The Nature Conservancy (TNC), is a conservation organisation protecting ecologically important lands and waters.
From August 22-25, the conservation group hosted a Mangrove Women Leaders Workshop in Milne Bay Province.
More than 20 representatives from national and provincial governments, community based groups, national non-governmental conservation organizations and the Milne Bay Tourism Authority were in attendance.
Participants agreed that mangroves support marine ecosystems and mangrove products support livelihoods.
However, despite their importance, PNG’s mangrove forests are under considerable threat from clearing and development.
Globally, PNG is home to significant areas of mangrove forests which are also among the most biologically diverse in the world – as such they need to be preserved.
Mangrove forests provide a host of benefits to communities near the coast such as the provision of food and firewood, supporting water quality, and stabilizing shorelines to provide a buffer against flooding from storm surge, sea-level rise, and coastal erosion.
PNG’s mangrove forests also hold vast stores of blue carbon – carbon that is stored in coastal and marine ecosystems thus contributing to global efforts towards mitigating climate change.
But most importantly, mangrove forests play an important role in helping PNG adapt to the rising sea-level, as a result of the changing climate conditions.
During the workshop the TNC team captured footage whereby a film will be produced of the PNG Mangrove Women Leaders telling their story.
It is hoped that this film will be featured during the human rights film festival in PNG.
Main Image: U.S. Embassy – Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea