Celebrating World Environment Day with ExxonMobil PNG and Port Moresby Nature Park
FM 100 presenter Douglas Dimagi sits down with ExxonMobil PNG and Port Moresby Nature Park staff to discuss the range of environment initiatives and partnerships that are currently happening across Papua New Guinea in celebration of World Environment Day.
- Douglas Dimagi, Talkback Host at FM100
- Banak Gamui, Senior Biodiversity Advisor at ExxonMobil PNG
- Debbie Maraki, Community Development Support Manager at ExxonMobil PNG
- Shirley Mogi, Education Manager at the Port Moresby Nature Park
Douglas Dimagi: As we mark World Environment Day today, we will be highlighting and going through the work that many organisations have undertaken to preserve our natural flora and fauna. This is basically animals and plants and the livelihood really. In particular in the extractive industries, ExxonMobil PNG, the operator of the PNG LNG Project, continues to ensure that they are operating in a responsible manner that protects Papua New Guinea’s rich environment. It is such a rich and biodiverse environment. Now ExxonMobil PNG is committed in safeguarding biodiversity in areas where the company operates, and in particular, the biodiversity values in the Southern Highlands, Hela and Gulf and the Central Provinces in the project impact areas of the PNG LNG Project.
Douglas Dimagi: Now my discussion this morning is also with the partners, and other institutions such as the Port Moresby Nature Park. I am joined in my discussion and on the panel this morning by Banak Gamui. Banak is a Senior Biodiversity Advisor with ExxonMobil PNG, and with him also is his colleague Debbie Maraki, Community Development Support Manager and from Port Moresby Nature Park, the Education Manager Shirley Mogi.
Douglas Dimagi: Ladies and gentlemen, good morning to the three of you.
All: Good morning.
Douglas Dimagi: How are you three by the way? Alright? And to those of you following along on our Facebook page, you will realise that our colleagues are friends here from ExxonMobil. They are serious about this really, carrying out the protocols of COVID-19 and of course they are wrapped up in their mask. It is a beautiful mask, where did you get them from? Are they locally made?
Debbie Maraki: Yes – they are locally made from one of our colleagues that works with us, they have their own fashion business on the side, so she is the one that designed this and made them for us.
Douglas Dimagi: Do you feel comfortable in them?
Debbie Maraki: Yes of course.
Douglas Dimagi: Well they are beautiful aren’t they.
Banak Gamui: Basically, in our office each staff member will have about three.
Douglas Dimagi: Ah three in supply, so how often do you have to wear these? I mean like how long should it last before you throw it away or discard it? Is it washable? Or reusable, yeah?
Debbie Maraki: It is washable and there is an insert that is actually in here that you can actually replace, and the mask is washable.
Banak Gamui: With the mask we have to wash them after every use, so every day.
Douglas Dimagi: Ah okay so wash them every day, well there you go. So, into our discussion.
Douglas Dimagi: Well thank you so much, it is nice to see you now practicing social distancing as well. I mean I know that we are in a good environment and a good safe distance in between the panel and I here in the studio.
Douglas Dimagi: So, as we get into our discussion, we will come to Shirley in a bit but our friends from ExxonMobil PNG, Banak for you, personally I would like to ask this question as we get into our conversation in two ways. For you personally, what does the environment day mean to you, personally?
Banak Gamui: Personally, World Environment Day is when I think about all the good things and all of the provisions that I get from the environment and for me I feel that I am also part of the environment so there is a link, not just for me seeing the environment as an abstract sort of and isolated, but something that I am also connected to in a way that I consider myself part of the environment.
Douglas Dimagi: Okay so you have been with ExxonMobil PNG for a year now as the Senior Biodiversity Advisor. As part of ExxonMobil, what does World Environment Day mean to ExxonMobil PNG?
