Community members from two projects sites in Siwai and Buin District of South Bougainville, in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville attended a week long training program at the Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA) project site in the Torricelli Mountains, Sandaun Province; a newly established National Protected Area in Papua New Guinea.
The protected area is approximately 200,000 hectares and covers 50 villages with a population of 13,000 people. The tenkile (Dendrolagus scottae), also known as Scott's tree-kangaroo, is a species of tree-kangaroo that is critically endangered and is only found in the Torricelli mountains of PNG. Before the conservation efforts came into being 17 years ago, there were less than 100 individuals and they were on the verge of extinction. Currently there are more then 300 indicating that the current conservation efforts are being successful.
Through a partnership program supported by the Australian Museum, community members in Bougainville and Solomon Islands were invited to learn first hand from TCA and community members in the Torricelli mountains the challenges and opportunities relating to the conservation of endangered species and the socioeconomic outcomes of the project.
The team from Bougainville has returned home and will work within their own communities and endeavour to apply some of their learnings and skills acquired during the training to develop strategies for conservation and also sustainable livelihoods.
More information on the Tenkile Conservation project can found on their website: http://www.tenkile.com/