K100,000 for Kuk World Heritage Site

It was a significant day for the people of Kuk in the Dei Council area of the Western Highlands Province to celebrate and witness a funding presentation to further develop the Kuk World Heritage Site.

Tourism Promotion Authority representative and the Director for Provincial Coordination and Product Development Division, Heni Dembis, presented a K100,000 cheque on behalf of the Minister and the CEO of PNGTPA.

Dembis told locals that agriculture, tourism and fisheries are the industries with the greatest economic potential.

“Yumi tok lo gold main, kopa main o LNG, ol gat lifespan blo ol. Na taim ol tok 30 years em bai pinis, em pinis nau. Ba yumi nogat wanpla fall back.” (When we talk about gold mine, copper mine or LNG, these have lifespans. If they say it will last for 30 years, then 30 years it is.)

He said because of this, the government is now looking at these sustainable industries. 

Project Coordinator for the Kuk World Heritage Site, Henry Ru, welcomed the timely funding.

The Kuk Heritage Site is an iconic tourism product which needs to be fully developed as it is considered a World Heritage Site. Kuk is known as the world's earliest agricultural site. It covers 116ha of swamp land that has been systematically cultivated since 7,000 and possibly 10,000 years ago.

The funds will be utilised to construct ablution blocks, including pathways and pavements, perimeter fencing of the sites and a conference centre.

UNESCO listed Kuk Swamp as a world heritage site in 2008.

“Kuk is one of the few places in the world where archaeological evidence suggests independent agricultural development and changes in agricultural practice over such a long period of time,” stated UNESCO.

Salome Vincent