Banak Gamui: World Environment Day is an important day for ExxonMobil, and we use the opportunity to create awareness. We bring awareness to the people that we work with in the field but also to our own staff within the workforce, so we do that. And we feel that World Environment Day is an important day for us to think about how we can maintain the healthy environment for the future generations.
Banak Gamui: And we have an ongoing responsibility to safeguard PNG scenic biodiversity. We know that we are operating in a very high biodiverse country. This biodiversity is also very important, and it sustains the life of many communities. For this particular, work we work very closely with the PNG Government, the agency - the conservation and environment protection agency authority - to support the planning and delivery of our programs. In order to meet our commitment to operate responsibly to safeguard the biodiversity, so ExxonMobil has developed a biodiversity strategy right from the beginning to be posted online with the PNG national priorities. For example, the protected areas policy as well as ExxonMobil’s environment reason of protect tomorrow today.
Douglas Dimagi: Ah excellent. It is such a big word, biodiversity, could you simplify that for us?
Banak Gamui: Biodiversity, without getting to much into the technicalities of biodiversity, it is about the flora and fauna. If you think about not just about plants and animals but insects, bacteria, virus, all of these make up biodiversity. And you can look at it in terms of the organisms themselves, but you can also look at them in terms of the makeup of the organism and their genetics. But for us, we celebrate what we see. So, biodiversity is about plants, animals, insects and bacteria.
Douglas Dimagi: Bacteria and virus, you said, that is all included in biodiversity, right?
Banak Gamui: Yes.
Douglas Dimagi: Ah alright, good on you.
Douglas Dimagi: ExxonMobil PNG’s website, PNGLNG.com has many publications of biodiversity data. What is the value in publishing this information can I ask?
Banak Gamui: ExxonMobil recognises the environment that is available to both the government and also conservation stakeholders such as NGO’s and to the many people throughout this country that we work with and other agencies like development partners. We are proud to share this information that is generated by our biodiversity program with the public and in particular the communities with whom we work with closely. In 2017 we did a biodiversity survey of the Lower Kikori and Kutubu areas. The results of this have now been published and it is on the website, PNGLNG.com. In addition to this, we don’t just stop there but we have to take the information back to the communities that we work with. So we bring back the technical information but also awareness of the product such as posters for the communities we work with. We feel that is important.
Douglas Dimagi: Ah okay so I’d like to see how they respond to that. So, I will come to Debbie in a bit because Debbie’s probably more with the communities in that sense. And I will come back to you Banak.
Douglas Dimagi: As part of conserving our environments, ExxonMobil PNG supports organisations such as Port Moresby Nature Park, who is also being represented by Shirley Mogi. How have you assisted the park? Can I start the conversation with you on that?
Debbie Maraki: Yes, thank you Douglas. That is a very good question and I am proud to be sitting next to my colleague from POM Nature Park who is here as well. ExxonMobil has been mainly supporting the POM Nature Park through funding. The school excursion program that they have which over time we have seen the growth of this school excursion program, so it is really a strength to see that. It is encouraging to see this partnership grow to be able to reach that population of school students to be aware of the environment as well as how to protect it, but it’s also for the future generation as well. But other sorts of support that is provided by the company as well is often times when we have commemorative days like World Wildlife Day and the World Environment Day, we do have our volunteers who are part of the program, so workforce schools are there to work with POM Nature Park and its staff in terms of commemorating those days through those events. But on and off our IT team within our company has also been providing that technical IT support to the park as well. So, it is a partnership that we are proud of as a company.
Douglas Dimagi: Ah yes, and well that is Port Moresby here and I am sure as well you would have as we’ve come to been, and so I will just introduce them and Debbie she is the Community Development Support Manager of course, so what is a community, same as this project on the ground there, the outreach program by ExxonMobil is amazing isn’t it? How does it work when it comes to protecting our environment, in particular our flora and fauna?
