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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Lessons Learned in Karkum STRP, Madang, Papua New Guinea

Draft-Inputs needed



Sea Turtle Restoration Project of Turtle Island Restoration Network and Mas Kagin Tapani in partnership with Karkum villagers

LESSONS LEARNED IN COMMUNITY-MANAGED MARINE AREA IN KARKUM, MADANG, PAPUA NEW GUINEA


WENCESLAUS MAGUN


MAY 2017

Wren McLoid building leatherback turtle sand castles with
Karkum children. Picture: Wenceslaus Magun






Correspondence to Wenceslaus Magun (Email: magun.wences@gmail.com)
Blog: maskagintapani.blogspot.com
Facebook: Save PNG’s Endangered Turtles

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The task to do a desk top Lesson’s Learned on Karkum Sea Turtle Restoration Project (STRP) paper depend on the availability of project reports, and individuals from Karkum, Mirap, Kimadi, Magubem, Sarang and other people who were willing to provide me with necessary information and insight.

I am indebted to Paul Lokani, Mama Graun’s Executive Director for recognising the efforts Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN) and Mas Kagin Tapani (MAKATA) played in extending the leatherback sea turtles conservation efforts from Huon Coast, in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea (PNG) to coastal communities in Madang, and asking me to write this report.

My special thank you goes to Robert Khonn, Mark Khonn, Adolph Lilai, James Kila, Willie Mayang, Joe Parek, late Joe Khonn and Francis Nanai and other members of Karkum, Mirap, Kimadi, Magubem and Sarang communities who have established this project and strive to sustain it.  These individuals and their respective community member’s stories make it possible to compile this report.

I am also grateful to Mr. Lokani, Barbara Masike, Tanya Zeriga-Alone, and Yolarnie Amepou, for supplying me with additional e-copies of resource materials where I learned stories from other Non Government Organisations (NGOs) and Community Based Organisations’s (CBOs) projects on community conservation projects in PNG drawing similarities of how we all grapple with to balance conservation outcomes whilst meeting community’s needs.  

Following the posting of my first draft report on maskagintapani.blogspot.com and sharing it on Facebook for inputs, I am able to correct, and include some missing information to balance this report.   Amongst the many inputs received I thank Ms Tanya for reviewing and editing my first draft report.

I hope that this paper will stimulate discussions and finding solutions to achieving sustainable community based, and community driven resource planning and management tools meet global goals and Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) 4th National Goal and Directive Principles, and Protected Areas policies, Medium Term Development Strategy, Vision 2050, Fauna (Protection and Control Act) 1966/1978 and related cascading National Government and Provincial Governments policies.


DECLARATION

I hereby declare and certify that the information and work contained in this project is original and has been compiled based on facts, collected from various reliable sources as acknowledged and referenced as Literature Cited.  This work has not been submitted elsewhere for publication or any other academic award.

Signature.....................                                                     Date:.........................


TABLE OF CONTENT

1.         INTRODUCTION..............................................................................PAGE 1
2.    AIM AND OBJECTIVE.........................................................................PAGE 2
3.         METHODS.........................................................................................PAGE 3
4.   RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS............................................................PAGE 3
4.1       RESULTS...................................................................................PAGE 3 
4.2       7 STRP CMMA CD PROCESS........................................................PAGE 3
4.2.(i).              Step 1: Community Entry, Community Facilitation..........PAGE 3
4.2.(ii).             Step 2: Inform, Empower and Advocate (IEA)................PAGES 3-4
4.2.(iii).            Step 3: Land Use Planning and Boundary Mapping.......PAGES 4-5
4.2.(iv).            Step 4: Conservation Management Areas Matrix...........PAGE 5
4.2.(v).             Step 5: Conservation Deed.............................................PAGE 5
4.2.(vi).            Step 6: Conservation Deed Review.................................PAGE 6
4.2.(vii).           Step 7: Monitoring and Evaluation..................................PAGE 6
4.3       PROJECT CHALLENGES...........................................................PAGES 6-8
4.3.1    Karkum Village Guest House......................................................PAGES 6-7
4.3.2    Violation of CD rules and penalties.....................................PAGE 7
4.3.3   Gildipasi aborts ties with MAKATA.......................................PAGE 7
4.3.4    Mirap villagers want their own CMMA-CD.........................PAGE 7
4.3.5    TIRN-STRP Exits.....................................................................PAGE 8
4.3.6    Climate Change Effects...........................................................PAGE 8
4.3.7    UNDP-GEF aborts 4th quarter grant.....................................PAGE 8
4.3.8    Gildipasi Community Banking......................................................PAGE 8
4.3.9    Revival of Karkum’s STRP.............................................................PAGE 8
4.2       DISCUSSIONS..............................................................................PAGES 8-20
4.2.(i).              Step 1: Community Entry, Community Facilitation......PAGES 8-11
4.2.(ii).             Step 2: Inform, Empower and Advocate (IEA)...........PAGES 11-14
4.2.(iii).            Step 3: Land Use Planning and Boundary Mapping...PAGES 14-15
4.2.(iv).            Step 4: Conservation Management Areas Matrix.......PAGES 15-17
4.2.(v).             Step 5: Conservation Deed............................................PAGES 17-19
4.2.(vi).            Step 6: Conservation Deed Review...............................PAGES 19-20
4.2.(vii).           Step 7: Monitoring and Evaluation..................................PAGES 20
4.3       PROJECT CHALLENGES.......................................................PAGES 20-27
4.3.1    Karkum Village Guest House..................................................PAGES 20-21
4.3.2    Violation of CD rules and penalties.................................................PAGE 21
4.3.3    Gildipasi aborts ties with MAKATA......................................................PAGE 21-22
4.3.4    Mirap villagers want their own CMMA-CD............................................PAGE 22
4.3.5    TIRN-STRP Exits..........................................................................................PAGE 22
4.3.6    Climate Change Effects...............................................................................PAGE 22
4.3.7    UNDP-GEF aborts 4th quarter grant.....................................................PAGE 22-23
4.3.8    Gildipasi Community Banking....................................................PAGE 23-24
4.3.9    Revival of Karkum’s STRP.........................................................PAGE 24-25
4.3.10  Summary of Lessons Learned and way forward.....................PAGES 25-27
4.3.11  Pledge to protect our marine environment..............................    PAGES 27
5.         CONCLUSION.............................................................................PAGE 28-29
6.         CONFLICT OF INTEREST...........................................................PAGE 29
7.         FUNDING.........................................................................................PAGE 29
8.         LITERATURE CITED............................................................        PAGE 29
9.         APPENDICES....................................................................................PAGE 30
4.         RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS......................................................PAGE i
4.1       RESULTS............................................................................................PAGE i
4.2.(i)   Step 1: Community Entry, Community Facilitation....................   PAGE ii
4.2.(ii)  Step 2: Inform, Empower and Advocate (IEA).........................PAGES iii-iv
4.2.(iii) Step 3: Land Use Planning and Boundary Mapping...............   PAGE v
4.2.(iv) Step 4: Conservation Management Areas Matrix..........................PAGE vi
4.2.(v)  Step 5: Conservation Deed................................................................PAGE vi
4.2.(vi) Step 6: Conservation Deed Review...............................................   PAGE vi
4.3       PROJECTS CHALLENGES...........................................................PAGE vii
4.3.1    Karkum Village Guest House........................................................PAGE viii
4.3.4    Mirap villagers want their own CMMA-CD......................PAGE viii
4.3.5    TIRN-STRP Exits..................................................................PAGE ix
4.3.6    Climate Change Effects........................................................PAGE ix
4.3.8    Gildipasi Community Banking.......................................................PAGE x
4.3.9    Revival of Karkum’s STRP..............................................................PAGE xi
5. Running taxi to sustain STRP..................................................................PAGE xii
6. From enjoying the meat to saving the leatherback...............................PAGE xiii



ACRONYMS: 

BRG                             -           Bismarck-Ramu Group
CD                               -           Conservation Deed  
CCDA                           -           Climate Change Development Authority
CEPA                            -           Conservation Environment and Protection Authority
CMMA                         -           Community-managed Marine Area
DEC                             -           Depart of Environment and Conservation
GIS                               -           Geographic Information System
GPC                             -           Gildipasi Planning Committee
GPS                              -           Global Positioning Satellite
HOMDAP                     -           Head of Mission Direct Aid Program
IEA                               -           Inform, Empower and Advocate
LLG                              -           Local Level Government
LMMA                                     -           Locally Managed Marine Areas
MND                            -           Mahonia Na Dari
MEEP                           -           Marine Environment Education Program
MAKATA                      -           Mas Kagin Tapani
NAILSMA                     -           National Alliance for Indigenous Land and Sea Managers
STRP                            -           Sea Turtle Restoration Project
SPREP                          -           South Pacific Regional Environment Program
SMART                        -           Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound
SWOT                          -           Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
TCF                              -           The Christensen Fund
TNC                             -           The Nature Conservancy
TIRN                            -           Turtle Island Restoration Network
UNDP-GEF                   -           United Nations Development Program – Global Environment Facility
WWF                           -           World Wildlife Fund-Melanesia Program


