By Mickey Kavera – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The Hela Provincial Government, including the Koroba-Lake Kopiago District Administration, has reinforced support for the establishment of a formal conservation area for the Strickland headwaters.
In June this year, the Hela Provincial Government visited the proposed conservation area. Their trip was facilitated by Barrick Gold Corporation subsidiary of Barrick Niugini Limited.
The headwater of the Strickland River is home to the Hewa people. It covers an area of about 170 000 hectares of pristine rainforest.
Renowned American Anthropologist and conservationist, Dr Bill Thomas, has been working to conserve this area.
His efforts have been recognised by the Hela Provincial and Local Level Governments.
Barrick’s Charlie Ross reiterated Barrick’s support for the Forest Stewards Project initiated by Dr Thomas.
The concept allows for the transfer of vital knowledge from forest stewards to youths, creating a locally managed conservation program.
Deputy Hela Governor, Thomas Potabe said, the provincial government is backing the establishment of the formal conservation program for the benefit of the people.
Dr Thomas emphasised the importance of the protecting the rainforest as a way of preserving the cultural heritage of the people.