Debbie Maraki: Yeah so in the project area we do work with the communities out there. Two of the programs that we have been supporting over the years is the Piku project, so this is our pig-nosed turtle. So, it is actually quite dominant in the Lower Kikori area, so we have been working with the University of Canberra but also a newly established NGO called the Piku Biodiversity Network to be able to raise awareness and also conservation messages to schools in the communities on the protection of this endangered species.
Douglas Dimagi: It is an endangered species and for those who might not have an idea of a pig-nosed turtle, um is that the one on a five toea?
Douglas Dimagi: So, if you’ve got a five toea in your pocket, take it out and have a look at the turtle there, it is a pig-nose turtle it is very rare, it is an endangered species isn’t it? Banak can you comment on that one for us?
Banak Gamui: Yes - so the pig nose turtle is only found in PNG and Australia and the population has been quite vulnerable for some time, mainly due to local harvesting and the people out there also see it as a food source and they don’t know. So, the work with the pig-nosed turtle and the partners involved such as the POM Nature Park is very important - and the Piku Biodiversity Network.
Douglas Dimagi: I’d actually like to know not just what the numbers would be like in terms of conserving this very rare species of turtle and the troubles in Papua New Guinea. So, have we sort of gone back again and seen what the reaction of the locals was like to realise that this is an important species of turtles that is remaining and one of the rarest turtles that we have around the world. So, any reaction from the locals on that part?
Banak Gamui: There is a program that is being run around the partnership by ExxonMobil and POM Nature Park. They have done a release so maybe Shirley.
Douglas Dimagi: Yes, Shirley do you want to comment on that?
Shirley Mogi: Yes, so we actually had a release of fifteen of the hatchlings that we actually had on premises. We actually took in about 48 hatchlings.
Douglas Dimagi: So, you had 48 of them? Here at the nature park?
Shirley Mogi: Yeah thank you to ExxonMobil, we actually have a head start on the Piku program at the park and we had about 48 hatchlings which we host and look after up until they are ready to be released back into the wild. So, we did our first hard release of 15 hatchlings back into the Kikori Delta.
Douglas Dimagi: Wow, so tell me how you manage that here at the Nature Park, are they salt water or fresh water?
Shirley Mogi: They are fresh water turtles.
Douglas Dimagi: Ah okay and so the eggs you have to break yes?
Shirley Mogi: So, they were bought in as hatchlings, tiny little things.
Douglas Dimagi: And then you had to look after them and they can be very delicate sometimes too when you are looking after them? How old were they when you had to release them back into the environment?
Shirley Mogi: A bit older.
Douglas Dimagi: Oh, okay so that is the Piku arrangement that you have got there Debbie. So maybe other partners that ExxonMobil works with in support and through your community development support program that are focused on helping in the environment apart from Piku maybe?
Debbie Maraki: Yeah, the other thing is on an annual basis we work with the Kutubu festival committee and that is really looking at, and it is all around the Kutubu Kundu festival, but it is an opportunity to showcase the rich flora and fauna of the Kutubu area. It has also expanded to cover other areas down in Kikori all the way up, but it is a showcase of that part of the area in terms of the flora and fauna. A lot of that festival covers awareness raising on this rich background of biodiversity that we have to the school students but even the communities as well. The likes of our partners such as the Piku Biodiversity Network can’t come so we come in to showcase what we are doing as a group in terms of preserving and promoting our rich cultural heritage in that area but also at the same time raising more awareness on our biodiversity activities including the flora and fauna.
Douglas Dimagi: They are also quite rare in the area of the country. My guest this morning Banak Gamui, Senior Biodiversity Advisor with ExxonMobil PNG. Debbie Maraki as you heard is the Community Development Support Manager with ExxonMobil PNG as well and Shirley Mogi, Education Manger at Port Moresby Nature Park. World Environment Day is marked today on the 5th of June. We will be back in a moment.