ABSTRACT


This paper documents the Karkum villagers’ efforts in saving the critically endangered leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coreacea) in Madang, Papua New Guinea.  It shares lessons learnt on why it is critical for local communities to actively participate in saving the leatherback turtles.  It highlights the root causes of environmental destruction, which often begins with lack of community control over resources and the inequitable distribution of power; the 7 steps used from community entry process to establishing Karkum CMMA CD on 17th November 2008; and the successes and challenges the communities encountered and suggestions for improvement. It was informed by literature review, review of project activities and interviews with key stakeholders. Ongoing capacity building workshops from June 2006 till December 2013 gradually saw villagers in Karkum and the neighbouring communities shifting from habitual killing, harvesting and eating leatherback turtles to conserving them.  The exit of TIRN STRP program in the Western Pacific in 2008 saw the establishment of Mas Kagin Tapani Association (MAKATA) in April 2008.  Long-term funding constrains has been a major setback to sustain the STRP. This has contributed to community’s lack of trust in TIRN STRP/MAKATA.   This challenge was fuelled further by conflicts emanating from community livelihood projects. These caused violation to CMMA CD rules and penalties and Gildipasi aborting ties with MAKATA.  To sustain STRP we need long-term funding, fund raising, planning, staff recruitment, staff training, establishing an office in Madang and execution of the STRP.   It calls for a review of the organisations structure to address our respective programs.  It instigates us to assess the indicators of our achievement, our means of verification and the risks and assumptions. How can we manage STRP in PNG at the grassroots level to meet global goals and national policies in ways that increase community benefits?  By saving sea turtles, communities who share their beaches with the turtles can help save the entire ocean. 

1.         INTRODUCTION

Sea turtles are a keystone species, or a critical component of the marine environment. A keystone species plays an important role in the ecosystem by being a key feature in the functioning of the ecosystem.  If the keystone species is removed it will have an adverse effect on other parts of the ecosystem.  Saving keystone species, helps prevent its ecosystem processes from collapsing around it.

This paper examines the Sea Turtle Restoration Project (STRP) at Karkum Village, Madang province, Papua New Guinea.

The Karkum Sea Turtle Restoration Project (STRP) was an initiative of the Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN) a US-based NGO in the years 2006-2008.

The aim of STRP is to prevent endangered turtles, cultures, marine habitat, eco-systems, biodiversity and species loss. In order to achieve that, the STRP aims to establish an enabling environment for marine and near-shore resource management plans through the resource owners. Part of the STRP involves the establishment and management of Community-managed Marine Areas (CMMAs), in particular to ensure the legal recognition of CMMAs, the rules applying to their management as well as the bodies in charge of managing them using Conservation Deed (CD).

Consistent with the spirit of the STRP, there are specific criteria that have been identified for legal applications and management of CMMAs set up by the STRP. These include:
  • Land tenure must remain with the resource owners wherever possible;
  • Resource owners must have a large amount of input into the development of their CD laws for management of the CMMAs, as well as for management plans; and
  • CMMAs must be community ‘owned’ and managed.

The STRP vision is twofold.  First is to ensure that endangered leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), other endangered sea turtles and the marine resources and their habitats in the Bismarck Sea are saved, protected, and restored.  Second that the inhabitants who dwell off and from the bounty of these rich resources are able to sustainably use them in ways that improve their lifestyles both socially and economically and in harmony with their cultures.

After two and a half years (June 2006-December 2008), of project activities in Madang, TIRN closed its STRP program in the Western Pacific in 2008.  That meant no more funding support to sustain the Karkum turtle project.  The end of funding meant ongoing activities planned for beach monitoring and tagging, as well as projects monitoring and evaluation exercises also ceased.

But we were prepared.  With support from TIRN, we established Mas Kagin Tapani Association (MAKATA) and incorporated it in April 2008.

Since 2008, MAKATA has been helping community based groups in the turtle conservation effort.  MAKATA even ventured into business ventures to fund the project were unsuccessful.

In 2011 MAKATA managed to secure a small grant from UNDP-GEF.  The funding enabled MAKATA to extend the project to Kimadi, Magubem and extended turtle awareness and land boundary survey for Sarang.  Unfortunately, midway through this process UNDP-GEF cancelled the grant citing technical reasons that did not meet the UNDP-GEF policy. By forfeiting the fourth grant, the program ran to a halt.  All plans to complete phase four of our project activities ended there and then.

The call by Mama Graun for Lesson’s Learned article from MAKATA comes at a time, we are facing financial difficulties and challenges from both within and from our core partners.

These experiences have actually helped us with many lessons learned.  It has given us time to reflect, reconcile, and reassess our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and develop specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound projects or program activities.

The benefits of this endeavour are diverse and abundant.  Our work contributes towards tackling the challenges of our age and expanding the knowledge of our world to improve the quality of life on our planet and the outlook for humankind.

The Karkum’s STRP CMMA CD experience points out that leatherback sea turtles are not only single species environmental tragedies that need immediate attention, but as a vehicle for shifting the paradigm of how the human species views its relationships with the natural world.

We want to share the lessons we have learnt through our experiences in a hope that these will help other projects in PNG.

For us at MAKATA, by saving sea turtles, communities who share their beaches with the turtles can help save the entire ocean.

2.         AIM AND OBJECTIVE

This paper documents the Karkum villagers’ efforts in saving the critically endangered leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coreacea) in Madang, Papua New Guinea. 

OBJECTIVE:
The objective of the paper is to share lessons learnt:

·         First, it explores why it is critical for local communities to actively participate in saving the leatherback turtles.  It highlights the root causes of environmental destruction, which often begin with lack of community control over resources and the inequitable distribution of power;

·         To share the lessons learnt from using the 7 steps TIRN-STRP/MAKATA’s community entry process to establish CMMA through Conservation Deed (CD); and

·         To share the successes and challenges the communities encountered and
suggestions for improvement.

3.         METHODS

This paper was informed by literature review, review of project activities and interviews with key stakeholders. A review of all the project activities conducted for Karkum with support from TIRN’S STRP, and under the MAKATA.  Key village leaders were interviewed on the status of the project from the dates of initial project activities to its current status.  Published media articles and related literatures on Karkum’s turtle conservation efforts were also studied. 

4.         RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

4. 1      RESULTS

4.2.(i).              Step 1: Community Entry, Community Facilitation

  • Ongoing capacity building workshops from June 2006 till December 2013 gradually saw villagers in Karkum, Mirap, Sarang, Kimadi and Magubem communities shifting from habitual killing, harvesting and eating leatherback turtles to conserving them.

  • Despite a few incidences where Green turtles were killed and eaten by some rebellious individuals in Karkum, leatherback turtles have been protected.  Today Karkum’s can proudly stand tall and tell the world that they have initiated a leatherback Sea Turtles Restoration Project (STRP) in Madang, PNG.

  • Almost 99% of Karkum villagers have shifted their mindset from habitual killing and harvesting leatherback and other sea turtles, and their eggs for protein to restoring, protecting and saving them.

  • Neighbouring villagers of Mirap, Tokain, Sarang, Kimadi and Magubem were also empowered and motivated to appreciate the value of conservation and sustainable resource management. 

  • The 7 Resource Management Steps adapted from BRG, Partners with Melanesia and other sister NGOs and used by TIRN and MAKATA has seen the establishment of CMMA CD in Karkum on 17 November 2008 and traditional conservation methods in Kimadi/Magubem on July 2013.The conservation areas in Karkum and Kimadi are recognised by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as “Other Conservation Management Areas”.

4.2.(ii)              Step 2: Inform, Empower and Advocate (IEA)

  • More than 5,000 villagers were informed, educated and motivated to save, restore, protect and sustainably use their resources. 

  • Whilst the focus for this report is on Karkum, educational awareness materials produced and disseminated reached Pomio, East New Britain Province, Gerehu Secondary school students at the National Capital District, staff of Climate Change Development Authority (CCDA), Conservation Environment and Protection Authority (CEPA); partner NGOs, wider audience through media stories; meetings; conferences; workshops; blog: maskagitapani.blogspot.com; YouTube through videos; Facebook page: Save PNG’s Endangered Sea Turtles/Wenceslaus Magun; Madang Administration; donors and other stakeholders from both within PNG and other countries.

  • Many developmental features and straight news articles were written by James Kila, Ruth Konia and other journalists about Karkum’s leatherback conservation efforts which appeared on The National, Post-Courier, Sunday Chronicles and Wantok newspapers. Karkum’s stories were also written by Peter Fugazzotto, Todd Steiner from TIRN and me, and captured in other scientific journals.

  • In addition, short videos were produced by Scott Waide and others at BRG and me (Reference Links) and uploaded on YouTube.  I have shared them on my Facebook wall.

  • Participants at the Madang Spatial Planning Workshop at Jais Aben on 13th September 2013, at Jais Aben in Madang, were informed about the Karkum’s leatherback turtle conservation efforts; and similar presentation were made in other national, regional and international meetings, workshops, and conferences.

  • Karkums leatherback turtles conservation efforts is also documented in the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) (Reference) document by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC)/CEPA.

