Resource Centre Receives Donations

The US Agency for International Development through its Lukautim Graun Program donated 400 copies of the research publication “The Turtles Return” by Wenceslaus Magun, to the Eastern Highlands Provincial Resource Centre.

The leatherback sea turtle is the largest turtle in the world, are the only species of sea turtle that lack scales and a hard shell and they are named for their tough rubbery skin and have existed in their current form since the age of the dinosaurs.

It has the widest global distribution of any reptile, nesting mainly on tropical or subtropical beaches. It was once prevalent in every ocean except the Arctic and Antarctic, however, the leatherback population has been rapidly declining in many parts of the world.

The West Pacific Ocean subpopulation of the majestic leatherback sea turtle is endangered with numbers decreasing at an alarming rate.

The book ‘The Turtles Return’ illustrates the author’s experiences in conservation efforts to protect the leatherback sea turtles from extinction at the community managed marine area at Karkum, Madang Province.

The book is informative on how people’s actions locally can help preserve the turtles for future populations, and raises environmental awareness and educating local communities to make informed decisions in biodiversity conservation.

Research and Conservation Foundation - Conservation Education Program Manager, Elizabeth Kaulei thanked USAID for its support.

“Thank you USAID. These books will make a valuable contribution to our resource centers and inspire many students to take an interest in biodiversity conservation in PNG. Once the books are catalogued we intend to distribute copies to our other resource centers in Jiwaka, Simbu, and Morobe provinces.”

During his visit to PNG, USAID Deputy Mission Director for Pacific Islands and Mongolia, Sean Callahan made the formal presentation of books to the Eastern Highlands Provincial Resource Centre.

“Papua New Guinea’s biodiversity is unique as one of the richest, yet also among the most threatened in the world. Empowering local communities with the knowledge and ability to protect and conserve their natural resources is at the heart of USAID’s mission,” said Callahan.

The Resource Centre in the Eastern Highlands Province is the sixth in the country stablished through USAID’s partnership with local NGO the Research and Conservation Foundation.

The Resource center’s role is to collect, store, and make accessible to all peoplCe, particularly the marginalized, valuable research material to help strengthen biodiversity conservation, community livelihoods, and women’s empowerment in PNG as part of USAIDs continued support and commitment.

Carol Kidu