.  Under this obligation PNG must fulfill its international commitment to ensure that by 2020, 17 per cent of land and water resources and 10 per cent of marine resources should be protected.  He added that PNG also ratified the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITIES), in 1976 which meant that Papua New Guineans are forbidden to trade endangered species such as sea turtles.

He quoted the Guiding Principles of the Policy on ‘Protected Areas’ as, “A fair and thoughtful system of management area network.”

He shared quote from Bruce Beehler et al in the Lessons Learn article for the YUS Conservation Program to stress that there is not one way of achieving conservation outcomes.  “Every conservation project in the field is an experiment so one should think carefully, adapt, refine, and innovate.”(Beehler et al, 2013).

He then touched on the Constitution of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.  He informed the participants that PNG’s founding fathers, when developing the National Constitution were so wise to include in the 4th National Goal and Directive Principle on;

Natural resources and environment: -

(1) wise use to be made of our natural resources and the environment in and on the land or seabed, in the sea, under the land, and in the air, in the interests of our development and in trust for future generations; and
(2) the conservation and replenishment, for the benefit of ourselves and posterity, of the environment and its sacred, scenic, and historical qualities; and
(3) all necessary steps to be taken to give adequate protection to our valued birds, animals, fish, insects, plants and trees.

He pointed out that according to the NBSAP report, after almost 40 years since independence in 1975, PNG is estimated to have an estimated 56 protected areas.  This is about 3 per cent of the total land mass of PNG of 462 840 (thousand) square kilometers and a total sea area of 3 120 (thousand) kilometers according to the National Sustainable Land Use Policy document. 

He told the participants that this is far below the anticipated CBD Objective of 17% of land and water and 10% of marine resources to be protected by 2020.
In fact Mr. Magun informed the participants that in essence, much of the 56 protected areas documented in the NBSAP document are not being managed adequately and some don’t seem to be in existence at all.  In addition, he told them that this is compounded further by the fact that there aren’t any Ranger programs currently operating under the State’s relevant authorities or respective provincial authorities to ensure that the established protected areas are being managed.  He then gave some examples of WMAs in PNG like Bagiai WMA, Kau WMA in Madang, and others.

The participants learned that protected areas can be established for conservation, recreation, cultural, historical, ecological, scientific or other identified purpose either on State or alienated land or customary land (indigenous local communities land or unalienated land).

He then explained to the participants what forms of protected areas they can establish on their customary land by explaining to them the options of creating Wildlife Management Areas, Sanctuaries, Protected Areas and Reserves.  He used YUS Tree Kanagaroo Conservation Area as one good example. 

He added that there are also “Other effective area-based conservation measures,” such as the Conservation Deed tool which he adapted for Karkum turtle conservation program which expired in 2013 and is yet to be reviewed pending funding assistance.

He told them that the State on the other hand can establish National Parks or Provincial Parks and Conservation Areas.  Mr. Magun then gave examples of the Kuk Heritage site in the Western Highlands Province and the Variarata National Park at Sogeri, in the Central Province.  He elaborated further that if a community intended to establish a National Park, they have to go through the process of selling their land to the State which would then convert their customary land to stand hold.  This will then allow the State to establish protected area. But he said resource owners through the Indigenous Land Groups can also seek legal advice to lease their land to State or private corporations for that matter in order to acquire equitable economic gain.

He informed the participants that 97 per cent of PNG land are customary owned.  That makes it quite challenging and difficult for the State to fulfill its CBD obligation unless indigenous local community resource managers are empowered to establish protected areas on their land. 

He reiterated that Target 11 of the Aichi Biodiversity Target under CBD’s Objective calls for all governments who have signed the CBD treaty and ratified it to ensure that: “By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystems services of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures and integrated into the wider landscape and seascape;”

He informed the participants also that Target 12 points out that: “By 2020, the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained.”

He highlighted Target 12 to draw to the attention of the Karkum resource managers to realize why it is so important for them to save the critically endangered leatherback turtles.
Mr. Magun further pointed out that, “there are only three (3) legal structures of Protected Areas in PNG and these are: i) National Parks; ii) Wildlife Management Areas; and iii) Conservation Areas.