  • Gerehu Secondary School students and staff who attended the 12th Senior Official Meeting and 6th Ministerial Meeting of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fish and Food Security at the conference at Laguna Hotel, in Port Moresby, from the 31 October to 3 November 2016 were informed about the Karkum STRP.  They also received brochures, posters and about Karkum’s initiative to save the critically endangered sea turtle that is on the brink of extinction.

  • In 2009 a delegation of indigenous Australians representing the National Alliance of Indigenous Land and Sea Managers (NAILSMA) visited Karkum and spent a few days in the village with them.  They shared and exchanged stories of their resource management efforts in Australia.  They also gave Karkums an I-Tracker, and other information materials

  • Amongst donations of library books, computer and accessories Karkums received from TIRN, MAKATA as well as other donors, former Australian High Commissioner to PNG, Mr. Ian Kemish, also donated funding for a community hall.  The hall was built using the Australian High Commission’s Head of Mission Direct Aid Program (HOMDAP) funding in appreciation of the STRP. The hall is a multi-purpose facility used for village meetings, trainings, and clinics for women and children and by Karkum Christian Academy staff and students. (See article in: www.thenational.com.pg – New community hall for Karkum village, April 11, 2010

4.2.(iii).            Step 3: Land Use Planning and Boundary Mapping

  • Notable amongst other positive achievements achieved from this project is The TIRN-STRP and MAKATA’S partnership effort with Karkum-Mirap, Tokain, and Kimadi has reaped a successful reward.  Our project sites have been captured in the Madang Sustainable Development Ridges to Reefs Gaps and Priorities – (12 February 2014 document on page 42/105). 

  • Karkum-Mirap Conservation Area has 508 hectares, and Kimadi Conservation Area has 550 hectares.

  • Whilst, this process proved successful for Kimadi, Magubem, Tokain and Yadigam, we could not reach consensus on the boundary maps for Mirap and Karkum.  This land mediation and boundary issue took many endless meetings but without any positive results.  Since time was against us based on TIRN’ STRP schedule, we bulldozed the process to map Karkum and Mirap under one CMMA CD. 

  • This became more difficult and challenging when it came to establish a common Mirap-Karkum CMMA CD.  We needed more time to allow Mirap and Karkums to resolve this matter amicably through consensus.  But since we went ahead to have both Mirap and Karkum come under one protected area map with one CMMA CD, Miraps objected to this proposal.  They insisted that they should have their own map and their own CMMA CD.  This is an issue of contention, a critical matter that needs to be reviewed and steps taken to address it with both communities reaching consensus on their boundary map and CMMA CD.

4.2.(iv).            Step 4: Conservation Management Areas Matrix

  • At Karkum, villagers reached consensus that it was convenient for them to adapt the Conservation Deed (CD) process and not Wildlife Management Areas (WMA).  They learned that WMA had gaps giving their coastal areas and marine resources which they rely on for sustenance open to exploitation by domestic and foreign interests.  With the CD they would have more control and power over their resources.  It gave them the opportunity to create their own rules and penalties and to impose them.  They realized that the CD was more user-friendly as it maintained their customary rights and offered them the opportunity to be direct custodians and stewards of their resources and not be observers on their own land, water, sea and other natural resources.

4.2.(v).             Step 5: Conservation Deed

  • On 17th day of November 2008 Karkum CD was signed by three representatives representing each of the four clans in Karkum.  This effectively binds Ugerken, Neneng, Gorkom and Niwap/Kirkur clans as parties to the Contract.CD (Sunday Chronicles, Sunday, December 28, 2008, pages 34-35). Also see: Karkum Conservation Deed story in www.seaturtles.org.

  • The CMMA CD is recognised under the “Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Targets”, including a goal of “effectively and equitably” managing 10 percent of coastal and marine areas by 2020.  It also enforces the Fourth National Goal and Directive Principals, the PNG’s Protected Area policy and the Flora (Protection and Control) Act 1966/1978.
  • The signing of Karkum Conservation Deed enabled them to assert their customary rights, to respond to threats, to assist with land and sea management and planning, to identify the most important areas for protection and to record and safeguard their traditional knowledge.Since it is a community orientated conservation area; Karkum villagers used Section 41 and 42 of the Organic Law on Provincial Governments and Local-level Governments (Consolidated to No 29 of 1998) to protect their turtle nesting sites along the coast using Conservation Deed as a tool.
  • By adhering to their CD rules from 2008-2013, Karkum people saw increase in their fish and other marine resources. 
4.2.(vi).            Step 6: Conservation Deed Review

  • The few key Karkum leaders who attended this workshop learned that:

Consistent with the spirit of the STRP, there are specific criteria that have been identified for legal applications and management of CMMAs set up by the STRP. These include:
  • Land tenure must remain with the resource owners wherever possible;
  • Resource owners must have a large amount of input into the development of their CD laws for management of the CMMAs, as well as for management plans; and
  • CMMAs or LMMAs must be community ‘owned’ and managed.

4.2.(vii).           Step 7: Monitoring and Evaluation

  • The monitoring and evaluation exercise conducted by our team during and after the project phase has enabled me to compile this report.

With success come challenges.  Many of the other success and challenge stories faced by Karkum, Mirap, Kimadi, Magubem and TIRN/MAKATA are highlighted in the 7 STRP Steps and Project Challenges below for purpose of discussion.  Let us take a look at some of the results encountered in the Project Challenges.

4.3.1    Karkum Village Guest House

  • According to former ward member for Karkum Mark Khonn, in 2009 alone, Karkums earned more than K29,000.00 just from local and international tourists visiting their village. Tourists came from as far as Denmark, USA, Australia, and even a delegation from the South Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP).
  • With the inflow of money, jealousy amongst different social class systems and ethnic groups within the community over equity distribution of the wealth ignited tensions.  These tensions soon flared into conflict emanating in demolition of their once thriving village guest house. The once popular leatherback sea turtles tourist attraction site lost its popularity, attractions and customers for a certain period of time there and then.

4.3.2    Violation of CD rules and penalties

  • This conflict of interest over the village guest house also spilled over to the STRP project.  Villains or community rebels mounted reckless actions against the CD rules.  They influenced other likeminded followers to do the same. The village magistrate and the local village court officials also could not settle disputes and penalize those found to violate the CD rules nor impose their penalties.  These challenges tested the effectiveness of the CD rules and penalties and proved to be not very successful especially when applied in the village court.

4.3.3    Gildipasi aborts ties with MAKATA

The neighboring Tokain village also opposed MAKATA.  According to a representative from The Christensen Fund (TCF), an organization MAKATA expressed interest to apply for funding to sustain this project, leaders of Gildipasi Planning Committee told her: “Gildipasi does not want to work with MAKATA because it does not have an office in Madang.”  She received these comments from the village elders at Tokain when she met with them to gather their feedback over MAKATA’s activities on the ground in one of her own assessment trips to Karkum and Tokain. I find this excuse very cheap and ridiculous.  Besides PNG’s TCF’s country representative is from Tokain and also at that time MAKATA’s chairman.   I found out later that Gildipasi after shutting MAKATA out secured funding from TCF.  This opposition made it difficult to extend the STRP into Yadigam, Tokain and maintain work with Kimadi and Magubem. 

4.3.4    Mirap villagers want their own CMMA-CD

The neighbouring Mirap village on the other hand supported the project but had contentions with the village boundary map.  They did not want to be part of the Karkum CD and always wanted a separate boundary map developed for their conservation area with their own CD developed.

4.3.5    TIRN-STRP Exits

All good things must come to an end.  Likewise, TIRN closed its STRP program in the Western Pacific at the end of 2008.  That literally meant no more funding support to sustain the project.  The end of funding meant ongoing activities planned for beach monitoring and tagging, as well as projects monitoring and evaluation exercises ceased.

4.3.6    Climate Change Effects

Climate Change effects of rising sea level, and king tides are even more devastating.  They continue to wash away leatherback turtle’s nests habitats.  If this continues, leatherbacks sea turtles may not return to nest at Karkum but migrate to other nesting beaches.

4.3.7    UNDP-GEF aborts 4th quarter grant

In 2011 MAKATA managed to secure a small grant from UNDP-GEF.  The funding enabled us to extend the project to Kimadi, Magubem and Sarang. Sadly, midway through this process we could not continue.  When I submitted MAKATA's third quarter report to the UNDP-GEF after running a workshop to review Karkums CD, the new grant coordinator, turned it down on technical reasons as per the UNDP-GEF policy. 

4.3.8    Gildipasi Community Banking

  • Gildipasi Planning Committee did not manage this project well.  In less than three years after MAKATA had supported them with a K5,000.00 grant, their community banking project collapsed. 

  • A monitoring and evaluation exercise conducted by MAKATA showed that the Gildipasi Planning Committee did not adhere to its policies to collect debts owed to it from lenders. 

4.3.9    Revival of Karkum’s STRP

  • Positive shifts happened in 2016. 

  • With support from Gildipasi Planning Committee, Karkum Christian Academy revived its STRP. Students and staff joined hands in 2016 to revive the STRP and to sustain it.
             
