Project aims to protect biodiversity

National, Normal

The National, Friday 24th May 2013

 TENKILE Conservative Alliance (TCA) will open a research station in the remote rainforests of Lumi, West Sepik, next month. 

TCA is a non-governmental organisation run by Australian couple Jim and Jean Thomas which seeks to protect biodiversity in the Toricelli Mountain range in more than 180,000ha of rainforest.

It is the only place in the world where three species of tree kangaroo are found living in one place.

The research station is supported by the PNG Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP), Zoos Victoria, Garamut Enterprises and Deakin University in conjunction with Australian crowd sourcing platform Pozible

For this occasion, hundreds of locals from 50 villages in the area will beat garamut drums in synchronisation from their own locations to mark World Environment Day and open the ceremony, which is a world first.

Aitape-Lumi MP Patrick Pruaitch and West Sepik Governor Amkat Mai are expected to attend the opening.

Tenkile is named after the most endangered species of tree kangaroo in the Toricelli Mountains, also known as the Scott’s Tree Kangaroo, discovered by Prof Tim Flannery, who said the TCA project was the most effective initiative for protecting endangered species in Melanesia.