He warned the participants that the dangers of these laws is that there is no provision in the Fauna (Protection and Control Act) 1966 that prevents or protects our resources from extractive industries.  The same is true for the Conservation Areas Act 1978, as the Minister for Environment and Conservation has the ultimate power over our resources.  He said, the minister decides whether any mining, logging, or petroleum activity will or can take place or not and that decision can override the Indigenous Local Communities’ (ILC) decision in achieving their conservation or resource management plans outcomes if ILCs resource managers do not make bold decision to stop such activities taking place on their land whilst promoting sustainable resource management practices. 

This brought us to the end of the days sessions.

Day 3. FRIDAY 01ST OF MAY, 2015

In this session, Mr. Magun empowered the participants about what the Convention on Biological Diversity is.  He touched on the Background of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Objectives of the Convention (Article 1); Terms (Article 2); Institutional Framework; Secretariat of the CBD; the Thematic Programmes of Work and the Cross-Cutting Issues. 

He informed the participants that CBD was opened for signature in Rio in 1992 (the Rio “Earth Summit”). In 1992 – 193 countries signed the legally-binding treaty.  He added that 39 countries have ratified the Protocol and that PNG signed it in June 1992 and ratified it in March 1993. “That means that PNG has made a commitment to fulfill the objectives of the CBD which are: i) Conservation of Biological Diversity; ii) Sustainable use of its components; and iii) Fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, ” he stressed.    He used couple of examples to demonstrate further the objectives of CBD.

Mr. Magun also gave a brief history of the CBD, highlighting the establishment of the Cartagena Protocol in 2003; the Nagoya – Kuala Lumpur and Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in 2010; and the Nagoya Protocol on Access Benefit Sharing in 2010. He told the participants that the Convention (Article 1), “is an environmental treaty for sustainable development.”  He gave the definition of Biological Diversity (Article 2) as, “the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.” 

He explained to them how the Institutional framework of the CBD functions.  He added further that, “the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity was established (Article 24) to support the goals of the Convention.  Its principal functions are to prepare for, and service, meetings of the Conferences of the Parties (COP) and other subsidiary bodies of the Convention, and to coordinate with other relevant international bodies.”
He said: “The Secretariat is institutionally lined to the United Nations Environment Programme, its host institution and, pursuant to decision 11/19, is located in Montreal, Canada since 1996.”

The participants learn that the Conference of the Parties (COP) is the governing body of the Convention, and advances implementation of the Convention through the decisions it takes at its biennial meetings  (the COP).  They learn that to date the COP has held 10 ordinary meetings, and one extraordinary meeting.  The recent COP 12, was held in October 2014, at the Republic of Korea of which a member of the Pacific Caucus, Te Tui had attended and is keeping us updated.
Mr. Magun informed the participants about the Seven (7) Thematic Programmes of Work established by COP which include: Agriculture Biodiversity, Dry and Sub-humid Lands Biodiversity, Forest Biodiversity, Inland Waters Biodiversity, Island Biodiversity, Marine and Coastal Biodiversity, and Mountain Biodiversity. 

The participants were asked to go up to the front and identify which Thematic Program of work their resource management program came under.  It was interesting to see them indicating Targets i) Aichi Biodiversity Targets, ii) Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing, iii) Biodiversity for Development; iv) Biological and Cultural Diversity; Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA); Gender and Biodiversity; Protected Areas; Sustainable Use of Biodiversity; Traditional Knowledge, Innovations and Practices etc.

He then summarized the Cross-Cutting Issues which corresponded to the issues addressed in the Convention’s substantive provisions in Articles 6-20, and provided bridges and links between the thematic programs.  These Cross-Cutting Issues included: Aichi Biodiversity Targets; Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing; Biodiversity for Development; Biological and Cultural Diversity; Climate Change and Biodiversity; Communication, Education and Public Awareness: CEPA; Economic, Trade and Incentive Measures; Ecosystem Approach; Gender and Biodiversity; Global Strategy for Plant Conservation; Global Taxonomy Initiative; Impact Assessment; Identification, Monitoring, Indicators and Assessments; Invasive Alien Species; Liability and Redress – Article 14(20; Protected Areas; Sustainable Use of Biodiversity; Tourism and Biodiversity; Traditional Knowledge, Innovations and Practices – Article 8(j) and related issues including 10(c); and Technology Transfer Cooperation . 
 He stressed that what we were actually doing at this workshop and what the ILC’s are doing in their respective local communities was in fact fulfilling some of these “Cross-Cutting Issues.” 

