On Friday the 20th of December, The Kainake Project had the privilege of witnessing Mr. Nelson Pakerai from Botulai village in South Bougainville, graduate with a Certificate in Biodiversity Conservation from the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG). Nelson graduated with a High School Certificate (Year 10) in 2016 and has been volunteering as a youth leader and a ranger since 2017 at the Kagalalo Conservation Area - through a partnership with The Kainake Project. Nelson and 41 other representatives from conservation organisations around PNG, got awarded their certificate by the PNG Deputy Prime Minister Honourable Steven Davies, who was the guest of honour representing the PNG government.
Other Bougainville conservation groups with representatives in the certificate course were - Rotokas Ecotourism, Tulele Peisa (Carterets Islands - Climate Change Migration and Relocation Program), and Buka Environmental Awareness Group.
The course covered both terrestrial and marine conservation – with topics in the following;
• Definition of biodiversity from gene, species, populations, communities, habitats, and Ecosystems
• Ecosystem Values and Services,
• Valuation of Biodiversity
• Biodiversity Threats
• Biodiversity Conservation & Strategies
• High Conservation Values
• Biodiversity Planning
• Governance and Management
• Access Benefit Sharing of Biodiversity, Goods, and Services
UPNG is developing this certificate course to become a bridging program into a Diploma and Bachelors Degree Program. Kainake Project will be supporting Nelson to advance to a higher degree program in the future. The course was sponsored by Exxon Mobil and facilitated by Mama Graun Conservation Trust.