The Equator Prize is organised by the Equator Initiatives within the United Nations Development Program and is awarded biennially to recognise outstanding community effort to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
UNDP Resident Representative Roy Trivedy who officially presented the award to Wanang Conservation community in Divine Word University this week praised the work of Wanang Conservation in promoting and conserving the environment. Present also to witness the ceremony was Conservation Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) Manager for Terrestrial Ecosystems James Sabi, Madang provincial Administrator Daniel Aloi, Member for Usino-Bundi Anton Yagama and representative from WWF and Binatang Research Centre.
“This Equator prize award is partly being supported by the government of Norway and Equator Initiatives and the reason is to provide the global platform to recognise the outstanding work that is happening in community level to protect biodiversity, forest and natural environment,”
“The Wanang society is joining the very unique group, because there are 1,461 application for this award for more than 126 countries and it is not an award that is given lightly it is an outstanding award that is given to incredible work you are doing to protect and conserve your forest to help the local community and also the world,” Trivedy said.
He said the award was presented to the Wanang Conservation representative during in UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris last year which the PNG Government is part of the agreement.
Trivedy said the Wanang Conservation has put Madang and PNG in the spot light in environment and conservation work thus adding more emphasis on the Government and the local people to take more actions to protect the forest and environment.
“Your are setting an example to the whole world, you develop your world in response to commercial logging,”
“The Wanang Conservation area is an alliance, it brings together 10 indigenous forest dwelling clans that together 10,000 hectares of forest,” he said.
He said Wanang was unique because the Wanang maintains the forest dynamic s cloth where you have planted 280,000 native species of plants to study the responses to changing in climatic conditions.
Trivedy added that other unique thing is that Wanang combine Research and action which not many projects do that- the link between people conservation, community level work and the link with Binatang Research.
He said the beauty of the work of Wanang is they managed to combine the appliance of science to protect, conserve and help people which have become an initiative for the community driven conservation and development in our country and in the world.