‘Review of Kokoda trekking management vital’

Business

THE review of the management of the Kokoda trekking industry is important because the track is an important asset which has international markets, an official says.
Managing director of the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (Cepa) Gunther Joku was responding to concerns raised by Kokoda landowner communities and the Koiari local level government about not being consulted about the review.
Joku said the decision to review the management of Kokoda trekking industry came from Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Minister for Inter-Government Relations Kevin Isifu and the Minister for Environment and Conservation and Climate Change John Pundari.
It was based on the need to better place the Kokoda trekking industry management at both the national and international levels.
“Kokoda Track is a very important asset which needs to be better placed in the country and internationally to ensure the full potential of this important asset is realised through increased tourism activities,” Joku said.
“But the current management structure is that the Kokoda Track Authority which manages the track is a special purpose authority and that is just way below at the local levels of government.
“That is the issue and the challenge with Kokoda Track Authority.
“They are being regarded as another special purpose authority in the country with no direct agency and ministerial oversight.”
He said the review was important to lift the standard and improve services at Kokoda to benefit landowners and the country.

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