Civil Societies call to save the Toricelli and the critically endangered Tenkile Tree Kangaroo


The Toricelli Mountain Range (the Toricelli) is located in the Sandaun Province and is home to the Tenkile Tree Kangaroo (Tenkile Dendrolagus Scottae), the Weimang Tree Kangaroo (Weimang d. Pulcherrimus) and the Grizzled Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus Inustus).

The landowners residing within the Toricelli have taken many steps in collaboration with Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA) to preserve these endangered species and the virgin forest they live in. Amongst these steps is the establishment of a conservation area proposed to be called the Toricelli Mountain Range Conservation Area.

We have been informed by our partners that there has been vast clearance by logging companies in the proposed conservation area in the past few months. Satellite imagery obtained from the University of Maryland has also shown considerable tree cover loss in the area since August 2021.

Before any logging, activities continue on the customary land, the welfare of the critically endangered wildlife needs to be checked and safeguarded by the relevant authorities.

As civil society organisations, we take a stand against any forest clearance that threaten the natural habitat of the critically endangered species in the Toricelli. We also ask the government of this country to address all issues of unsustainable logging of forests, including its effects on the wildlife and the well-being of our people.

We support the concerns raised by the Honorable Gary Juffa, MP, Governor for Oro Province, in the recent parliament sitting in Papua New Guinea on the issue of logging.

We cannot be seen as truly ‘taking back’ PNG if we continue to allow our forests to cut down, and yet, attend international engagements and pledge support for forest conservation and climate change mitigation activities.

We cannot advocate for the significance of our forests as the third largest remaining in the world whilst simultaneously allowing logging and clear felling of the forests in its current manner.  We will not flourish as a nation   if our government continues to allow the depletion of our forest resources.

We stand in solidarity with our partners at TCA and ask the Prime Minister, Honorable James Marape, MP, the Minister for Environment, Conservation and Climate Change, Honorable Wera Mori, MP, Minister for Lands, Honorable John Rosso, MP, to address the forest clearance in the Toricelli and put a stop to unnecessary logging operations in PNG.

Walk the talk. Take back our forest, take back PNG. Save the Toricelli and respect the rights of the customary landowners.

This statement was authorised by the following organisations:

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