Training the next generation of Papua New Guinea's conservation biologists
NHM - Natural History Museum, Entomology
Host Country Institutions:
PNG Institute of Biological Research, Research and Conservation Foundation - RCF
Papua New Guinea
PROJECT AIMS: The Darwin-funded project will meet the needs of PNG and help PNG to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) by bringing together UK scientists, Wildlife Conservation Society - PNG Programme (WCS-PNG) educators, early-career PNG scientists, and local landowners. The two overall goals of the project are the creation of a taxonomic infrastructure within PNG necessary for the study of biodiversity conservation, and the establishment of a newly protected wildlife conservation area in PNG. The project has four primary tasks: (1) UK scientists from the Natural History Museum, a world leader in taxonomic capacity building, will train PNG nationals in techniques necessary for establishing a taxonomic infrastructure in PNG. This includes field collection and specimen preparation, focussing on the largely unexplored insect fauna. The second task is to establish a high quality taxonomic archive of PNG insects in PNG as the basis of future research on taxonomy, ecology and conservation by PNG and international scientists [CBD § 1,5,7,9,12,18]. These will be carried out in two areas of high biological diversity and conservation value, the Crater Mountain Wildlife Management Area (CMWMA) and Manus Island. For the third task, WCS-PNG collaborators will train early-career PNG scientists in educating local land-tenure holders about the value of biodiversity conservation [§ 12]. The fourth task is to negotiate with land-tenure holders for the delineation and creation of a new wildlife management area of high biological diversity and endemism [§ 7, Annex 1] at Manus Island. In 1993, WCS-PNG successfully established the CMWMA, an area encompassing pristine forests from lowlands up to 3000 m. CMWMA provides a location from which WCS-PNG administers international research stations and village-based conservation and training projects. A Darwin grant would enable UK scientists to assist PNG conservationists in establishing Manus Island as a new, protected wildlife management area. It would be only the third such protected area in PNG.
Related Projects: Training the next generation of Papua New Guinea conservation biologists