Marine research organisation turns 21 in style


Mahonia Na Dari (MND), a West New Britain-based marine environment research and conservation organisation, recently celebrated its 21st year by successfully completing a USAid-funded project.
The US government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAid) and the Pacific-American Climate Fund, provided a generous grant for a project called Youth as agents of change: Marine environmental awareness in Kimbe Bay, West New Britain.
The project started Oct 1, 2017, and ended with the launch of a primary teachers’ marine environment education programme guide designed for grades 3 -7.
The programme was launched by USAid and MND.
The core activity of MND since 1997 is two school-based marine environment education programmes (Meep): Outreach Meep to elementary and primary schools and Intensive Meep to high schools.
These programmes, during the USAid project, increased marine environment, conservation and climate change awareness for 11,642 students in West New Britain between October 2017 and October 2018.
The USAid-funded project had four key objectives all of which were achieved with focus on increasing awareness of the marine environment biodiversity, need for conservation, and causes, impacts of climate change and possible adaptation activities in PNG.
Kimbe Bay is world famous as a marine biodiversity “hotspot” but there is growing concern that the unique marine environment is under threat from the impacts of climate change and human activities.
The USAid-funded primary teachers’ Meep guide produced by MND in collaboration with West New Britain teachers and the Education Department will provide direction and serve as a resource for teachers to educate Papua New Guinea students about their special marine environment and how it should and can be protected.