Progress in Papua New Guinea
Please note: Growing economic and conservation challenges have made it difficult for CORAL to maintain an effectively-managed CRSD program in our Madang Province project site. In order to reassess our approach and strategy, CORAL has suspended its work in PNG until the right set of conditions are put in place to ensure our conservation results. In the interim, we will continue to focus our efforts on strengthening coral reef communities in our neighboring project site in Indonesia while also exploring opportunities to expand our programs into new coral reef destinations.
Located on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific Ocean, Papua New Guinea (PNG) is one of the world's major coral reef nations with an estimated 40,000 square kilometers of coral reefs, sea grass beds, and mangrove forests. But like many places in the Indo-Pacific region, the natural resources of the reefs—and the local communities and businesses that depend on them—are caught in the middle of a struggle between this developing nation's economy and the desire to protect the reefs for future generations.
CORAL’s main goal in the species-rich waters of PNG was to establish the Madang Conservation Corridor on the north coast of Madang Province as the principal Coral Reef Sustainable Destination (CRSD) effort. By consulting with local stakeholders and conducting Sustainable Marine Recreation workshops, CORAL identified the predominant threats to the reef and worked to develop plans to address them, including mooring buoy installations to reduce anchor damage to the reefs, educational efforts to build awareness of environmentally responsible business practices, and a user-fee system to bring financial sustainability to local communities. In addition, CORAL has assisted in the formation and capacity building of the Madang Lagoon Association, an organization composed of more than 250 community members representing villages and clans from the broader lagoon area.
Reef Threats & Progress
Crucial Choices for the Future
Increasing population, water pollution, sanitation challenges, and development are among the real factors threatening ecological diversity in the Madang Lagoon. Like most developing nations with valuable resources, PNG is having to make difficult choices between sustainable economic development and large-scale extractive industries such as terrestrial and seabed mining, commercial fishing, and the reef cutting necessary to allow shipping traffic. While marine tourism operators currently track visitation at only 1,000 annually, the local government is focused on developing the area for a rapid increase in tourism. This is a critical time for PNG, which is why CORAL started building the foundation of its CRSD model in the Madang Lagoon, before damaging and potentially irreversible decisions are made.
Our Partners in Papua New Guinea
CORAL partnered with organizations such as World Wildlife Fund, the Locally Managed Marine Area Network, and Aquaventures Dive Shop to develop comprehensive marine resource management for the Madang Lagoon.