He reiterated the three (3) Objectives of the Conventions: i) Conservation of Biological Diversity; ii) The Sustainable use of its components; and iii) The fair and equitable sharing of its benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources.

He then pointed out its Vision: “By 2050, Biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and widely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.

He informed the participants that Strategic Goal A – addresses the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society! He said Target 1 for this Strategy, demands that by 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of Biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.

He pointed out that under Strategic Goal B –we must reduce direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use!  Target 5 of this Goal indicated that “by 2020, the rate of loss of all national habitats, including forests, is at least halved and where feasible, brought close to zero (0) and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced.” He continue with Target 6 elaborating that it calls for “All fish and invertebrates stocks and aquatic plants are managed and harvested sustainably, legally and applying ecosystems based approaches, so that overfishing is avoided, recovery plans and measures are in place for all depleted species.  In Target 10, He said: “By 2016, the multiple anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs and other vulnerable ecosystem impacted by climate change or ocean acidification are minimized so as to maintain their integrity and functioning.”

Mr. Magun further stressed that Target Goal C – points out that: “By 2020, at least 17% of terrestrial and inland water and 10% of coastal and marine areas especially areas of particular importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services are conserved through effectively and equitably managed ecological representative and well connected systems of protected areas and other effective area based conservation measures and integrated into wider landscapes and seascapes.”

He then connected this Target to PNG’s Protected Area Policy Goal so the participants can make sense out of it.

He said Target 12 says, “By 2020, the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained.”

Mr. Magun once again reiterated the steps taken by Karkum villagers are actually fulfilling this Target.

He then informed the participants about Strategic Goal E which calls for “Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building.  Target 18 of this Goal aims to see that: “By 2020, the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources are respected, subject to national legislation and relevant international obligations and fully integrated and reflected in the implementation of the Convention with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities at all levels.”

He told the participants that, one of the reasons CBD has engaged him and his team to conduct this training is to fulfill this Target.

Mr. Magun concluded this session with Article 8 – In-Situ-Conservation, (8j):  “Subject to its national legislation, respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of Biological Diversity and promote their wider application with the approval and involvement of the holders of such knowledge, innovations and practices and encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of such knowledge, innovations and practices.”

The participants then went for a lunch break at about 2pm before returning at 3pm for the next session on Connecting Traditional Knowledge and Conservation.

Session 5: Connecting Traditional Knowledge and Conservation. – Facilitator: Mr. Magun 

We resumed class at 3pm

For this session, Mr. Magun used the Powerpoint to do his presentation.

Mr. Magun informed the participants on the World Intellectual Property Rights.

Mr. Magun told the participants that the Intellectual Property or IP refers to the creation of mind such as invention, designs, literary and artistic works, performances, plant varieties and names and signs and symbols.

He informed the participants that the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) recognizes those traditional elements as protectable. 

“IP would enable their holders to have a say over their use by others,” he said.

He added that in 2007, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

The Declaration recognizes that: “Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in exercise of their rights in particular based on their indigenous origin or identity (Article 2).”

In Article 31, Mr. Magun emphasized that it: Provides that indigenous peoples “have the right to maintain control, protect and develop their intellectual Property (IP) over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge (TK) and traditional cultural expression (TCE).”

He said TK is a living body of knowledge that is developed, sustained, and passed on from generations to generation within a community often forming part of its cultural or spiritual identity. 

He added that TK is knowledge, know-how, skills, innovations or practices passed between generations in a traditional context that form part of the traditional lifestyles of indigenous and local communities who act as their guardians.

He gave examples of TK as: i) Knowledge about traditional medicine; ii) Traditional hunting and fishing technique; and iii) Knowledge about animal migration patterns or water management.

Furthermore, Mr. Magun informed participants that TCE are forms in which traditional culture is expressed.  This can be in songs, dances, handicrafts, designs, ceremonies, tales, or artistic or cultural expressions.

He urged the participants to benefit from TK and TCE. 

