Park boss sees tourism hope in our wildlife

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By MICHAEL LAI
PAPUA New Guinea has 100 per cent potential to develop eco-tourism with its unique species of plants and animals that can attract visitors internationally, says Nature Park general manager Michelle McGeorge.
“Most of the species of plants and animals are unique and they are not found anywhere around the world,” McGeorge said during the world wildlife celebration at the park in Port Moresby at the weekend.
She said there were many animal species including tree kangaroo, wallabies, hundreds of frog species, birds of paradise, lots of reptiles, lots of parrot species, and numerous species of plants only native ro PNG.
People all around the world can come to PNG to see the widllife and conservation efforts being made, she said.
McGeorge said PNG has only one per cent of the world’s
landmass but has more than seven per cent of the world’s unique biodiversity.
“That is huge. When you talk about 100 per cent, Papua New Guinea has 10 per cent bio diversity” she said.
“You cannot go in any other country to see the wildlife that you see here.
“The different unique rainforest and cloud forest are so different to anywhere else in the world.
“These are attractive and can drive eco-tourism using eco-tourism as a vehicle with having unique wildlife,” she said.
However, there are challenges.
“If foreigners come here, we make sure they feel safe,” she said.
“We have already seen eco-tourism is starting to grow.”
She said plants and animals needed protection, preservation and sustainable management.
The world wildlife celebration was first held in 2013.

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