25,000-plus Americans live, work in rural areas

National

MORE than 25,000 Americans live in the rural areas of PNG and work in collaboration with Papua New Guineans to improve the lives of people living in those rural areas, American  Ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray says.
Ebert-Gray said the US shared a friendship based on trust, shared interest, personal ties and most importantly continued work with PNG to build resilience to the current impacts of climate change.
“We are very impressed with PNG’s plans for parks and protected areas, it’s essential in this critical time of protecting bio-diversity because clearly conserving PNG’s natural heritage is critical,” Ebert- Gray said.
“Biodiversity is facing threats everywhere, species are going extinct at an alarming rate, population rises, over fishing, hunting, destruction of natural habitat, and land is being cleared for planting crops, building houses.
“We have all seen how warm temperature  around the world is damaging coral reefs, but fortunately it’s not too late to make a difference to the bio-diversity of our eco-system.”
The US Agency for International Aid (USAID) funded 28 projects across 12 Pacific Islands countries in 2013 to support local-driven approach to improve resilience to environmental and climate variations, Ebert-Gray said.
She said new projects awardees of the Pacific-American Climate Fund (PACAM) this year in PNG included the PNG Centre for Locally Managed Areas Inc, Live and Learn Environmental Education, Mahonia Na Dari Research, Education and Conservation Centre and Institute for Sustainable Futures-University of Technology Sydney.
Conservation, Environment and Protection Authority deputy managing director Dilu Muguwa thanked USAID for it support.

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