PAPUA NEW GUINEA, Kimbe Bay, West New Britain - January 2005
Re-roofing of buildings housing local community marine conservation NGO for the expansion of a network of Locally Managed Marine Areas
Kimbe Bay lies on the northern side of West New Britain Island, northeast of mainland Papua New Guinea. A local NGO, Mahonia Na Dari (MND) in Settin Bay within Kimbe Bay, has been working with four local Bakovi communities to assist with the establishment and management of their own Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs). MND's buildings, which all use local materials where possible, have deteriorated to the extent that urgent repair is needed. In exchange for Seacology's funding these repairs, MND will assist the Bakovi people of Patanga and Garile villages in setting aside their two reef systems totaling 75 acres adjacent to the existing closed reefs. They will be added to the Kimbe Bay LMMA program, the largest of its kind in PNG, to make a total of 23 protected areas covering some 1,050 acres, involving six villages with a total population of around 6,000.
UPDATE July 2005 - After the rainy season ended in April 2005, work to re-roof the MND buildings began. Locally produced dried sago palm leaves were purchased from local villages for the roofing material. Five buildings were re-roofed as of May 2005. In spring 2005, Garille and Patanga communities met with MND to begin the process of expanding the marine protected areas to their areas. Initial decisions included the designation of three coral reef areas and one mangrove area as no-take zones, with more areas to be planned by the end of 2005.
UPDATE January 2006 - The roofing work was completed in September 2005. MND has continued their awareness work with the local villages to establish and maintain existing no-take zones, as well as their schools education program. The LMMA network now includes seven participating communities located along a 40-kilometer stretch of coastline. To date, 25 LMMAs have been declared, including coral reefs, in-shore sea grass beds, islands and mangrove forests. All the LMMAs are located within one kilometer of the main island of New Britain. As such, they offer a level of protection to the approximately 60 square kilometers of near-shore and shoreline marine habitats.
UPDATE January 2007 - MND is currently working with six more communities to establish Marine Protected Areas which will be managed at the community level.