ExxonMobil initiative to boost biodiversity

ExxonMobil PNG Limited, the operator of the PNG LNG Project, is spearheading efforts to enhance the capacity of conservation workers and researchers in Papua New Guinea to safeguard the nation's unparalleled biodiversity.

PNG boasts one of the world's most significant tropical forests, housing 5 percent of the planet's plant and animal species. Recognizing its pivotal role in global conservation and climate change mitigation, ExxonMobil PNG remains committed to preserving the country's pristine ecosystems.

Tera Shandro, Chairperson and Managing Director of ExxonMobil PNG, emphasized the company's responsibility to protect PNG's environment. Through a Biodiversity Offset program established in 2010, ExxonMobil PNG collaborates with stakeholders, including the PNG Government, to foster sustainable conservation outcomes and bolster capacity at both national and regional levels.

The ongoing Enhancing Conservation Capacity Program, in partnership with the New Guinea Binatang Research Centre (NGBRC), underscores ExxonMobil PNG's dedication to nurturing local talent. The initiative includes sponsoring students for Master’s and PhD degrees and conducting training courses for community conservation practitioners and biologists.

Currently, funded by ExxonMobil PNG through NGBRC, students are pursuing advanced degrees at prestigious universities. Notable research endeavours include Shen Sui's exploration of soil nutrient optimization and Samson Hege's investigation into tropical tree defence mechanisms.

Moreover, the program extends beyond academia, as NGBRC facilitates community-based training courses to empower local conservation leaders. The success of previous Conservation Rangers Training Courses has prompted plans for larger, annual events until 2026, aiming to engage a broader spectrum of participants, including NGO practitioners.

Professor Vojtech Novotny, Research Director at NGBRC, lauded ExxonMobil PNG's support, marking a significant milestone in corporate-sponsored conservation initiatives in PNG.

ExxonMobil PNG remains steadfast in its partnership with NGBRC, driving efforts to cultivate expertise in conservation among Papua New Guineans and safeguard the nation's invaluable biodiversity.

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