CELCOR has begun the consultation process for the protection and conservation of the Warangoi River Catchment area; through meetings with the landowners, PNG Power Limited and East New Britain provincial government.
From 14th to 18th of May, a team from CELCOR was in Kokopo for the initial consultation meetings.
In the meeting with the landowners, CELCOR team helped them to understand what a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is and allowed them to go through the draft MoU and provide comments on what they want included in the MoU.
With PNG Power, CELCOR had an introductory and awareness meeting where PNG Power was made aware of CELCOR’s engagement and role in the MoU establishment. CELCOR highlighted its goal of conservation and protection of water catchment and forests in the Baining Mountains, which would lead to an intact vegetation cover upstream that would allow normal flow of the Warangoi River which PNG Power will use to generate hydroelectricity.
The draft MoU was well received by the East New Britain provincial administration, who has indicated its support to work through the consultation process with all stakeholders.
CELCOR also held meetings with local NGO stakeholders who have experiences working in the catchment area to get their views and support towards the work that CELCOR is carrying out.
CELCOR is now working on further editing and reviewing of the draft MoU and will have further meetings with all stakeholders before the MoU is signed between Warangoi landowners, PNG Power Limited and East New Britain provincial administration. This MoU will lead to a benefit sharing agreement that will see landowners benefit from the Warangoi Hydro project while conserving and protecting their environment.
CELCOR’s work with the Warangoi Hydro landowners aims to assist landowners to make informed decisions and sustainably plan the use of their land and natural resources.
This program contributes to the initiative taken by CEPA and UNDP to protect the remaining rainforest in the Baining Mountains, Nakanai and Whiteman ranges.