4.2       DISCUSSIONS

4.2.(i).              Step 1: Community Entry, Community Facilitation

MAKATA’S community entry, consultation and facilitation processes adapted from BRG, Partners with Melanesian (PwM) and other NGO partners played a key step towards saving species, achieving protected areas, and restoring ecosystems. 

Through this process Karkum, Mirap, Tokain, Kimadi, Magubem and Sarang local communities, learned why it is important to save the leatherback turtles.

They learned that saving keystone species, helps prevent its entire ecosystem processes from collapsing around it. Before the STRP was established, Karkum’s and villagers along the north coast including Mirap, Sarang, Yadigam, Tokain, Malas, Kimadi, and Magubem; as well as villagers along the Rai Coast including Mur, Baru, Sel, Seure, Yamai, Tetarai, Lalok, Male, and Bom/Sagar where TIRN/MAKATA has extended its project to using The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and TIRN’s grants admitted that in the 1980’s and well before that they witnessed many leatherback sea turtles coming to nest along their beaches. 

Stories gathered from these communities through storytelling revealed that the leatherback sea turtles populations dwindled in the late 1980’s.  This also resulted in the decline of their marine resources and its habitats.  Villagers openly expressed concerns that prior to Independence in 1975 up until the 1980’s they did not have to paddle out into the deep blue sea to catch fish.  It was very convenient for them to catch and feed off fish and other marine resources near shores. 

They also admitted that back then they slaughtered and feasted on ten or more leatherback sea turtle and their eggs during peak nesting seasons (December-March) each year.  Many villagers said, they did not see anything wrong in killing, and harvesting turtle eggs for sales at the market and for protein.  They believed that God created these reptiles and placed them in the sea to be consumed.  To them there was no reason to fear as God would replenish the turtle’s populations.

Lack of scientific knowledge and information contributed to the villagers’ adamant belief that God will replenish the fish, turtle and marine population and so it was okay to feast on them.  Due diligent steps to protect, save, and restore the marine resources populations and their habitats was of very little concern then.  Without scientific information, villagers did not realize that their reckless attitude was depleting the populations of their marine resources, its habitats and particularly that of the critically endangered leatherback sea turtles.

As their populations increased and new modern fishing tools such as nylon fishing nets, fishing guns, battery torch for night diving, catching fish using dinghies, dynamiting fish and other forms and methods of fishing were introduced both to meet daily consumptions needs as well as for sales at the markets, the plight of leatherback sea turtles worsened.

They were surprised when our team informed them that leatherback sea turtles populations were at the verge of collapsing.  They were also excited to hear that the leatherback sea turtles that nest in New Guinea, travels to Gulf of Mexico and California to feed before returning at aged 14 to nest at their original place of birth.

Communities we worked with also learned that leatherbacks biggest threats are from gillnets, driftnets, longliners, other industrial fishing activities, plastic pollution, and other human induced activities.  We informed them that; “If we fail to do something to save the female leatherback sea turtles that come to nest on your beaches there may never be any leatherback sea turtles in the few years’ time.” 

The fear of losing their folklores that emanated from leatherback sea turtles, their protein, their identity and dignity, fame and other positive elements that come with the existence of leatherback sea turtles gradually motivated them to change their habits.  It motivated them to take steps to save this famous largest sea turtle that had survived the era of dinosaurs.

This community entry, and facilitation process does not follow the temperate bias of conventional approaches to meet donor/aid agencies expectations based on western approaches that is meeting log-frame deadlines. Quite often this approach of not working within the log-frames as expected by donor conflict with their grant policies.  Failure to adhere to their policies means funding is aborted.  It also means pushing communities to meet donor’s expectations thus overlooking issues that needed community time and going through a due diligent process without creating and promoting any sense of “cargo cult” beliefs.

The “cargo cult” syndrome I am referring to in this context refers to the attitude that has been deeply ingrained systematically into the hearts and minds of our people by the ongoing hand outs from politicians, churches, governments, companies and some NGOs.  The excessive handout of this “cult” culture has brain washed our people so much so that they expect outsiders to spoon feed them or solve their problems.  When we bulldoze processes through any form of outside incentive with donor funding, we can easily trigger that deeply rooted desire to be fed off by “cargo”.  This can suppress the traditional and cultural heritage of self belief, self determination, independence, self reliant, resilient, interdependence, reciprocal and support services within the community thus diminishing the spirit of communal ownership of a service that communities can manage, sustain and drive by themselves.

We were also mindful of the fact that in PNG’s context, community conservation projects quite often fail as donor expectations clash with the local needs and processes of reaching communal consensus.  The process of reaching communal consensus can take months, or even years before next steps can be taken and this does not go down well with donor’s timeframes.

We also learned that our approach does not favour the indigenous people’s “Big Man” syndrome methods of reaching a decision based on absolute male dominance comprising exclusively by village clan, tribal elders and village chief in a “men’s house”. Rather we try to integrate and blend the western approach with sound and appropriate traditional knowledge and practices to provide sustainable solutions.

At TIRN-STRP/MAKATA we applied a community entry process that allowed individuals, families, family groups, clans, whole village community members, women, youth and even neighbouring villagers to identify their own issues evolved around the decline of leatherback sea turtles and their marine resources and its habitats. Villagers we worked with responded with many intriguing answers.  Through this community facilitation process, we learned that villagers also had best traditional alternative conservation steps which they often reached through consensus in dealing with their concerns.  This data gathered through village visits and storytelling enabled us to plan and run a yearlong capacity building workshops in Karkum and a year on with Kimadi and Magubem based on this needs analysis assessment.

This process enables communal participation, where conservation outcomes were designed and discussed openly to reach consensus with all members of the community and not by a selective few.  By involving everyone in the community in the discussions, design, planning and implementation process we promoted gender balance and equal participation. 

The community took ownership of the process and drove it so that the outcome is sustained. It enabled them to achieve a long term community stake in the protection and restoration of natural resources in ways that also met their economic and social needs. 

4.2.(ii).             Step 2: Inform, Empower and Advocate (IEA)

Karkum and neighboring communities were informed, educated, empowered and motivated on moral and environmental ethics coupled with community development, cultural, socio-economic, and spiritual consciences and social responsibility.  These trainings were aimed at enabling them to make informed, independent and wise resource management decisions.  Inspired by these wisdom and knowledge resource owners will be prudent stewards and guardians of their resources.

Essential knowledge acquired by anyone can stimulate, propel and accelerate opportunities for a person to improve his/her living standard.  This will enable these individuals to build their communities.  It will help them strive towards creating a middle income country as envisioned in PNGs Medium Term Development Strategies (MTDs) by 2030 through wise use of their natural resources.

MAKATA endeavours to fulfil Vision 2050’s objectives through its STRP conservation endeavours. We prepare training materials with the aim to impart knowledge, skills, and information to Karkum and neighbouring communities to live smart, wise, fair, healthy and happy lives in their leatherback sea turtle conservation initiative.

By understanding the communities’ needs, TIRN/MAKATA designed, developed and produced information, empowerment and advocacy educational awareness materials and tools with key messages for their target audiences.

Key messages developed and delivered to Karkum and other communities include:

