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Film needs Government Support to Protect Torricelli Mountain Range

A special species of tree kangaroo, called the Tenkile, has brought an Australian zoologist couple into the Torricelli Mountain Range in a race against time to save the endangered species.

But what seemed to be a daunting task ahead, has transformed the lives of communities living in the Torricelli Mountain Range of West Sepik Province.

This is captured in the inspiring film, “Into the Jungle”. It is made in the hopes of winning over the Government’s approval to have the Torricelli Mountain Range declared a legally protected area.

The film had its private screening earlier this week in Port Moresby.

“Into the Jungle” was filmed in the Torricelli Mountain Range of Lumi, West Sepik Province.

Like other rainforests of Papua New Guinea, Torricelli is rich with unique biodiversity of flora and fauna, which, in some places, is on the verge of being endangered.

The race to save this area comes as a zoologist couple from Australia, Jim and Jean Thomas, left the comfort of their home to save the Tenkile, only found in the Torricelli Mountains.

In what seemed to be a challenging task ahead with language barriers and no proper roads, the Thomas’s were on a serious mission to save the Tenkile.

After continuous efforts, they successfully set up an NGO, Tenkile Conservation Alliance and have changed the lives of more than 12,000 people who live in the surrounding villages in the Torricelli Mountain Range.

The film illustrates the local communities’ need of sustainability and management of their resources and at the same time looking at alternative ways to improve living standards.

It also shows how conservation and protection of an area needs equal support from the local community up to the government level.

Member for Aitape Lumi, Patrick Pruaitch who attended the private screening said it is a challenge to make sure that there is food available daily for families while also preserving the environment for future generations.

Mr Pruaitch said, “I want to assure Jim and Jean that I am willing to participate in the process to ensure that we are able to get the necessary Government approval to have the Torricelli Mountain Ranges declared as a legally Protected Area.”

The film was produced by Titan Films and funded by the Conservation & Environment Protection Authority and UNDP through the Global Environment Facility.

The private screening in Port Moresby, was also attended by other Members of Parliament, who have assured the zoologists of their assistance to push for the area to be legally protected.

National Planning Minister, Richard Maru showed his support towards the drive.

“Our government is focused on preserving the environment, our flora and fauna, and we are going to provide more funding in next year’s budget to identify more areas to be conserved,” said Minister Maru.

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