He said indigenous peoples and local communities that develop, maintain and identify culturally with them should gain from these TK or TCE and must not be exploited or be used by outsiders especially local tourist operators, scientists, industries, universities and others.

This was in fact a very lively session as participants once empowered, felt they were knowledgeable on so many things regarding conservation and biodiversity, cultural heritage, songs and dances, expressive arts and so forth.

In this session Mr. Magun informed the participants that the Nagoya Protocol was done to operationalize one of the three (3) objectives of the CBD: i) Conservation of biological diversity; ii) Sustainable use of its components; and iii) Fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of the genetic resources.

In other words, the Nagoya Protocol was done to ensure that CBD’s Objective 3 is actually implemented by all parties including, governments and the ILCs.  He reiterated that the Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) was done because the CBD provisions were not fully implemented and that there were cases of misappropriation of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge.

He pointed out the principles under Article 15 CBD on Fundamental ABS which included: “Sovereign rights over natural resources; Prior informed consent (by Parties and ILCs); Mutually agreed terms, including the sharing of benefits arising from the commercial and other utilization of genetic resources.”

Under Article 8 (j) CBD, Mr. Magun said: “Governments are to respect, preserve, maintain and promote the wider application of traditional knowledge with the approval and involvement of relevant indigenous and local communities.”  He pointed out that very little awareness is being carried out by legitimate government agencies or authorities and lined agencies to inform, educate and empower our people on their rights.

He said PNG needs laws, procedures and policies to ensure benefit-sharing once genetic resources leave the country.  He emphasized that there is a need in PNG for clear procedures when accessing genetic resources. 

Mr. Magun added that according to CBD, “Traditional Knowledge (TK) related to biological resources (ATK) can be an important source of information for identifying new uses of genetic resources.

He then went on to explain to the participants how Access Benefit Sharing (ABS) and TK works.  As ILC resource managers and resource owners he stressed that they must understand that prior to sharing their traditional knowledge, or for any outsider to enter into any Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) and Conditions to access their genetic resources (GR) they must first be informed, and educated about the deal they are trying to enter into.  Once they fully understand the processes and agree on the benefits to be obtained from their GR or traditional knowledge then they may enter into a MAT with the user to have access to their genetic resources or traditional knowledge.  This process is known as: “Prior Informed Consent (PIC), granted by a provider of GR and/ Associated Traditional Knowledge (ATK) holder to a user.”  Once they are satisfied with that step than they can move on to: “Negotiate between themselves (providers of GR e.g. National Competent Authority, ILCs etc) and the (user e.g. scientists/industry(ies)/ research universities etc) to develop mutually agreed terms (MAT) between the provider and the user that ensure that the benefits obtained from their GR and associated traditional knowledge are shared equitably.”  

Mr. Magun added that once that is in place, the users can then go ahead and develop products either for non-commercial or commercial utilization using the GR (and associated TK): e.g. basic research, research and development, development of new pharmaceuticals, biotechnological products and etc.  He reiterated that benefits-sharing (monetary and non-monetary): eg. Royalties, technology transfer, training and etc can then be shared between the user and the provider equitably based on the MAT.

He said, according to the Objective of Nagoya Protocol, “the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, thereby contributes to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.”

In PNG he said, there are still gray areas in our laws, policies and procedures in regards to Access to Genetic Resources and Access to TK associated with GR and laws on Benefit Sharing.  PNG being a signatory of this treaty needs to develop domestic laws for: Obtaining PIC or prior approval and involvement of indigenous and local communities (ILCs) for access to genetic resources where they have established rights to grant access to those resources; and Setting out criteria and/or processes for obtaining PIC or approval and involvement of ILC – related work in 8j. Once this law is in place it will ensure that TK held by indigenous and local communities is accessed with PIC or approval and involvement of ILC and MAT established.  It will also ensure that benefits are shared equally between the user and producer who had obtained the GR and/or TK.