Douglas Dimagi: Welcome back and thank you for joining my conversation with ExxonMobil PNG, Senior Biodiversity Advisor, Banak Gamui, Debbie Maraki, Community Development Support Manager and Shirley Mogi from Port Moresby Nature Park. So, let’s just get into our discussions right now. Is there anything going on to mark World Environment Day today at the park?
Shirley Mogi: Yes, we are currently launching our first step of our rainforest extension project in conjunction with World Environment Day today. This is to increase more habitats for more animals here in Port Moresby. So yes, the launching is taking place today.
Douglas Dimagi: So how much can we squeeze in there? It is very limited area at the park.
Shirley Mogi: So, it is actually taking at the Feather Corner where the cassowaries are, so yes the launching is actually taking place there.
Douglas Dimagi: Oh okay, and so who is involved in this launch?
Shirley Mogi: We have some of our sponsors on to present there and we have the governor on premises whose invited.
Douglas Dimagi: The governor for the NCD? He would be a very busy man, he might be armed with a spade or something to walk around the bush there. I know Port Moresby Nature Park has been very busy, what are some of the programs that you are running to mark this day?
Shirley Mogi: Okay besides the launching from the 9 – 19th we actually have a school program that we are going to be running for the schools throughout NCD which is the Environment and Me program. This is basically a self-learning sort of excursion where the students come out to learn about PNG’s unique biodiversity.
Douglas Dimagi: How often do they come out? I mean do they come out on school holidays or do it in school days as well?
Shirley Mogi: We do have normal school excursions which we run throughout the year when the schools start, up until when it closes. But we do have specific programs, special programs, themed programs throughout the year. So, one of them being the Environment and Me program celebrating World Environment Day.
Douglas Dimagi: Ah excellent. Now one while Shirley is here with me, we have got a few giveaways haven’t we also in partnership with ExxonMobil PNG here, but you have got to, to win one of these prizes send me a text on 1600 1600 to participate on the talk show this morning with friends from ExxonMobil PNG and the Port Moresby Nature Park. 1600 1600 and maybe I’m not sure but you could shoot me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now what are the giveaways Shirley? You’ve got a ticket, haven’t you?
Shirley Mogi: Yes, so we have five tickets for five lucky adults for free entry.
Douglas Dimagi: Ah so free entry into the park, how much are these tickets worth if you were to go pay for it?
Shirley Mogi: Ten kina.
Douglas: Ten kina per ticket, so 50-kina worth of tickets we have got here to giveaway and the tickets are, and I haven’t been to the park so you will have to teach me this again, is that for a daily or for the weekend, or you can use it anytime so long as you get a ticket?
Shirley Mogi: So, they are valid for four months and they can only be used once.
Douglas Dimagi: So, if I won one of these tickets and came on a Saturday, that is alright?
Shirley Mogi: Yes.
Douglas Dimagi: 50 kina of tickets that you can get absolutely free if you text me on 1600 1600 and give me a comment or text or query that you would like to raise or just talk about World Environment Day here. Lucky five adults, ten-kina tickets will be given away and you can get that to walk into one of the best parks we have here in the nation’s capital. You’ve also got some new features there and residents I hear at the park, Shirley did you want to talk me through a bit about that?
Shirley Mogi: Yes, so we currently opened our new tree kangaroo exhibit, that was in February. It contains an educational deck with information on protected areas which I am very very proud of. We also have in the exhibit house our Huon Tree Kangaroo and our Goodfellows Tree Kangaroo, two different species. And it is a very big milestone for Port Moresby Nature Park so we would like to thank our donors and sponsors who were involved in making it possible for us.
Douglas Dimagi: Tree Kangaroos? So, you say the Huon Tree Kangaroo? Tell me a bit more, as in is that from the word Huon as in Huon Gulf from the Morobe Province?
Shirley Mogi: Yes.
Douglas Dimagi: So this is only very unique there?
Shirley Mogi: Yes so the Huon Tree Kangaroos come from that area and the Goodfellows Tree Kangaroo.
