4 Mar 2009

Papua New Guinea's first conservation area teeming with biodiversity

4:53 pm on 4 March 2009

Papua New Guinea has created its first conservation area to save an area of pristine rainforest larger than Singapore and to protect rare animals such as a bear-like tree kangaroo.

Lisa dabek is the founder of the tree kangaroo programme which has been working for the past 12 years to create the conservation area in the remote Huon Peninsula with the local community.

She says it covers 76-thousand hectares from coral reefs at sea level to mountain tops of 4-thousand metres.

"In terms of the biodiversity, it's absolutely incredible. For one, the flagship species that we focus on is the Matschie's tree kangaroo and this species is only found in the mountains on this peninsula, as well as many other endemic species of birds mammals, frogs, insects, plants"

Lisa Dabek says, local villagers have set aside portions of their own land for conservation and they will be stewards of the area.

In return they have received help to access education and health care.