porgera

Barrick helps bid to declare conservation areas in Hela, Enga

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BARRICK (Niugini) Limited (BNL), with the support of American anthropologist Dr William Thomas, has presented applications for two conservation areas in Hela and Enga.
They are the headwaters of the Strickland in Hela and the Kaijende Highlands in Enga.
Pogera Joint Venture environment manager Charlie Ross and Dr Thomas presented the applications to the Minister for Environment and Conservation and Climate Change John Pundari in Port Moresby recently.
The gazettal applications cover two of the largest conservation areas in PNG.
The headwaters of the Strickland encompass most of the Lake Kopiago Rural local level government in Hela – an area of more than 200,000 hectares.
The Kaijende Highlands is mostly an alpine area of 120,000 hectares, extending from Paiela and Porgera in the west to Kandep in the east.
Both conservation areas are of global significance. The 1993 Conservation Needs Assessment identified both areas as conservation priorities for Papua New Guinea.
A biological assessment conducted in 2008 by an international team of scientists found 50 new species in the headwaters of the Strickland, an area of 200,000 hectares. Both will be the largest protected areas in PNG with more than 320,000ha.
BNL’s support of Thomas’s efforts since 2005 to establish a conservation programme based on traditional knowledge in these regions has resulted in the Papuan Forest Stewards Initiative which builds on the traditional knowledge of landowners to develop a conservation plan for their lands. In exchange for payment, the landowners agree to keep their forest intact and their traditional knowledge alive.

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