Douglas Dimagi: Goodfellows?
Shirley Mogi: Goodfellows Tree Kangaroo
Douglas Dimagi: In your opinion, we have got partners here from ExxonMobil, so what value do you see in working with partners? Maybe from the perspective of Port Moresby Nature Park?
Shirley Mogi: Well they play a very very important role in actually supporting us and the work that we do for conservation. Being the nature of the organisation, being partners with people like ExxonMobil, companies like ExxonMobil is a great assistance to us.
Douglas Dimagi: Personally, for you, when you see kids come into the park there and they see how enjoyable it is and they have fun and then they go back again, does it put a smile? Are you satisfied in what you do in terms of educating kids in preserving nature and conserving the environment?
Shirley Mogi: Yes, we as Papua New Guineans are more, you know, in touch with nature. We have culture and come from a very cultural background and to see not many Port Moresby kids in Port Moresby get the chance to experience it and for them to have a place to actually come out and experience certain things that they have back in their villages here in Port Moresby and for them to go back with that sense of oh wow we have this in our villages and oh I didn’t know that..
Douglas Dimagi: What are some of the favourite animals that the kids like visiting or having a look at? I know we have some very big pythons out at the park.
Shirley Mogi: Oh yeah, the pythons are always a big hit with the kids.
Douglas Dimagi: Oh yes, they are aren’t they. Well good on you. Um so can I come back to Banak here, Banak a Senior Biodiversity Advisor with ExxonMobil PNG. So, telling about the surveys that you were doing and what the surveys actually tell you now. I mean we alluded to the work that has been done on the ground there and from the publications you have got the biodiversity data that is there and so there must be a lot of work put into this.
Banak Gamui: The data that is generated by the biodiversity survey is very important. Like I said earlier, we have a plan that has been put in place right from the beginning and it is important for us to maintain the help and effectiveness of the upstream project and to conserve priority ecosystems. So, we have in our plans to work in three areas within the Upstream area. We are looking at the Lower Kikori region in the Delta region and the Lake Kutubu area and the Hides Ridge Reeds area. This is where the project is having its most presence so that is why we are doing these biodiversity surveys to monitor the health of the forest. So, the biodiversity surveys that we have conducted have monitored the species that were identified before the construction began so even before the construction began, we had baseline studies and pre-construction studies that documented species. Within the monitoring program we continue to document the same species that we have documented earlier on so it gives us an idea that the environment that we are working in is still in good health for the organisms to continue to survive there. And some of the species that we get like our friends from the Nature Park have said like the tree kangaroos, long beaked echidna and cassowaries and of course birds of paradise in this area. So, they sort of stand out to give us an indication to the health of the forest.
Douglas Dimagi: Birds of Paradise, I mean that is a unique symbol here in PNG. Is there a threat and is it becoming endangered, I mean just from the top of things? What do you think?
Banak Gamui: Activities mainly with our personal use of the forest, we have continued to impact on the forest and the habitats of the species that we are talking about. But we have an opportunity here in Papua New Guinea that ExxonMobil PNG recognises. Here, an opportunity to be able to maintain the health of this forest and the ecosystem, so they continue to support the diverse flora and fauna that we have.
Douglas Dimagi: How would you describe this survey and how they contribute to the knowledge of biodiversity in PNG as an organisation and basically to the locals on the ground.
Banak Gamui: The information and data that we produce from the biodiversity survey is important to our understanding to the biodiversity of PNG in general and the areas that we are working in - almost in areas where it is impossible to get to. So, the problem that we have is the ability for us to move into areas that are very hard to get to. We aren’t able to document the species of biodiversity that is important but hard to document. So, with the support that we have with the program we are able to document these biodiversity values and add through the database of what we have in the country. And for example, one of the databases has now been maintained by the government and that is the national biodiversity database and conservation and environment protection authority.
