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Conservation benefit: Support of the establishment of a 25-acre highlands forest conservation area

Community benefit: Construction of a literacy school

Date Approved: 07.2005

Forest

This project protects forest, preventing the release of greenhouse gases and reducing erosion that damages coastal and ocean ecosystems.

Chimbu Province, in the Papua New Guinean highlands, is the most densely populated province in the country. Almost all the remaining old-growth forest is on the least accessible, most isolated peaks in the region. The Gaigibi community, on the slopes of 9,020-foot Mt. Elimbari, has set aside 25 acres of forest as a community conservation project. They have already marked the area’s boundaries, produced a set of rules for its use, and set up a governing committee.

To support this conservation area, Seacology will provide funding to build and furnish a school building where adults and children can learn to read. People from 19 villages, with a population of around 17,000, will be eligible to attend the school.

Project Updates

June 2009

In May 2009 a completion report on the Gaigibi project was submitted by community leader Jacob Kamunai to former Seacology field representative Helen Perks. The school building (two classrooms and an office) is completed and fully recognized by the Chimbu Provincial Government. The school has full-time teachers, and teaching materials funded by Seacology, and more than 80 students are enrolled this year. The conservation area is still respected and has strong support. Field representative Sam Moko plans to attend an official launching ceremony later this year.

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January 2007

The project leader left the village in May 2006, making communication with the village difficult. Field representative Helen Perks is continuing her efforts to find a new contact for the village so Seacology can receive reports on the long-term success of the project.

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June 2006

All construction work was completed at the end of 2005. Supplies for the school were purchased earlier this year. 250 children are now enrolled and there are three teachers. An official opening ceremony for the school and the conservation area is planned for July.

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January 2006

All construction work has been completed. The school building is being used for lessons, and an official opening ceremony will take place in early 2006.

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