Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: Representatives from the United States and Papua New Guinea governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding signaling the beginning of a new partnership to protect and preserve the PNG’s rich natural resources.
U.S. Ambassador Erin McKee, Environment, Conservation, and Climate Change Minister Wera Mori, and NCD Governor Powes Parkop led the launch of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) five year, PGK66 million Lukautim Graun (care for the environment) project, which will help reduce threats to Papua New Guinea’s rich biodiversity.
Lukautim Graun is part of more than 215 million Kina ($63 million) in new programs USAID will implement over the next year – more than double the U.S. development in PNG.
“I am pleased to join you all today as we mark a new chapter in our longstanding partnership,” said Ambassador McKee. “This next step in our partnership will advance our shared goal of protecting this country’s rich biodiversity and promoting sustainable natural resource use, which are critical to PNG’s prosperity.”
More than 85 percent of Papua New Guineans live in rural areas where they depend heavily on natural resources for their livelihoods and subsistence. USAID’s Lukautim Graun project will work with the national and local governments, the private sector, academia, and communities to protect and preserve Papua New Guinea’s rich biodiversity, which is among the most threatened in the world.
In partnership with Cardno USA, a global infrastructure, environmental and social development company, the project will also implement an additional PGK10.2 million from the U.S. Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, which will equip women entrepreneurs with the skills to run businesses, particularly in natural resource-based industries.