Douglas Dimagi: Is ExxonMobil PNG also involved in training fellow Papua New Guineans in conservation or conserving flora and fauna?
Banak Gamui: Through the biodiversity strategy we have been able to support the training and development of national conservation professionals. For example, through a partnership with the University of Papua New Guinea the program is supported, and they graduate the university. As of 2019, ten post-graduate students in conservation biology but it doesn’t stop there. We have also been able to train eighty-nine community conservation practitioners. This has people coming from conservation projects right across the country that work with very small community-based organisations.
Douglas Dimagi: Is it also important in terms of conserving, just on top of things Banak, to learn from local communities and naturally and traditionally how they conserve? Does it work that way?
Banak Gamui: It is important through our community engagement program, that is the way we approach the conservation program. We work in partnership with the local communities to identify the resources and also the areas that are of cultural importance to them. We give people within our programs and staff members who are able to document heritage as well and this goes hand in hand. They input into the conservation projects and apart from that in our biodiversity service we also have young Papua New Guinea biologist who work alongside senior biologists to participate in the surveys, so that they also are able to become good at the survey skills themselves. An example of this is in 2019, we had nine team members on the biodiversity survey team, but out of this we had six members who were Papua New Guineans.
Douglas Dimagi: That is excellent, well there you go. On my panel this morning and of course you were listening to Banak, Senior Biodiversity Advisor at ExxonMobil and of course the panel includes Debbie Maraki and Shirley Mogi from Port Moresby Nature Park. We are giving away five tickets that are worth ten kina, but you can get it for absolutely free. Here is the catch, shoot me a tip on how you can preserve or conserve the environment to mark World Environment Day, send it to 1600 1600 and you could be one of the five to walk away with a ticket that is worth ten kina for the famous Port Moresby Nature Park. Send me those texts and you never know, you could be one of those lucky people to walk away with a ticket that is worth ten kina to the Port Moresby Nature Park.
Douglas Dimagi: Now it is happening. We are giving away these tickets as well as some merchandise from ExxonMobil. We have five to give away this hour as we speak. Here is the trick, all you have to do is text me your comment to 1600 1600 of course to mark World Environment Day, perhaps something that is going on in your community and how you are doing something in part of preserving the environment in this world movement – flora, fauna and as they put it of course bacteria as well. How are we doing this? Pig-nosed turtle, the one that you find on your five toea and from the first time I heard about this it sort of took me to Kikori in the Gulf Province where you find most of them there and it is common knowledge to try and protect this. Just for conversation with both of our friends here, is there a sort of twist here in the balance you want to strike because some of these rare species are part of livelihood and they become part of our meals as well. When do we strike the balance in protecting what needs to be protected and then of course for fisherman and women in local areas and how they can try and conserve? Is this hard? Is this something where it is hard to strike a balance? Banak can you?
Banak Gamui: Yeah so it is important for us to recognise the current World Environment Day and the theme is ‘Time for Nature’, so it is important for us to think about how we are impacting on the environment and species such as the turtles that we are talking about but also many other species and their habitats in general. And many times, when we impact on their environment then there becomes a problem about their sustainability.
Douglas Dimagi: So, I suppose in many ways trying to strike that balance is more down to the communities to talk about this? I mean I know sometimes some dugongs that we usually would find come more closer to home you don’t find them anymore they go further and further away because of harvesting, yes? Anyway, here is a text from Anne Gasmerang of Eight Mile and thank you Anne for the text. She says how many types of tree kangaroos are there in PNG. There might be quite a number of them, but if we go off what we have here at the Nature Park, Shirley do you want to run through? Um there is three or four of them that you mentioned?
Shirley Mogi: I mentioned two, the Huon and Goodfellows but we also have the Doria’s Tree Kangaroo also housed there so three different types housed at Port Moresby Nature Park.
Douglas Dimagi: When they are different, how different are they? Are they different in size?