·         The world’s oceans are in a state of decline. Populations of sea turtles, sharks and whales are remnant compared to historical accounts of abundance. Fisheries worldwide are also over fished or in states of collapse.
·         Marine turtles have lived in the oceans for a long time.  They are an integral part of the traditional culture of many coastal indigenous peoples throughout the world. 
·         PNG has been a very fortunate country to be a perfect host of 6 of the 7 species of marine turtles that exist globally.  These turtles have been very important link traditionally and culturally for most of the 13 maritime provinces.  Specific species of turtles such as the green, hawksbill and the leatherback turtles have very significant traditional importance through spiritual, ceremonial and also medicinal values.  Many coastal communities in PNG have these very special relationships with marine turtles and even legends are told to this day. 
·         Marine turtles spend most of their lives at sea, but must return to land to lay their eggs.
·         Turtles are often highly migratory – foraging in Gulf of Mexico and Southern California and nesting in Huon Coast, Madang, West New Britain, South New Britain, South Bougainville, and New Ireland.
·         The waters and beaches of the Western Pacific are important nesting beaches, feeding areas and nurseries for leatherbacks, hawksbills, green and loggerhead turtles. 
·         Beaches of Indonesia, PNG and Solomon Islands support the largest remaining Western Pacific leatherback turtle populations. 
·         Leatherback turtles are globally and regionally important shared species as indicated by satellite tracking data showing migration routes through these countries and on their way to feeding grounds around New Zealand and the United States.
·         Green turtles have also been tracked from the Solomon Islands to Australia and PNG. 
·         Key nesting areas for leatherbacks in PNG include Huon coast, which is situated very close to Lae, a industrial city in Morobe, with sporadic sites in Madang, New Ireland, East and West New Britain and Bougainville.
·         These turtles are important culturally, economically and nutritionally for the peoples of the Pacific and Indonesia, however they are threatened from natural and human impacts and some species like the Western Pacific leatherbacks are on the verge of extinction.
·         All marine turtle species are experiencing serious threats to their survival.  The main threats are pollution. 
·         The Western Pacific leatherback's population has declined more than 90% in the past 20 years due to industrial fishing on the high seas through bycatch in longline fishery gear, gill nets, beach erosion and the harvesting of nesting adults and eggs on beaches and other predators (Benson et al, CCB, 2007).
·         The disposal of human waste and other pollutants such as plastic bags pose a very serious threat to the nesting females. 
·         The other sources of pollution include land-based pollution from major agricultural developments which use chemicals such as oil palm plantations.  This are then washed into the river and this also cause major disturbance to the water temperatures.  These changes affect important turtle habitats, especially coral reefs, sea grass beds, mangrove forests and nesting beaches. 
·         Other threats include accidental drowning in fishing gear, over-harvesting of turtles and eggs, and predation of eggs and hatchlings by dogs, feral pigs, and goannas. 
·         In PNG the over-harvesting of turtle eggs was never an issue to compare with as a source of food with other added reasons.  However, this has changed in the 20 years were eggs have been sold at the local markets in towns and cities.  The need for income generation has forced a lot of communities to divert their traditional value for the uses of turtle egg from traditionally harvested and managed to uses for sale at the local markets. 
·         There are only a few large nesting population of the critically endangered leatherback turtles, green, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles left in the world, and in PNG we have only a few major nesting sites to conserve for the future generation.
·         To save the Western Pacific leatherback from extinction they must be protected where they nest, migrate and forage, and Papua New Guinea’s nesting beaches and coastal waters are an essential part of this conservation puzzle.
·         The Pacific leatherback sea turtles populations is considered Critically Endangered because they are in decline for decades (Spotila et al, 1996, 2000; IUCN 2004).
·         The population stock structure and sizes of the leatherback sea turtles rookeries in the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu are unknown (cca-b-06-01-18_Dutten) even thought they nest in these countries (Spring 1982; Quinn and Kojis 1985; Bedding and Lockhart 1989; Hirth et al. 1993; Petro et al 2007).
·         In PNG some studies on interesting and migratory movements of female leatherback turtles were conducted at Kamiali Wildlife Management Area (WMA), in the Huon coast of Morobe, by scientists from Kamiali Integrated Conservation Development Group, Office of Environment and Conservation, and NOAA Fisheries, between 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 nesting seasons.  Further aerial survey of nearly 2800 km of the north Papua New Guinea coastline was conducted during January 2004 (Benson et al, CCB, 2007).

Some of these information were used to develop educational awareness posters, brochures, t’shirt promotional slogans etc.  However the information, communication and education materials produced so far were not sufficient to meet target communities needs and those of other stakeholders

There are other communications tools yet to be utilised.  This was raised in a Communications workshop conducted at Karkum, by SeaWeb, a sister NGO in partnership with MAKATA. These tools include dramatization, visual arts, songs and dances, and other forms of expressive arts. The workshop recommended that more local communities be empowered with communication skills to amplify this cause.  Participants who attended this workshop learned skills to take minutes, do a media release, create drama, and other communication skills.

What lessons can we learn from this?

·         Ongoing research, development, production and dissemination of awareness materials is needed but due to lack of funding, these much needed information, communication and education awareness materials could not to be designed, produced and disseminated to target communities and relevant stakeholders.
·         Lack of cooperation from CEPA to supply data and related information on sea turtles conservation in PNG.
·         Lack of funding to purchase quality computer and accessories, softwares, digital camera, video camera and other tools and accessories necessary to produce awareness materials.
·         Insufficient community training to build Karkum and other coastal communities’ capacities to produce and disseminate awareness materials or conduct their own awareness activities;
·         No monitoring and assessment conducted to assess communities’ information, communication and educational awareness needs or impact of these awareness materials and the Communications training.
·         Lack of funding to hire skilled persons (graphic artist, website designer, video producer, jinggles etc) to help design, develop, produce and disseminate educational awareness materials using appropriate communication mediums.
·         No funding to pay for airtime on radio for jingles, or TV commercial, supplement advertisement etc.
·         Communities not motivated to drive educational awareness on their own using drama, songs and dances and other forms of expressive arts.
·         Schools lack adequate, sufficient and reliable supply of forests and marine environment educational resource materials.
·         School teachers needed Marine Environment Education in-services.  To effectively enforce this, MAKATA needed to strengthen the existing partner it has with Mahonia Na Dari (MND).  MND is a local NGO in West New Britain specialized in Marine Environment Education Program (MEEP) to be engaged to conduct this training.

4.2.(iii).            Step 3: Land Use Planning and Boundary Mapping

We strive to empower individuals, clans, and villagers to appreciate their natural resources and its beauty and richness and to establish an enabling environment for tribal peoples to identify genuine land owners or user right villagers or clan groups. 

To fulfil that we hired Bismarck Ramu Group's (BRG) staff to assist villagers develop their land use planning maps and also hired a local person from Karkum Adolf Lilai who knew how to use Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) equipment to map out indigenous landowners and clan groups boundaries.  
We also engaged a Geographic Information System (GIS) specialist a former staff at the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), Arthur Ganubela, now Conservation Environment and Protection Authority (CEPA) to take the raw GPS data we had and develop respective community maps. 

These maps were later further developed by Nate Peterson from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and incorporated into the Madang Spatial Planning and Land Use documents.

How did we do the land boundaries for each community we worked with?

During our community visits, our contract officers encouraged individuals, families and clans to document their genealogy and other relevant stories in expressive art forms, songs and dances, tales, literatures, folklores, dressings, symbols, totems, myths, history timeline or any other shape, size, colour and form of method to identify themselves as genuine natural resource owners.  Some of these information were recorded, audio taped or even filmed, written, and documented as “Confidential” material for the specific target resource owners.

Guidance and counselling from village recorders, land mediators, village councillors, village magistrates, key trustworthy individuals, clan leaders, church elders and appropriate authorities were sought.  Using these information we assisted our local partner CBOs and our contract officers helped these communities to draw up their community land map. 

Individuals, clans, villagers and village forums were mobilized to sketch out their land use plans and identify their resources, village site, gardening sites, micro or macro agro-economic cash crop developments sites, reserve land, sacred sites, corporate entities logging, farming, mining and petroleum or other large scale industrial activities, rivers, lakes, mountains, ridges, reefs or other necessary geographical information. 

These individuals, villagers, clan members, and tribal leaders transferred essential information onto butcher papers for review, and confirmed with other reliable sources on their authenticity before taking the next steps to share this map with the resource owners and the neighbouring communities. 

Individuals, families, clans and entire villagers on these issues at village forums and workshops were empowered by our contract community facilitators.  The team facilitated awareness workshops to identify other potential threats and issues that may disrupt during the process of identifying the legitimate resource owners or their land user right clans and allows the community to navigate its path into solving its problems. 

In partnership with local communities CBO partners we ensured that internal and external land boundaries are also properly identified and their resource owners are identified before a community map can be done.

We emphasised during our patrols and workshops that it is necessary for their land to be mapped in order to develop sustainable resource management rules, penalties and regulations to protect, restore, manage, wisely use and gain alternative livelihood project options from their natural resources from the mapped land.  The communities were told that the sustainable livelihood project options shall not be used as a trade-off apparatus to achieve the sustainable resource management use outcome.  Rather, we emphasised that the sustainable livelihood options if derived are a bi-product of the process undertaken in this approach which the communities themselves will realise, participate in and eventually enjoy from the benefits they reap out from it. In collaboration with the local CBOs we assisted and facilitated in any other suitable and appropriate way to assist the tribal communities achieved this outcome.

What we learned from this step’s exercise is that once a consensus was reached at Kimadi, Magubem, Tokain and Yadigam after exhausting all traditional decision making processes as well as modern land mediation processes we assisted these resource owners by using GPS equipment to gather accurate data information on their land and developed resource maps using relevant softwares and technical expertise. 

Whilst, this process proved successful for Kimadi, Magubem, Tokain and Yadigam, we could not reach consensus on the boundary maps for Mirap and Karkum.  This land mediation and boundary issue took many endless meetings but without any positive results.  Since time was against us based on TIRN’ STRP schedule, we bulldozed the process to map Karkum and Mirap under one CMMA CD. 

This became more difficult and challenging when it came to establish a common Mirap-Karkum CMMA CD.  We needed more time to allow Mirap and Karkums to resolve this matter amicably through consensus.  But since we went ahead to have both Mirap and Karkum come under one protected area map with one CMMA CD, Mirap villagers objected to this proposal.  They insisted that they should have their own map and their own CMMA CD.  This is an issue of contention, a critical matter that needs to be reviewed and steps taken to address it with both communities reaching consensus on their boundary map and CMMA CD.

4.2.(iv).            Step 4: Conservation Management Areas Matrix

Land is life. 

It is like an umbilical cord attached to an indigenous person with ties of natural resources supplying food, clothing, protein, medicine, building materials, building his/her wealth, status, culture, religion, identity, dignity, songs and dances, knowledge, wisdom and other benefits.  It is therefore an issue of great importance to individual tribal members, families, clans and the entire village.

