By Samantha Semoso – EMTV Online
An International nature conservation prize from Her Royal Highness Princess Anne in London, the Whitley Award, was presented to Kuna Karau, a long-term staff of the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Programme in PNG.
The award, presented to Karau as project funding at the Royal Geographical Society in London, worth 35,000 euros for his conservation work in the Huon Peninsula of Morobe province.
The United Nations Development Programme, through its Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme, has supported the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Programme since 2013. The target of the programme is to expand terrestrial conservation areas of marine habitats.
The project is working to help indigenous people to conserve their rich natural heritage for future generations. With his award, Karau will create additional plans to manage and carry out conservation actions to 2020.
Founder of the Whitley Fund for Nature, Edward Whitley, says the ceremony is about recognising and celebrating the winning of small battles, which add up to change at the national level. In addition to wining that award, winners receive professional communication training to turn scientists into ambassadors, in order to communicate what they are doing to the public and policy makers.
People who have local knowledge, determination and an interest to find solutions for the natural world are to be empowered, for they best understand what the problems are.