Award presented to Rainforest Trust partner for protecting critical habitats in Papua New Guinea.
The conservation strategies manager of Rainforest Trust’s partner Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program (TKCP) in Papua New Guinea (PNG), Karau Kuna, won a prestigious Whitley Award from the Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN). The award ceremony recognized Kuna’s efforts to protect key species such as the Endangered Matschie’s Tree-kangaroo in the Huon Peninsula located in eastern PNG.
“It is incredibly exciting when people from the local community are recognized for the work they are doing to protect their own forests and the species therein,” said Rick Passaro, Rainforest Trust’s Asia Conservation Officer.
“We extend a hearty congratulations to Mr. Kuna for this enormous achievement.”
Rainforest Trust is working with TKCP to protect nearly 200,000 acres on the Huon Peninsula by establishing the country’s first Community Conservation Area. This will provide a model that can be replicated by other indigenous groups to protect critical areas across PNG.
With the funds from the Whitley Award, Kuna and TKCP will be able to strengthen biodiversity protection by engaging additional local communities in conservation planning and monitoring.
“The Whitley Award will [allow] communities to become better managers of their resources,” said Kuna in his acceptance speech. “It’s our responsibility as partners, as government [and] as conservation leaders to support their efforts and advocate on their behalf to ensure Tree-kangaroos are here for generations to come.”
Header photo: The Princess Royal and 2016 Whitley Awards recipient Karau Kuna. Photo by James Finlay/ courtesy Whitley Fund for Nature.