After nearly seven years of work, the Papua New Guinea government has announced that it will triple the amount of protected ocean within its shores.
“The new Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in Lovongai and Murat LLGs were established through community input and consensus, both components of the free, prior, and informed consent process. This provides a yardstick for equitable marine management in Papua New Guinea and beyond,” says Marine Conservation Officer for WCS Papua New Guinea, Tracey Boslogo.
Overall, more than 1.5 million hectares of new Marine Protected Areas will be established in a region considered one of the most biodiversity-rich areas in the world. It is also one of the last places on earth where critically endangered sawfishes can still be found. The new MPAs put into place specific measures to protect sharks, rays, turtles, whales, dolphins, and others – all actions agreed upon across dozens of communities, languages, and cultures within the country.