Community documents traditional knowledge

A community in South Bougainville has successfully documented traditional medicinal knowledge through the publication of a book.

The book details the medicinal and healing powers of plant-life in Siwai.

The Kainake Project started off as an initiative designed to connect the local communities, engage with the people and educate them through community-oriented programs.

As a recipient of funds from the UNDP’s Small Grants Programme, the project has managed to establish a 75-hectare conservation zone, planted 600 vanilla vines and established a school to teach traditional cultural values and a resource centre for skills training.

Following the success in these programs, a book was written containing details on plant species and their traditional uses within Siwai culture.

“Within the Siwai culture, a lot of the traditional names for the plants describes the functions of the plants” said Kainake Project Director, Dr Jeffery Noro.

Dr Noro said the book aims to help the people understand their nature, conserve it and co-exist with it.

United Nations Development Program acknowledged the work and commitment of the team behind the Kainake Project as far as biodiversity and conservation are concerned.

“To see such commitment from the community to preserve your biodiversity, your traditions and your culture in a country where 15 percent is biodiversity, which is the largest,” said Tracy Vienings, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.

Carolyn Ure