In many Melanesian societies any developmental issues relating to land or their natural resources are collectively discussed in order to reach a consensus decision.  Since individuals live in a community with their families, clans and other clans to make up a village, their needs, wants, visions or strategic management plans are made collectively and not in isolation. 

We admire these values and conduct our community facilitation process where we visit resource owners and live with them in their villages sharing stories, listening to their views, and try our best to understand the needs, threats and issues of the communities.  After several community visits and having established the village concerns, issues, our team facilitate a community development training process that informs, educates, and empowers them so they understand better other surrounding issues that may affect them of which they are or may not be aware of. 

Our team enabled communities to draw out of this workshop a road map and collectively developed their own plans on how best they can sustainably use their resources, without depleting it or allowing others to do so.  These steps were undertaken gradually so that the initiative was driven by the community themselves using their traditional decision making processes and not by us.

To enable them to understand PNG governments Constitution’s Fourth Goal and its Directive Principles, the Protected Area policies, Fauna (Protection and Control) Act 1966/78 and related Protected Area laws, policy and regulations with regard to management of marine resources in PNG waters, we ran numerous workshops on PNGs Conservation Matrix covering topics on Wildlife Management Areas to Conservation Deed.

At Karkum, villagers reached consensus that it was convenient for them to adapt the Conservation Deed (CD) process and not Wildlife Management Areas (WMA).  They learned that WMA had gaps giving their coastal areas and marine resources which they rely on for sustenance open to exploitation by domestic and foreign interests.  With the CD they would have more control and power over their resources.  It gave them the opportunity to create their own rules and penalties and to impose them.  They realized that the CD was more user-friendly as it maintained their customary rights and offered them the opportunity to be direct custodians and stewards of their resources and not be observers on their own land, water, sea and other natural resources.

Lessons learnt from other conservation projects in Papua New Guinea are also continuously used to tailor this capacity building packages.  We were also very fortunate to use the skills and experiences from our contract officers as well as that from individuals, families, clans, villages and combined villages’ in their village forums whose issues, needs, dreams, and aspirations we documented.

The key lesson learned from this step is that in order to reach any consensus over natural resource use and management, or to gain potential benefits out from these resources, we endeavour at all times to play a facilitating role. 

4.2.(v).             Step 5: Conservation Deed

The Conservation Deed (CD) process creates a Community-managed Marine Area (CMMA) using CD amongst tribal, clan groups and conveniently with other relevant stakeholders. The laws and penalties imposed in the CD are then regulated and enforced by the communities themselves. The use of CD’s is relatively new in the conservation arena but is traditionally accepted and used.

On 17th day of November 2008 Karkum CD was signed by three representatives representing each of the four clans in Karkum. This effectively binds Ugerken, Neneng, Gorkom and Niwap/Kirkur clans as parties to the Contract. The signing of their Conservation Deed enabled them to assert their customary rights, to respond to threats, to assist with land and sea management and planning, to identify the most important areas for protection and to record and safeguard their traditional knowledge.  Since it is a community orientated conservation area; Karkum villagers used Section 41 and 42 of the Organic Law on Provincial Governments and Local-level Governments (Consolidated to No 29 of 1998) to protect their turtle nesting sites along the coast using Conservation Deed as a tool.

What is a Conservation Deed? 

It is a product of a community-driven process that results in increased community awareness, education, and training.  It is a formal legal document from the community that creates a locally managed conservation area and a long-term community stake in the protection of natural resources in ways that also meet the economic and social needs of the community.  Robert H. Horwich in A Landowner's Handbook of Relevant Environmental Law in Papua New Guinea states that "The Conservation Deed is a recent innovation which might be considered something like a 'People's Conservation Area.'…[S]ome lawyers feel it may be the strongest kind of legal land protection…"

Conservation Deeds are a relatively new innovation in PNG, spearheaded by the work of the Bismarck Ramu Group (BRG).  The first ever Conservation Deed was signed by eleven clans of Wanang Village in the Sogeram region of Madang Province in June 2000, the culmination of two years’ training and community facilitation by the BRG.  Activities leading up to and following that event contributed toward the blocking of the operations and expansion of Madang Timbers in the Sogeram Forest Management Area.  For the past seven years, there has been no logging in the area.

We had successfully implemented two plans for innovating off the current BRG Conservation Deed Trust model. 

First, Conservation Deeds, as part of the overall BRG conservation process, were implemented by forest communities.  We have applied it to coastal/maritime communities, planned and implemented by the partners including each local coastal community, local planning committees, our contract officers and community CBOs and facilitators.

The second innovation used was a "people empowering people" approach.  We tapped into the experience and knowledge of the Simbukanam, Imbap and Karkum people to facilitate a process in which these community members were the ones to actually assist their coastal neighbors to set up their marine conservation areas and eventually sign the Karkum STRP CMMA CD.

Amongst other ‘Terms of Contract’ the Parties agreed to this CMMA CD is a legal document which binds the parties to their promises and can be enforced in the National court of Justice.
The CD process stipulates that the leatherback sea turtle and all other turtle species are prohibited from harvesting and consumption. A range of fines and other punitive measures against offenders were also incorporated into the CD.  This CD was counter signed by STRP beach rangers, Village Court Magistrate, and Sumgilbar Local Level Government (LLG) president.  It was witnessed by more than 1000 people including chiefs from neighbouring villages, NGO representatives, Madang CSO representatives and a representative of the Madang Governor’s office.

For the next five years commencing on and from the date of the execution of their deed, Karkum villagers agreed that they shall conserve their land and sea including the forests, and water resources in their mapped conservation area.

The CMMA CD is recognised under the “Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Targets”, including a goal of “effectively and equitably” managing 10 percent of coastal and marine areas by 2020.  It also enforces the Fourth National Goal and Directive Principals, the PNG’s Protected Area policy and the Flora (Protection and Control) Act 1966/1978.

In short, why use CD?

         PNG governments process of effectively creating and managing protected areas has not proven to be effective;
         Resources owners are in control, they own the process, they make and enforce laws and gain direct benefits from conservation efforts;
         To assert customary rights;
         To respond to threats;
         To assist with land/sea management and planning;
         To identify the most important areas for protection; and
         To record and safeguard traditional knowledge.

Much of the success and failures of the Karkum STRP’s CMMA CD has already been highlighted earlier on.  But just to recap, the CD failure in Karkum may have resulted from a couple of factors.  These include:

  • Conflict of interests resulting from inflow of cash from the Karkum village guest house which spilled over to the breaking of laws enacted in the Karkum CD.

  • Village Court system not effective thus not able to impose penalties stipulated in the Karkum CD.

  • Wantok system may also be a hindrance in ensuring the magistrate strictly applies the principles of justice and not take sides with relatives or kinsmen who may have violated the rules and penalties in the Karkum CD.

  • A general lack of trust, respect for the elders and clan leaders by certain elements of youths in the village. 

  • Misconception and false rumours of the project spread amongst rival parties within the community who saw the STRP as a medium of “Cargo Cult” inciting certain elements in the community to think that MAKATA was using the community for its own gain. 

  • Not much time was given to run through the CD rules and penalties with the communities prior to the CD launching and after the launching.  Many members of the community did not fully grasp the intent, rules and penalties of the CD.

4.2.(vi).            Step 6: Conservation Deed Review

We visited Karkum and conducted a CMMA-CD review from 12-16 November 2012.  The aim of the training was to build the capacity of community leaders on CD.  Sadly, not many Karkum, Mirap, Sarang and neighboring villagers attended this workshop.  The few who attended the workshop discovered that;

Consistent with the spirit of the STRP, there are specific criteria that have been identified for legal applications and management of CMMAs set up by the STRP. These include:
  • Land tenure must remain with the resource owners wherever possible;
  • Resource owners must have a large amount of input into the development of their CD laws for management of the CMMAs, as well as for management plans; and
  • CMMAs or LMMAs must be community ‘owned’ and managed.

After the UNDP-GEF fourth grant was aborted, we could not do further follow-up workshops to gauge the community’s views on their CMMA-CD.  This greatly affected our relationship with the community. 

Many community members lost faith and trust in MAKATA.  It also prevented us from taking further steps to help Karkum villagers assess the success and failures of the CMMA-CD and find next steps to manage their resources sustainably whilst fulfilling the STRP goal.

This exacerbated the tensions in the community which may have led to the breaking of rules imposed in the Karkum CMMA-CD.  As a result of these the community saw, felt and actually experienced the repeated decline of their fish and other marine resources as highlighted above.

4.2.(vii).           Step 7: Monitoring and Evaluation

One of the key elements of project management is monitoring and evaluation.  This step enables the organisation to see where it had done well, or failed and finds alternative steps to improve.  When the UNDP-GEF fourth grant was aborted it further prevented us from engaging an independent contract officer to carry out monitoring and evaluation exercise for the project.

Adhoc assessments on the other hand were carried out by me on voluntary basis after funding ceased.  It is in my opinion that an external contract officer be engaged to do an independent monitoring and evaluation assessment of the Karkum project so that we get a comprehensive and fair or balanced view of this project. 

