Description/achievement of initiative
Local marine resources are a very important part of coastal communities in Papua New Guinea and in the Pacific. Marine resources contribute to local people's livelihood through food, medicine, clothing, spirituality and also income to allow locals to participate in the cash based economy. In the time of our ancestors there was abundance of life in the sea with very little pressure on them, taking enough only for the daily meal. Because there was low demand for marine resources harvesting methods were restricted to fish traps and fishing lines. Today we see a different scenario where the demand to take from the marine environment is high, because of population increase and the drive to be part of the cash economy. We are depleting our marine resources at a faster rate than it can recover and so affecting the very resources that we depend for sustenance. One of the very prehistoric animal is the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) which finds it's nesting area in the beaches of Madang. The villagers of Karkum, Magubem and Kimadi in Sumkar District, and Mur, Yamai, Lalok, Bom-Sagar and Male in the Rai Coast District, Madang, have a traditional attachment to this animal. Leatherback turtles and Green turtles have a special place in the heart of these local people. Now it is also affected by human settlement and the need to trade also for garden food crops. Therefore a greater threat is being posed on their life. Their nesting areas will be vulnerable to the impacts of climate change through shoreline erosion as well which is something the locals cannot control. Their migratory routes and habitat have also been threatened by industrial fishing. The recent approval of seabed mining in the Solwara 1, has even paused a greater threat to the turtles and the marine ecological seasons. If nothing is done to conduct research, socio-economic mapping of local communities, assess and implement Locally Managed Marine Areas to conserve, protect, restore, promote, manage and sustainably use turtles as per the Papua New Guinea's (Fauna Act 1976) and other marine biodiversity and their habitats, the locals will lose a part of their traditional heritage, and also their identity. The future leaders who are still babies now will not even see or feel a real turtle but only see it in a story book or in the television.Turtles are a migratory species. They travel through national, regional and international waters to feed and nest. Efforts to conserve them at the local level must therefore be linked to the national, sub-regional, regional and international level if we are to achieve sustainable and long-term goals to saving turtles.The objective of this partnership is therefore to establish, strengthen cooperation, enhance and enable genuine and durable partnerships with all stakeholders so that together we can all conserve, and sustainably use our oceans and seas and their resources in light of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) and the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation (MSI) at the sub-national, national, sub-regional and international levels.
Mas Kagin Tapani Association Inc in partnership with relevant stakeholders, including NGO partners, the community we work with and in collaboration with the provincial, national, sub-regional and regional level will implement this commitment.
Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
The Mas Kagin Tapani Association Inc. would like to seek support from SIDS to build the Capacity of our staff and members of the local communities we work with and to provide and support us with any technology needed to fulfill this commitment.
Coordination mechanisms/governance structure
This commitment/partnership will be governed by Mas Kagin Tapani Association Inc.
The Nature Conservancy, Madang Civil Society Forum, Madang Provincial government, SeaWeb PNG Program, Mahonia Na Dari, Partners with Melanesia, The Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights Advocacy Group, PNG Coastal Locally Management Areas, Department of Environment and Conservation, World Wildlife Fund, local communities who share the beaches with the turtles in Madang, Mineral Policy Institute - Australia. Environmental Defense Organization - Australia, South Pacific Regional Environment Program, PG Group against Experimental Mining