Everyday People: James Sabi

I’ve been working with the then Department of Environment and Conservation since 1988, now we are referred to as CEPA. I am responsible for ‘Terrestrial Ecosystem Management’, its land based eco system.

So that’s basically what I do. And mainly the work we do is conservation, Biodiversity conservation. So ol bush animal and whatever we are able to protect. We protect and care for all types of animals in the bush so that’s the main work we do. 

I am married to Goilala, Central Province. My wife also is a scientist who used to work with the department. She used to do water quality testing and with the mining operations. But now she left to go into politics. Now tried two times running already but right now she’s in the village to attend to her uncle’s death. She’s waiting for a chance to return to Port Moresby because transport is only by chopper.

I have four children, two boys and two girls. Two are still in primary school, but in upper primary. Though I started work in 1988, I am still going strong and I like my job because it’s working with the environment. It’s basically what you see around you, unlike other countries. You can’t see any forest. All they do is try to use a small part where they try to grow the tree on a house just to get have forest.

Now we have the environment and I want us to protect that so we can live a healthy life. That’s why I stick to what I’m doing. We have about 60 protected areas in Papua New Guinea, not many but we’re still trying to increase the number. In Madang we only have 9 but none in Bogia yet. Maybe Hanza Bay. Hanza Bay would be the next one. It has part of the heritage also from the war.

Frieda Kana