Finally, with lack of funding we could not do staff retreat.  We also could not hold a board meeting, or engage an accounting firm or private accountant to do an audit for MAKATA. Lack of funding made it difficult for us to have our annual general meeting to assess our efforts on the ground, in-house management and governance issues and allow members to join MAKATA. 

4.3       PROJECT CHALLENGES

4.3.1    Karkum Village Guest House


WELCOME to Karkum Lodge

Adventure tourists, nature lovers, indigenous peoples village home stay  enthusiast, bush trekkers, bird watchers, snorkelers,  and those keen to get a taste of “paradise” will no doubt find Karkum village lodge the ideal destination to meet their quest.
Nestled along the grey sandy beach at the edge of the village overlooking the tranquil crystal blue waters of the Bismarck Seas with Karkar rising on the horizon it provides the best sanctuary for holiday makers.
Built in 2008 by the villagers themselves using local bush materials, fitted with mattresses, pillows, mosquito nets, water buckets and basic cooking utensils it serves to complement their leatherback turtle conservation project initiative.
It can accommodate 20 people at one time. Meals can be provided if arranged.
Travelers to Madang, PNG can easily hike on any public motor vehicle destined for Karkum village or passing the village and going towards Bogia to get to the lodge.
It is situated about 80 kilometers northwest from Madang town, and can take about  one and half hour to get there on a sealed road.
For the best price and satisfactory service please call Robert Khonn for bookings and prearrangement of services on Digicel:
72291836 or email: travelmulap@gmail.com

                               
Amidst Karkum’s success stories, challenges were also encountered both by the community and TIRN’s STRP/MAKATA. 

The establishment of Karkum village guest house which saw local and international guests visiting and supporting Karkum through fees for accommodation, food and other support services had generated much income at the grassroots level. 

With the inflow of money, jealousy amongst different social class systems and ethnic groups within the community over equity distribution of the wealth ignited tensions.  These tensions soon flared into conflict emanating in demolition of their once thriving village guest house. The once popular leatherback sea turtles tourist attraction site lost its popularity, attractions and customers for a certain period of time there and then.

4.3.2    Violation of CD rules and penalties

This conflict of interest over the village guest house also spilled over to the STRP project.  Villains or community rebels mounted reckless actions against the CD rules.  They influenced other likeminded followers to do the same. The village magistrate and the local village court officials also could not settle disputes and penalize those found to violate the CD rules nor impose their penalties.  These challenges tested the effectiveness of the CD rules and penalties and proved to be not very successful especially when applied in the village court.

For MAKATA it means either the communities did not understand CD rules and penalties and were not familiar with them before they were enacted as law and enforced or that they did not respect their elders representing each clan who signed the CD at the launching. 
To find this out adhoc assessments were conducted by MAKATA.  These monitoring and evaluation exercises showed that there was lack of respect by certain elements in the community with the aim to disrupt community projects for their own ego and personal gain. 

Visit to the community revealed that these elements also killed green turtles and harvested their eggs for consumption.   At some point in Karkums CMMA STRP’s CD, these rebellious interventions by undisciplined members of the community destroyed the once well respected Karkum STRP.  When that happened their once rich marine resources started dwindling again.  

A recent post by James Kila a journalist from Karkum on my Facebook wall (Wenceslaus Magun) reaffirmed MAKATA’s findings.  Mr Kila reacted against these rogue elements killing turtles in Karkum.

4.3.3    Gildipasi aborts ties with MAKATA

The neighboring Tokain village also opposed MAKATA.  According to a representative from The Christensen Fund (TCF), an organization MAKATA expressed interest to apply for funding to sustain this project, leaders of Gildipasi Planning Committee told her: “Gildipasi does not want to work with MAKATA because it does not have an office in Madang.”  She received these comments from the village elders at Tokain when she met with them to gather their feedback over MAKATA’s activities on the ground in one of her own assessment trips to Karkum and Tokain. I find this excuse very cheap and ridiculous.  Besides PNG’s TCF’s country representative is from Tokain and also at that time MAKATA’s chairman.   I found out later that Gildipasi after shutting MAKATA out secured funding from TCF.  This opposition made it difficult to extend the STRP into Yadigam, Tokain and maintain work with Kimadi and Magubem. 

4.3.4    Mirap villagers want their own CMMA-CD

The neighbouring Mirap village on the other hand supported the project but had contentions with the village boundary map.  They did not want to be part of the Karkum CD and always wanted a separate boundary map developed for their conservation area with their own CD developed.

4.3.5    TIRN-STRP Exits

All good things must come to an end.  Likewise, TIRN closed its STRP program in the Western Pacific at the end of 2008.  That literally meant no more funding support to sustain the project.  The end of funding meant ongoing activities planned for beach monitoring and tagging, as well as projects monitoring and evaluation exercises ceased.

It is also important to note that the TIRN-STRP would not have continued if a local NGO was not established primarily to sustain this project.  With support from TIRN we established Mas Kagin Tapani Association (MAKATA) and incorporated it in April 2008. 

To keep the project running, I floated MAKATA using our family’s taxi service in Port Moresby to meet administrative costs, and financial needs for my family. The money earned from taxi services was not sufficient enough to carry out field activities.  This fund raising activity also ceased when the only car I was using for the taxi service broke down.

4.3.6    Climate Change Effects

Climate Change effects of rising sea level, and king tides are even more devastating.  They continue to wash away leatherback turtle’s nests habitats.  If this continues, leatherbacks sea turtles may not return to nest at Karkum but migrate to other nesting beaches.

4.3.7    UNDP-GEF aborts 4th quarter grant

In 2011 MAKATA managed to secure a small grant from UNDP-GEF.  The funding enabled us to extend the project to Kimadi, Magubem and Sarang. Sadly, midway through this process we could not continue.  When I submitted MAKATA's third quarter report to the UNDP-GEF after running a workshop to review Karkums CD, the new grant coordinator, turned it down.  I was told that we could not get the fourth quarter grant due to technical reasons as per the UNDP-GEF policy. 

The technical reason used against MAKATA was unfair as the process I used to acquit funds in the third quarter report was accepted by the former grant coordinator.  Since a precedent was set by the former grant coordinator, we only followed it through in acquitting all our funds especially receipts for food under one receipt and not collecting individual receipts for each food item given the rural setting.  By forfeiting the fourth grant, we were basically grounded.  All plans to complete phase four of our project activities ended there and then.
What emanated from this was a severe blow to MAKATA and to the STRP.  Communities lost trust in MAKATA.  Even neighboring Tokain villagers didn’t want to work with MAKATA. 

As a local NGO just starting up, such experience is not good for us.  It discourages us from pursuing a worthy cause.  Donor agencies operating in PNG must be lenient to Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and local NGOs. 

I therefore appeal to UNDP-GEF or other donor agencies in PNG to be lenient to local NGOs and CBOs particularly those that are just starting.  If mistakes are made we should be counselled and guided to correct our mistakes to improve on our performance.  Unless there is evidence to prove that the grants were misappropriated or stolen or abused for undesired reasons it is not fair to be harshly penalized.  Measures like this will not do anything good to meet the UNDP’s sustainable development goals nor PNG’s Protected Area policies.  It will also not fulfil the PNG’s Fauna (Protection and Control) Act 1966/1978. Such penalties will only dampen the efforts by Karkum villagers and MAKATA who show great interest to meet global and national goals at the community level. 

4.3.8    Gildipasi Community Banking

The Gildipasi Planning Committee (GPS) from the Tokain region is one of the local CBOs, MAKATA had supported initially to revive its operations with a funding support to establish its Community Banking project. The project was made possible with assistance from a donor in US.

Gildipasi Planning Committee did not manage this project well.  In less than three years after MAKATA had supported them with a K5,000.00 grant, their community banking project collapsed. 

A monitoring and evaluation exercise conducted by MAKATA showed that the Gildipasi Planning Committee did not adhere to its policies to collect debts owed to it from lenders.  Those who borrowed money from the group to start small chicken farming, bakery, village canteen and related cottage industries never paid the group their outstanding debts with little interest as stipulated in the Gildipasi Planning Committees banking policy. 

            What lessons can we learn from this?

The downfall of the Gildipasi Planning Committees’ Community Banking and the collapse of the Karkum village guest house experiences have taught us two things. 

First, there must be a proper feasibility study carried out by a qualified Business Development Officer most preferably outsourced either from the Madang’s Commerce Division or elsewhere.  This technical officer should be contracted to ensure that whatever livelihood project the community desires to embark on is feasible, viable and is going to be successfully managed and sustained based on each individual community’s need. 

Secondly, adequate and appropriate financial management training must be conducted prior to supporting communities with the community livelihood project.  Other related trainings and steps must be done as well based on proper training needs assessment.

These challenges indicated that necessary steps must also be taken to ensure that indigenous land groups for each village are identified and their land boundaries are also identified and mapped out.   

Another important training that must be conducted as a prerequisite to establishing a community livelihood project and even a conservation project is that a problem tree analysis workshop/s is or are conducted so that community challenges are addressed. Once these steps are adhered to, I believe community livelihood projects can be successfully initiated, managed and sustained thus complementing the CMMA STRP

            These challenges were in a way also good for Karkum.  It pushed the community to its edges thus enabling many loyal community members to resist these negative forces at work in the community.

