Papua New Guinea declares first National Conservation Area to protect tree kangaroos22/04/2009 14:05:06 Villagers Pledge Land to Protect Tropical Forest Habitat of Tree Kangaroos
April 2009. A recent landmark decision by the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government to approve the Conservation Area has come to fruition with the declaration of the YUS Conservation area.
Named for its three main rivers - the Yopno, Uruwa and Som - the YUS Conservation Area covers 187,800 acres (76,000 hectares or 760 square kilometres) of tropical forest stretching from coral reefs off the northern coast to the 4,000-metre peaks of the western Saruwaged Mountains.
Huon (or Matschie's) tree kangaroos
"By creating the country's first national conservation area, the PNG government and people have taken a step forward for both Papua New Guinea and conservation worldwide," says Environment Minister Benny Allen. "I congratulate the YUS community and its partners on their efforts and hope others will follow their example."
Ban on hunting, logging and mining
Woodland Park Zoo and CI understand that conservation should address the needs of the local people as well as protecting habitat and species, so are working with community leaders to increase access to education, college scholarships, teacher training, health clinic improvements, midwife training, and other investments to support sustainable and healthy village life.
"The conservation area will help the people of YUS better manage their natural resources," said Karau Kuna, Jr, a PNG national and GIS Mapping Coordinator for TKCP. "The YUS Conservation Area is part of PNG's contribution to the worldwide community in the fight against global warming and other environmental issues we are all facing."
Partners in the years of effort that culminated in creation of the YUS Conservation Area include the YUS communities, TKCP and its international staff, CI, the Morobe Provincial government, PNG National Executive Council and PNG Department of Environment and Conservation. TKCP and CI will continue to work with the PNG government and local communities to seek creation of additional conservation areas in the country, using the YUS Conservation Area as a model.
Courtesy of Conservation International
Aerial view of the tropical forest carpeting the newly declared YUS Conservation Area in Papua New Guinea.
Copyright: CI/photo by Russell A. Mittermeier