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Pirung Wildlife Management Area: A conservation showcase

Pirung Wildlife Management Area (PWMA) is the only gazetted Protected Area in Bougainville and is one of the largest Marine Protected Areas in Papua New Guinea, stretching across 60km in length and 10km in width along the south eastern part of Bougainville.

At the 9th Marine Protected Area Regional Exchange Program hosted in Port Moresby on October 11, 2023, the ABG Directorate for Environment, Conservation and Climate Change under the Department of Lands and Physical Planning, had the privilege of presenting the conservation efforts within Pirung Wildlife Management Area through a documentary film.

Following this, the PWMA documentary will be made accessible to the local communities who host the PWMA through a community viewing program starting on 23 October to 1 November 2023.

Secretary for Lands, Physical Planning and Environment and Conservation & Climate Change Lynette Baratai-Pokas, will be accompanied by her environment officers and other stakeholders to present the documentary to the communities.

The documentary presents the cultural and biodiversity conservation efforts practiced in the Protected Area. With the conservation efforts, there are challenges that the communities face in the management and development of the protected area.

The documentary viewing aims to enhance people’s understanding and empower the communities to positively contribute towards proper planning of the management activities and plans of the area. This much needed feedback will be part of the review of the Pirung WMA Management Plan to be workshopped at a later date.

The program for the documentary viewing is as follows:

1. 24th October 2023 – Tarara
2. 25th October 2023 - Rorovana 1
3. 26th October 2023 - Rorovana 2
4. 27th October 2023 - Arawa Village
5. 28th October 2023 - Kobuang
6. 29th October 2023 - Pidia
7. 30th October 2023 - Pokpok Main Village
8. 31st October 2023 - Uruna Bay 

Secretary Baratai- Pokas, commended all ward members and the Community Government Members of the surrounding areas of North Nasioi and Torau Community Governments for accepting to participate in this program, and for the continued support given to the Department in the implementation of the planned conservation activities.

The Department looks forward to meeting with community members and obtaining valuable feedback on the protected area efforts and its status.

The Directorate for Environment, Conservation and Climate Change has been working closely with the community in and around the Pirung Wildlife Management Area since 2016 in an effort to progress cultural and biodiversity conversation efforts.  

Additionally, islands like Pokpok are Tourism hotspots where communities have been practicing ongoing tourism activities. Tourism is related to conservation as it aims at minimizing impacts on the environment and local communities while promoting conservation and sustainable development.

The Directorate views tourism as a by-product of conservation, and has also extended an invitation to the ABG Directorate for Tourism to collaborate on this program. 

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