The National- Tuesday, January 18, 2011
RANGERS from the Booderee National Park in Australia are hosting a group of their counterparts from PNG for a 10-day training programme aimed at sharing park management, visitor management, and track maintenance skills with Kokoda rangers.
The initiative, promoted by the Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) with the support of the Australian government, aims to provide the rangers with further expertise, which would assist them in protecting and maintaining the significant historic, cultural and environmental values of the Kokoda Track.
KTA chief executive officer Rod Hilman said the exchange was invaluable to PNG.
“With exchanges such as these rangers from the Kokoda pick up valuable expertise in track and visitor management, general operations and gain a better understanding of working within a protected area. This allows Kokoda rangers to improve the safety and trekking experience for trekkers and local communities,” he said.
Through this placement, the KTA wanted to expose Kokoda rangers to what an Australian ranger engages in, including visitor management; pest, plant and animal control; track maintenance and general park operations.
Booderee Park provides a very similar model to Kokoda in terms of community involvement.
The project is supported by the Australian government.