Shirley Mogi: Oh, they are different with their colouring or their marking on their fur. So, the Doria’s Tree Kangaroo is darker in colour, a dark brown colour and the Huon Tree Kangaroo has markings that you can tell on his face and the Goodfellows would be their tail.
Douglas Dimagi: Ah the tail, so what about the tail?
Shirley Mogi: They have very unique markings on their tail just like the Huon and Goodfellow Tree Kangaroo so they can be identified by the markings, the Huon Tree Kangaroo can be identified by the markings on his face, so they are very unique just like a fingerprint. So, on the face for the Huon, and the tail for the Goodfellow
Douglas Dimagi: So, when you say kangaroos, they are obviously cousins to the Australian Kangaroo?
Shirley Mogi: So, to the big red’s down in Australia yes.
Douglas Dimagi: Are they as big as those ones? Can they grow as big as those ones down in Australia?
Shirley Mogi: No, that would be awkward.
Douglas Dimagi: So, how big can a tree kangaroo grow?
Shirley Mogi: Um about the size of a Koala bear.
Douglas Dimagi: I mean we don’t have Koala bears here but you can imagine, they can be quite heavy to pick up? 10kg maybe? Are they friendly?
Shirley Mogi: I wouldn’t advise anyone to go pick them up.
Douglas Dimagi: Are there specific trees they need, or can they be on any tree?
Shirley Mogi: They can be on any tree.
Douglas Dimagi: When you find them, like the Huon Tree Kangaroo, you’ll find it more in the Huon Gulf? Morobe?
Shirley Mogi: Yes.
Douglas Dimagi: Is that because of the habitat? Or is that naturally where they are found naturally?
Shirley Mogi: Yes, I think it is largely to do with their habitat.
Douglas Dimagi: Ah well there you go. We will come to Debbie. Debbie, I mean with community work is there more that needs to be done I suppose in terms of awareness? I mean what do you think?
Debbie Maraki: Yeah, absolutely. PNG is very rich in terms of their biodiversity and you pointed out a valid point in terms of striking the balance. It is also important for us in terms of our community practice and all of that is to raise awareness on the protection of the environment and I mean, as the population grows and a new future generation do come along, it is better to leave some of those for the future generation because what we find is once the species is actually extinct you don’t have any memory you can only read about it. It is really important for us to leave some in the physical environment to strike that balance because it is important for our children and their children to be able to know how PNG was and is and what we want to maintain. In our community programs, we strive to actually commit to those and raise that awareness so keep continuing to raise that awareness with our partners. The Piku Biodiversity Network started with conservation and now we are at this and they have been working closely with the Department of Education in ways such as books to be able to tell the story to people in the subtle ways of making more awareness.
Douglas Dimagi: Ah okay so the education for people is books – people read. I mean in the community how can we care about awareness. I mean I know there are a lot of ways to do this but to start by having a conversation with locals and committing to groups?
Debbie Maraki: Yeah, I mean I think that the start of it for our communities is actually having that conversation and really raising the awareness of each of the species that we come into contact with or what they do in terms of the environment. It is a holistic approach in terms of being able to understand the benefit of each of these species in the environment in terms of overly wasting time on one and then creating them to be endangered rather than actually focusing on the other activities. It is a conversation that really allows the communities to be aware and also for us to raise awareness on what the importance is.
Douglas Dimagi: Well there you go, thanks Debbie for that. We are still giving away tickets, five tickets to give away. They are accompanied with some extra gifts from ExxonMobil PNG, there will be some lovely goodies attached to these tickets. All you have to do is send me a text on 1600 1600. Someone actually sent me a text saying plant a tree with your kids at home and ask them to look after it. Well that is a lovely tip – thank you. Send me those texts again on 1600 1600 and you might be able to win one of these tickets, they are worth ten kina but you get it absolutely free. All you have got to do is shoot me a text to 1600 and you walk away with a ticket. The beauty of this is that each ticket will have complimentary gift from ExxonMobil. Would you like to be part of this, World Environment Day? 1600 1600 is the way to go. We will be back in a moment.
