5 May 2017

PNG scholar looks to fill policy gap on sustainability

1:01 pm on 5 May 2017

A Papua New Guinea scholar who has completed her PhD in New Zealand says her research on sustainability can help fill a gap in government policy back home.

Vanimo, capital of West Sepik province, Papua New Guinea.

Vanimo, capital of West Sepik province, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Sangion Appiee-Tiu graduated this week from the University of Waikato where she has been the inaugural recipient of the Dr Zena Daysh Doctoral Fellowship in Sustainability.

Her PhD researched traditional ecological knowledge and sustainability with implications for developing a "policy framework for sustainability education in PNG.

"There's been a gap in this area for a very long time where not much research has established, if there is a connection between the way we lived in the past and what we can draw from that especially towards sustainability of today's way of doing things," said Sangion Appiee-Tiu.

Kerevat National High School, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

Kerevat National High School, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Ms Appiee-Tiu said this connection could inform government decisions that impact on environment, such as in the management of natural resources.

"I believe that can, at least in terms of policy making at the government level, that can help those who are making decisions to look at this and be able to consider that when they are making decisions so it doesn't affect our environment and the things that people use around us," said Ms Appiee-Tiu.

"In PNG for instance," she explained, "we have core values such as respect for others and things around us, and responsibilities to take into consideration when we are dealing with things" she said.

Export of round logs is the main economic activity in West Sepik, but the profits largely go abroad.

Export of round logs is the main economic activity in West Sepik, but the profits largely go abroad. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

"And also on the value of reciprocity, in giving and taking, core areas that I believe can be taken on even today to apply not just in natural resource management but also in other areas as well to help us sustain our way of living," Sangion Appiee-Tiu said.

Ms Appiee-Tiu is this week returning to PNG where she hopes to continue her research in environment and conservation, and integrating her research into policy frameworks.

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