To wind up here are some of the core elements: Traditional Knowledge and ILCs

“The Nagoya Protocol recognizes the value of community protocols of ILCs in the ABS process. 
·         Article 12 (1): “In implementing their obligations under this Protocol, Parties shall in accordance with domestic law take into consideration indigenous and local communities customary laws, community protocols and procedures, as applicable, with respect to traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources.”
·         Article 12 (3): “Parties shall endeavor to support, as appropriate, the development by ILCs, including women within these communities of: a) Community protocols in relation to access to traditional knowledge associate with genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of untilization of such knowledge.”
·         “Obligation of Parties to establish mechanisms to inform potential users of TK associated with genetic resources about their obligations, including measures as made available through the ABS Clearing-House;
·         “Obligation to not restrict the customary use and exchange of genetic resources and associated TK within and amongst ILC (including across borders).”

In order for this to happen the Nagoya Protocol recommended the following tools and mechanisms to assist with implementation:
·         Capacity-building/Awareness raising (which we are currently doing and can do much more if funded);
·         Technology Transfer;
·         National Focal Points and Competent National Authorities – whose obligation among other things, will provide information to applicants seeking access to TK on: Information on procedures for obtaining PIC and MAT from ILCs, where possible and for i) granting access or issuing evidence that access requirements have been met, ii) advising on applicable procedures for obtaining PIC and entering into MAT;
·         ABS Clearing House;
·         Financial Mechanism;
·         Monitoring and Compliance with Protocol;
·         Complimentary work under 8 (j)

Note: Mr. Magun has yet to visit Dr Eric Kwa following his invitation to be briefed on some of the issues. Dr. Kwa is a former Law Lecturer at the University of PNG and now the Chairman of the Law Reform Committee

Video Session: At night Mr. Magun continued with video shows till 12 mid night.

Many words of acknowledgement and appreciation were shared during the video session and closing up ceremony.

Mr. Magun was given a big dish of cooked vegetables, greens and a whole roasted chicken.  Thank God he was allowed to share the food with others. 

Follow -up

There were several activities that needed to be done as identified through the course and closing of the workshop. These are listed below:
(1)    Burn CBD course content and related topics onto CD and deliver to these participants
(2)    Liaise with CBD for more awareness materials on CBD
(3)  Mobilizing of distribution of awareness materials
(4)  Wenceslaus to burn copies of the topics taught and other CBD resource materials onto CDs for            these participants.  He will hand deliver these CDs to the participants when he next visit these              communities and present both the CDs and their Certificates.
(5)   Wenceslaus will continue to liaise with CBD for additional information.
(6)   Further Training Workshops on Convention on Biological Diversity
(7)   The training workshop was the second of its kind in Madang and has generated a lot of interest            among the participants.

1.1   Venue: Basken Elementary School, Basken village, Sumgilbar Local Level Government, Sumkar District, Madang, Papua New Guinea
1.2   Trainer
Wenceslaus Magun
Port Moresby
Ph: (675) 71959665

Wenceslaus Magun is the Project Coordinator for MAKATA’s Turtle Program and was responsible for all logistics and coordination.  Wenceslaus put in fulltime for this training program taking care of all logistics, coordination and support.  He also facilitated the training on Traditional Knowledge, PNG’s Protected Area Policy and how it is linked to the Convention on Biological Diversity and what conservation practitioners do on the ground to implement these policies.

He has represented his organization in numerous international gatherings including the inaugural World Indigenous People’s Conference in Darwin in 2013, and the recent Convention on Biological Diversity workshop in Apia Samoa in 2014 as well as the Small Islands Development States Forum also held a week later in Apia, Samoa.

1.3   Participation
·         Indigenous local community resource managers from Karkum and Basken (Sumkar District)

1.      Training Workshop Goals

The training workshop seeks to enhance the capacity of Indigenous Local Community Resource Managers on the Convention on Biological Diversity. It specifically seeks to build a grassroots constituency for conservation by raising awareness on Developing Community Resource Management Plan, PNG’s Biodiversity, PNG’s 4th National Goal and Directive Principle, PNG’s Protected Area Policy, Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD’s Targets, Traditional Knowledge and Nagoya Protocol.

The expected outcomes for the training workshop are:
(1)    Twenty nine (29) indigenous local community resource managers have successfully completed this training
(2)    Participants to be certified with a certificate of participation in the training at an appropriate date, time and venue as per the Basken people’s pending decision
(3)    Copies of this presentation to be burnt to CD and made available to the 29 course participants along with their Certificates
(4)    Share this course content on Web2 and with relevant partners and stakeholders.

