STRATEGIC sampling and long term monitoring programmes are a must if the natural resources and eco-systems are to be properly managed, an academic Marilyn Apasaid .
Ms Apa is a lecturer at the PNG University of Natural Resources and Environment Fisheries
at Vudal, East New Britain province, and is currently based at the National Fisheries College (NFC) in New Ireland province.
Ms Apa said although some resources and environmental monitoring were being carried out in PNG, it had been on an ad hoc basis and usually carried out to meet specific short term objectives.
She said a well designed sampling and monitoring programme could:
* Identify existing conditions (baseline) in an area of focus. This may include stock assessments or the condition of eco-systems;
* Provide information on possible sources of problems (such as pollution, overexploitation, habitat destruction);
* Provide on-going information on changes in ecosystem health through time and allowing for arrest of degradation; and
* Determine whether management strategies have been effective.
“There is a need for more strategic sampling and long term monitoring designed to meet the four objectives listed above for adaptive management of resources and ecosystems in the country,” she said.
Ms Apa added that one of the many reasons that this work was only beginning at NFC was that there had been a short-fall in technical expertise required to design and implement integrated sampling and monitoring programmes.
She said part of the course had been designed to cover the most important aspects of the design of sampling and monitoring programmes on, how to avoid traps and deal with and analyse and interpret the information that is collected.
In conclusion of the course, students would be able to design and carry out a sampling or monitoring programme, adapt their knowledge to a range of marine habitats, resources and situations, store, examine, analyse and interpret data and report on the results.