Called the “Thousand Tribes Campaign”, the initiative will maximise the potential of the local creative industry by supporting and empowering Papua New Guineans to develop, promote and sell their artisan products through sustainable livelihood businesses.
The campaign aims to foster internationally design-led, market-driven products and innovative brands that support biodiversity conservation and gender inclusion in PNG.
Implemented in partnership with REAL Impact, the campaign will support PNG’s vibrant and diverse artisan skills by offering product development assistance for international markets; provide access to essential business resources, including capital; support businesses to become sustainably certified; and provide access to international trade shows and markets.
U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, Erin McKee, who formally launched the campaign, said: “As a land of a thousand tribes with proud master craftspeople boasting unique skills in the traditional arts, including weaving, carving, pottery, textiles, basketry and jewelry, Papua New Guinea is best positioned to tap the global artisan creative industries market now valued at $32 billion.
“Developing the potential of this industry will provide direct employment for women currently locked in informal, local economies and could result in an increase in women-led businesses that are inclusive of their family members.”
The campaign is part of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Lukautim Graun Program, a five-year, $22 million program that seeks to reduce the primary drivers and threats to biodiversity in Papua New Guinea by strengthening the management of customary lands, including areas of exceptional terrestrial and marine biodiversity.
Implemented in partnership with Cardno International, the program is also a recipient of the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative which aims to enhance opportunities for women to participate meaningfully in the economy and advance both prosperity and national security.
The initiative supports the Government of PNG’s national priorities, including diversification of the economy, removal of barriers to formal inclusion of micro, small and medium enterprises in the informal market, and access to capital.
“Most importantly, this activity will help to preserve PNG’s cultural traditions while positioning the country as a global leader in biodiversity and sustainable economic development,” Ambassador McKee added.
(U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, Erin McKee, with partners and stakeholders at the launch)