Annex I.  Evaluation

Mr Magun did not conduct the Evaluation exercise.  However, the general feedback he received from the participants was very positive.  The participants appreciated the course content.  They could practically relate to the lessons from developing their strategic resource management plan, to seeing value in PNG’s biodiversity, to the PNG Constitution, PNG Protected Area Policy and how it relates to the CBD.  They fully understood their role in establishing protected areas on their customary land to fulfill the CBD’s objectives.  They also appreciated and value their traditional knowledge and cultural rights after learning some profound lessons on CBD’s Traditional Knowledge and the Nagoya Protocol and how it relates to achieving Conservation outcomes.

They also asked Mr. Magun not to present their Certificates after the workshop but to wait until a ceremony is organised for the official presentation of their Certificates.  They will inform and invite Mr. Magun for their graduation ceremony.

Annex II.  Training Program

Training Workshop Program

Day 1
7pm till 12 midnight
9pm – 12 pm
Ø  Introduction
Ø  Overview of the Workshop Topics
Ø  Video session and message sent to villagers to attend workshop

Day 2

Ø  8:15 am – 9:30am
Ø  Introduction & Overview of the Workshop Topics
Ø  SWOT and SMART tools analysis and presentation
Ø  Developing Community Resource Management Plan

12:00 mid day – LUNCH BREAK
1:15 pm – 4:00 pm
Ø  Group presentation of Community Resource Management Plan
Ø  PNG Biodiversity
Ø  PNG Constitution’s 4th National Goal & Directive Principle
Ø  PNG Protected Area Policy in light of CBD

8:00 – 12:00 mid night
     ►  Video Sessions

Day 3
8:30-12:00 noon

Ø  Recap of Resource Management Plans to PNG Biodiversity, PNG Constitution’s 4th National Goal and Directive Principle and National Protected Area Policy
Ø  Convention on Biological Diversity History

12:00 -1:00 Lunch 
1:15 pm -5:00 pm
Ø  Aichi Biodiversity Targets
Ø  World Intellectual Property – Traditional Knowledge
Ø  Nagoya Protocol

8:00 pm – 12 mid night – Video Sessions
Day 4

8:15-10:00 am
Ø  Left Basken for Madang
Ø  Madang to Port Moresby

Annex III.  Participants List

Participant Attendance List.

29th  to 30th of April till 1st of May 2015
Joe Lamit
Dumoken Clan, Ward 7, Councillor

Kosmas Lamit
Nivuvet clan, Ward 7

Otto Tebar
Utagor clan, Ward 7, Village Leader

Dorrin Baleng
Makakal clan, Ward 9

Henry Baleng
Makakal Clan, Ward 9

Norman Bai
Makakal Clan, Ward 9

Belynda Puken
Maluwo Clan, Ward 9, Women’s Representative

Mekam Tim
Ugai-Mauwo Clan, Ward 9, Village Leader

Patricia Gaga Kollan
Maluwo Clan, Ward 9, Elementary Teacher

Judith Malep
Maluwo Clan, Ward 9

Awon Wail
Maluwo Clan, Ward 9, Village Leader

Bagom Mekam Tim
Maluwo Clan, Ward 9

Lidia Awon
Maluwo Clan, Ward 9

Susie Wail
Maluwo Clan, Ward 9

Wesley Gom
Kumberken Clan, Ward 9, Vice Chairman Nekwab Group

Nivadum Puken
Kumberken Clan, Ward 9, Village Leader

Maki Kalal
Kumberken clan, Ward 9

Maria Wail
Maluwo Clan, Ward 9

Kumok Anut
Namonken Clan, Ward 9

Dorothy Kumok
Namonken Clan, Ward 9

Augustin Anut
Namonken Clan, Ward 9, Village Leader

Ben Woyu
Kumberken Clan, Ward 9

Timothy Andul
Makakal Clan, Ward 9

Terence Awon
Maluwo Clan, Ward 9

Luak Woyu
Nawang Clan, Ward 9, Model Farmer

Morris Kawang
Dumoken Clan, Ward 7

Moses Kawang
Dumoken Clan, Ward 7

Willie Malibun
Makakal Clan, Ward 9, Ward Councilor

Benjamin Kalal
Makakal clan, Ward 9