Individual community champs are raising concerns about this.  Few handful of faithful community leaders have even mobilized to address these conflicts and find amicable solutions to them.  

Robert Khonn one of Karkum’s role model and community champion indicated that the community has come up with some measures to deal with these community “misfits”.  He did not disclose what those measures are but assured the public on his Facebook page that their community is fed up with these rogue elements and will not tolerate their nuisance anymore.

James Kila in his recent post on my Facebook wall also suggested that MAKATA returns to Karkum and conduct more awareness along with key community leaders to deal with rogue community members killing and eating turtles.

4.3.9    Revival of Karkum’s STRP

Positive shifts happened in 2016. 

With support from Gildipasi Planning Committee, Karkum Christian Academy revived its STRP. Students and staff joined hands in 2016 to revive the STRP and to sustain it.

            What lessons can we learn from this?

To achieve global goals at community levels such as saving critically endangered leatherback sea turtles, all parties must be engaged.  By working in harmony with each other at all levels we can contain the demise of leatherback sea turtles.

It also addresses a key question regarding the ownership of this project. Former Madang Administrator, Clant Alok who once visited Karkum for the opening of a local Church there said, he was impressed with the STRP efforts in Karkum but was deeply concerned about the local communities taking ownership of the project.  Unless Karkums, Miraps and the neighboring communities take ownership of this project, sustainable resource management of the critically endangered leatherback turtles, its habitat and their marine resources will continue to face threats by the locals.

He further pointed out that there are no "tambu" signs along the beach front indicating that it’s a leatherback sea turtle conservation site.  He recommended that notices or posters and flyers be placed in a billboard  in Karkum to inform visitors about the project; similar to the one placed at the Varirata National Park, or at the Adventure and the Nature Parks in Port Moresby.

"Our people must value nature as a source and not just a resource.  When we take nature as a source for our sustenance, we will take steps to look after it.  But when we take nature as a resource, we will continue to extract minerals, fish, gas, timber etc and add to the long list of unabated natural resource extraction contributing to humans negative foot print of environmental destruction," Mr Alok reiterated.


4.3.10  Summary of Lessons Learned and way forward.

Who is responsible?
Lesson Learned
Recommendation
Government
Lack of support from CEPA on data, funding, equipment, sharing knowledge
CEPA to visit Karkum and neighboring villages and support them in their technical needs
Donor
Too strict
Be lenient in local NGOs and CBOs particularly those that are just starting. 
Donor
Timing of project milestone not flexible
Be flexible
Livelihood Project
Livelihood activities not viable
There must be a proper feasibility study carried out by a qualified Business Development Officer
CBOs
Lack of financial management skills
Adequate and appropriate financial management training must be conducted prior to supporting communities with the community livelihood project. 
Local Projects Partner
Lack of community control over resources
Monitor, evaluate and assess the situation on the ground
Livelihood Projects
Inequitable distribution of power and wealth
Problem Tree analysis workshop needed
Livelihood Projects
Jealousy
Problem Tree analysis workshop needed
CBOs & MAKATA
No capacity building exercises
Employ full time staff who can visit Karkum more often and listen to their needs, challenges, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities
CBOs & MAKATA
Lack of capacity to do awareness
Train local teachers on Marine Science
CBOS & MAKATA
Lack of resources for project
Fund raise
CBOS & COMMUNITY LIVELIHOOD OWNERS
Conflict of interests resulting from inflow of cash from the Karkum village guest house which spilled over to the breaking of laws enacted in the Karkum CD.
Problem Tree Analysis Workshop needed to find root cause of the problems and solutions to them
Village Court Magistrate, Council, Court Officials, District Magistrate, Clan and community leaders
  Village Court system not effective to impose penalties stipulated in the Karkum CD laws. 
Legal Training
Village Court Magistrate, Council, Court Officials, District Magistrate, Clan and community leaders
Wantok system hindered application of justice on those who violated the rules and penalties in the Karkum CD.
Legal Training
Village Court Magistrate, Council, Court Officials, District Magistrate, Clan and community leaders
A general lack of trust, respect for the elders and clan leaders
Problem Tree Analysis Workshop needed to find root cause of the problems and solutions to them
Community and all stakeholders
Misconception and false rumours of the project spread amongst rival parties within the community who saw the STRP as a medium of “Cargo Cult”
Problem Tree Analysis Workshop needed to find root cause of the problems and solutions to them
Community and all stakeholders
Many members of the community did not fully grasp the intent, rules and penalties of the CD
Problem Tree Analysis Workshop needed to find root cause of the problems and solutions to them
CBO and MAKATA
Lack of funding to do project related activities (board meeting, audit of finances, annual meetings, capacity building)
Problem Tree Analysis Workshop needed to find root cause of the problems and solutions to them

Others
When adverse natural events affect program
CCDA, CEPA, MAKATA & OTHERS
DONOR
When the project funder  suddenly stops the program
UNDP-GEF
CBO & MAKATA
No tools to communicate project idea
Work in partnership with other relevant NGOs
CBO
Lack of publicity
Work closely with Media



NB:  This table needs to be reviewed at a strategic management or project planning workshop.



4.3.11  Pledge to protect our marine environment

“I am a proud citizen of Sarang village, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea and of the planet earth.
I vow to conserve and preserve marine resources for wise use and to educate younger generation of the importance of marine environment.
In God I believe to work in unity to build a safer earth to live.”

By JEREMIAH KULANG



5.         CONCLUSION

This paper reveals that supporting coastal communities who share their beaches with the critically endangered leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coreacea) can prevent them from going into extinction. Steps taken by Karkum villagers and the other coastal communities in Madang, PNG with support from TIRN’s STRP and MAKATA show that this is achievable.  Lessons learned from Karkum STRP CMMA CD experience points out that adequate long-term funding and fund raising efforts are needed to sustain the project. It further points out that Karkum villagers and the other coastal communities need to take ownership of the STRP to sustain the project.  The long-term sustainability of STRP in PNG hinges on sufficient funding.  With adequate resources, and full time staff, MAKATA can help coastal and offshore island communities in PNG meet global, national and regional goals in saving, protecting and restoring leatherbacks populations and preventing it from its plight to demise.

6.         CONFLICT OF INTEREST

None

7.         FUNDING

None

8.         LITERATURE CITED

TIRN’s STRP and MAKATA’s project reports, Wenceslaus Magun et al, 2006-2013; ccab-06-10_Benson, 2007, Beach Use, Internesting Movement and Migration of Leatherback Turtles, Dermochelys Coreacea, Nesting on the North Coast of Papua New Guinea; ccab-06-01-18_Dutton, Status and Genetic Structure of Nesting Populations of Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelys Coriacea) in the Western Pacific; Kinch-2006-SocEcon- Huon Coast-Leatherback-WPRFMA, A Socio-economic Assessment of THE HUON COAST Leatherback Turtle Nesting Beach Project (LABU TALE, BUSAMA, LABABIA, AND PAIAWA, MOROBE PROVINCE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA; Kinchetal-2009-LeatherbackSurvey-Bougainville-Final-1, Assessment of Leatherback Turtle Nesting and Consumptive Use in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea; Management effectiveness of PNG-Interim –March 2017, Management effectiveness of Papua New Guinea’s Protected areas 2017, Interim report 9 February 2017; PNG 07-08 Final Report Public, Pitcher, May 30, 2008; pub-regional-hawskbill-crisis-workshop-aug 16, Regional Hawskbill Crisis Workshop, 25-26 August, 2016; and Lessons Learned in comm-based conservation in PNG, Helden, July 2005.



9.         APPENDICES

4.         RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS:.......................................................PAGE i
4.1       STATISTICS OF THE SURVEY.........................................................PAGE i
4.4.1    Step 1: Community Entry, Community Facilitation......................PAGE ii
4.4.2    Step 2: Inform, Empower and Advocate (IEA)..............................PAGES iii-iv
4.4.3    Step 3: Land Use Planning and Boundary Mapping......................PAGE v
4.4.4    Step 4: Conservation Management Areas Matrix........................PAGE vi
4.4.5    Step 5: Conservation Deed...........................................................PAGE vi
4.4.6    Step 6: Conservation Deed Review...............................................PAGE vi
4.5       PROJECTS SUCCESSFUL OUTCOMES:..............................................PAGE vii
4.5.11  Kimadi/Magubem create traditional conservation site................PAGE vii
4.6.1    Karkum Village Guest House.........................................................PAGE viii
4.6.4    Mirap villagers want their own CMMA-CD....................................PAGE viii
4.6.5    TIRN-STRP Exits.............................................................................PAGE ix
4.6.6    Climate Change Effects..................................................................PAGE ix
4.6.8    Gildipasi Community Banking........................................................PAGE x
4.6.9    Revival of Karkum’s STRP...............................................................PAGE xi
5. Running taxi to sustain STRP.................................................................PAGE xii
6. From enjoying the meat to saving the leatherback................................PAGE xiii