Douglas Dimagi: All right so we are just about wrapping up my discussions here on World Environment Day we have got friends from ExxonMobil PNG and the Port Moresby Nature Park. We are giving away five tickets, five tickets each worth ten kina for free, this is absolutely for free. All you have got to do again is send me a text on 1600 1600 and be part of this fun. You will walk away with one ticket and on top of this ticket ExxonMobil is giving complementary gifts and merchandise, that is from our good friends from ExxonMobil PNG. That’s 1600 1600 – it could be a question, it could be a point and a way of helping to save mother nature of course from plants and animals as well as we mark World Environment Day. Banak to you as we slowly wrap up. A lot of this work that you have been doing and the work that ExxonMobil has been doing, there is a lot. And data and surveys. If someone was to want to know a bit more about this – where can they go, how can they see the sort of work that has been done by ExxonMobil PNG?
Banak Gamui: Thank you Dougie. Like I said earlier, all the information, the data and the publications that came from the biodiversity program are now in the public domain at PNGLNG.com and you can look under the environment tab where you have the reports. Apart from that, we also have the Environment and Social Report which we do through the PNG Government that is also up there. The 2019 report is now online.
Douglas Dimagi: For community outreach programs can we have an idea – what you might be doing especially going out to communities. Maybe Debbie for that matter?
Debbie Maraki: So most of our programs like Banak mentioned are also outlined and highlighted in the Environmental and Social report that we do each year. So most of our activity around the Piku project and the famous Kutubu Kundu festival but also our work with partners like POM Nature Park, they are all actually in that report so it is saved on our PNG LNG website.
Douglas Dimagi: Ah so there you go. Shirley just for you as we wrap up. The work that goes on behind the scenes is unbelievable as the work in protecting endangered animals is quite extensive. Maybe a bit more about your programs and, given your role, what education programs you have targeted at the next generation of Papua New Guineans. And I know COVID-19 has come in the way and disrupted schools but you can’t stop the kids coming into the park.
Shirley Mogi: Yeah so like I was saying we actually have the Environment and Me program which is running from the 9th to the 19th and then straight after that program from the 4th of July to the 31st August we have the Trash to Treasure Festival that is coming up.
Douglas Dimagi: Trash to treasure?
Shirley Mogi: Trash to treasure.
Douglas Dimagi: So, what is that?
Shirley Mogi: We are going to have sculptures made out of rubbish stationed throughout the park and little activities for kids to come out and do so it is basically just turning trash into treasure. Little sculptures.
Douglas Dimagi: Can they make a pig-nosed turtle out of the trash?
Shirley Mogi: Yes, they can come by and do a pig-nosed turtle.
Douglas Dimagi: Ah but it is a sculpture all of this?
Shirley Mogi: Yes, that is what it is.
Douglas Dimagi: I have seen some of those sculptures mentioned that is out of this program here is it?
Shirley Mogi: Yes
Douglas Dimagi: Right well we will have to wrap it up here folks. Thank you so much for coming along and being part of this world event, the World Environment Day but the text messages are still welcome throughout the course of talkback. Our friends will be going but you can text us at 1600 1600 your comments as to how you are celebrating World Environment Day and the importance and significance of this day to 1600 1600 and you’ll be in the running from the giveaway from Nature Park and ExxonMobil PNG. They have some great complimentary gifts, some great merchandise attached to this ticket. So, 1600 keep them coming in. But let me thank my guests this morning, Banak Gamui, Senior Biodiversity Advisor with ExxonMobil PNG, also from the company is Debbie Maraki, she is the Community Development Support Manager and Shirley Mogi, Education Manager Port Moresby Nature Park. So, thank you very much and happy celebrations today.
All: Thank you