In April 2016, TKP and the Kwaio Cultural Centre in Malaita Province of Solomon Islands entered into a partnership with the Australian Museum. The purpose of this partnership was to pursue the conservation of endangered mammals, which are endemic to Bougainville. Species of interest were the Bougainville giant tree rats, and the Bougainville monkey-faced bats, which are endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature red-list.
Throughout the duration of the project, 65 hectares of lowland rainforest was set aside for a conservation area at Kainake village, Siwai District of South Bougainville. A biodiversity survey conducted on this small patch of conservation area revealed the presence of the Pteralopex flanneryi and Solomys salebrosus, both of which are endangered. These species have now become the Kainake Project’s conservation flagship species. Following the success of this, another high elevation conservation area of up to 20,000 hectares was established at the Kagalalo conservation area in the Buin District of South Bougainville in 2018.
The partnership and project concluded in September 2019 during a workshop that was held at the Mendana Hotel. Representatives from Bougainville, Solomon Islands, and the Australian Museum presented on their milestones and achievements to date, while providing an overview of their plans.
Key achievements include the following;
Establishment of the Baru Conservation Alliance in Malaita Province, Solomon Islands
Establishment of the Kagalalo Conservation Association in Bougainville.
After the workshop, the team spent a day at the Gala island eco-lodge in Malaita, where the Baru Conservation Alliance was launched.
More stories on this partnership can be found on the following links: