US Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu Erin McKee witnessed the signing of the Conservation Deed for Mt Goplom Conservation Area at Kwiop village in Middle Jimi, Jimi District of Jiwaka Province.
Ambassador McKee joined PNG government representatives led by Jimi Open MP and Minister for Community Development and Religion, Wake Goi and Jiwaka Governor Dr. William Tongamp, MP, along with dignitaries of European Union, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-Australia, and other community leaders to witness the important signing, which set an example for PNG communities to use land rights to preserve the unique biodiversity of the region for generations to come.
Ambassador McKee said, Papua New Guinea’s biodiversity is one of the richest on the planet that contains so many species. These species would need to be conserved so that it will benefit not only Papua New Guinea, but the rest of the world.
The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), firmly supports PNG in promoting sustained environmental resilience and economic growth and through the Lukautim Graun Project. USAID has been working closely with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and other partners to strengthen community livelihood to sustainably promote and support community conservation efforts along the Bismark Range.
At the heart of the Bismarck Range lies Kwiop, home to the indigenous people of Manga tribe, in the Jimi District. The Kwiop community has been working with USAID and Wildlife Conservation Society to protect their forest, reforest degraded lands, understand wildlife dynamics in their ancestral territory, and develop conservation livelihood projects
The signing of the conservation deed ratifies the local landowners of Kwiop’s legal rights to conserve and protect Mt. Goplom Conservation Area of up to 4,070 hectares.
CELCOR congratulates the people of Kwiop in this milestone achievement in conserving their resources.