|STRP Community Volunteers President Francis Nanai and Willie Mayang protecting leatherback nest.|
Wence Magun worked closely with community partners to hold trainings and community development activities for a total of 6 villages representing approximately 3,500 people. Through this process, the communities came together for workshops in sea turtle and marine resource protection identify conservation measures to which they will choose commit in exchange for support of community needs, such as health centers and libraries. Additionally, the communities have requested help fighting the threat of deep-sea mining. As the Conservation Deed process continues, we are providing assistance and consultation to villagers on the best way to address these threats.
Wence Magun has developed a core group of activist volunteers to assist with the Conservation Deed process and other efforts in the region. The volunteers in several communities are now conducting land and marine-based resource surveys to provide detailed parameters for the developing Conservation Deeds. Village leaders and volunteers, as well as individual resource owners, are highly interested in moving the Conservation Deed process forward. We will continue to conduct resource awareness seminars, surveys, and Deed development into 2008.
Concurrent with the work to gain community support for immediate sea turtle protections, we are building awareness of the impacts on coastal villages of uncontrolled industrial fishing by international vessels, which is allowed within PNG-controlled waters. Wence is also working to educate governmental leaders, university professors, urban professionals and others in the nation about the financial and environmental impacts of longlining in these waters. In 2008, we will work to further engage these groups and individuals in preparing an international call to protect PNG waters from longline and other industrial fishing.
STRP is also supporting Wence and the community volunteer corps in a grassroots campaign to thwart efforts by Nautilus Minerals Incorporated, a Canadian mining company seeking to conduct the world's first seabed mining operation in the biologically rich waters off the PNG coast, and to build long-term support for reform of national and international regulations of industrial fishing in PNG waters.