AT a time when bio-security concerns on the environment, food and human health are a global concern, what is NCD Governor Powes Parkop trying to do with exchanging PNG’s endemic species with exotic species?
It must be reminded that exotic foreign animal and plant species have the potential to become invasive, pose serious threats to PNG’s unique biological diversity and environment, agriculture, economy and health.
Remember the Sepik River salvinia and bolt cutter stories or the global SARS and swine flu epidemics?
Exotic organisms cause them all.
Trading protected animals like the birds of paradise, Queen Alexandriae birdwing butterflies, echidnas, Harpy eagles, and tree kangaroos for anything will breach the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) and goes against the principles of the convention on biological diversity, both of which PNG is a signatory to.
Many people are talking about the planned zoo at 14-Mile but I wonder how many local visitors are interested in the preserved (dead) and live collections at the NCD Botanical Gardens, the National Museum, the Art Gallery, Variarata National Park, UPNG School of Natural Sciences, and Moitaka.
My observation is close none. Why?
This is because NCDC and our institutions generally have a below par record of maintaining natural history collections.
Mr Parkop, please help in the maintenance and upkeep of these places and please try to get the dolphins back at the Ela Beach sea park.
Plant more trees in the NCD instead of chopping them as a bit more greenery would do wonders in the harsh NCD climate.
In fact, if we really loved animals, we should have taken a better care of the tamed animals Circus Bruno abandoned some years back at Moitaka or zealously protect the once world famous Bayer River sanctuary, the Rainforest Habitat and those mentioned earlier.
Given this lacklustre attitude towards wildlife, many of our institutions could be in RSPCA’s bad books, if there was one.
The governor should relook at the planning of urban squatters which are becoming an eyesore in Port Moresby, introduce an electric rail or tram system to service the working population, relocate the wharf and develop the dusty waterfront into a friendly boulevard for locals and visitors alike to enjoy evenings out, transform the Motuan villages into tourist attractions instead of being pollution factories, and transform Port Moresby into an informal sector friendly city.
Mr Parkop, your achievements have been many but they fade into insignificance when compared with the urgent needs of the city.
Only then will Port Moresby move out from the exclusive club of five “worst livable cities in the world”.