Enabling management of marine resources in Papua New Guinea | WWF

Enabling management of marine resources in Papua New Guinea

Geographical location:


Asia/Pacific > Pacific Ocean > Papua New Guinea


Manus Province is the smallest and least populous in Papua New Guinea. It is composed of several small rain-forest covered islands, some of which remain uninhabited. Due to their isolation, these islands are home to rare and endemic species of birds, bats and other animals.
This project aims to help the local communities to improve the management of their natural marine resources.


In 1999 during a special meeting at Pokali Island, the Council of Chiefs and the executives of the local NGO, Mbuke Islands People Association (MIPA), agreed that Purdy Group of Islands should be protected under the Marine Protected Area Act.

However, due to the distance, location and the high cost of managing the area, the plan was never implemented. The locally based environmental group, Marine Environmental Awareness and Responses Team, was asked by the Island high chiefs to investigate other options and alternative methods of conserving unique sites such as turtle nesting beaches and other over-harvested marine resources, which need to be more effectively managed.

WWF established its presence in Manus Province following the request of communities of the Mbuke Islands on the South West Coast of the Province. The aim is to assist them and to advise the Council of Chiefs and executives of MIPA about best practice on harvesting of marine resources and to help them to conserve their marine environment using a combination of modern approaches and traditional ecological knowledge.


Mangrove rehabilitation and replanting, forming a part of the Manus communities’ climate adaptation work.


The current project builds upon earlier work in Manus province and will focus on further strengthening the management capacity of the local communities to improve management effectiveness in the Province. In addition, the project contributes to climate change adaptation work along the coastal area of Pobuma LLG and will support local communities in developing alternative fishing options, e.g. installation of near-shore Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs), to reduce the fishing pressure on their reefs.

Together with local partners, particularly the communities of Manus Province and The Nature Conservancy, additional projects have been formulated and were awarded to achieve the goal of “effectively managing the marine natural resources and improving the livelihoods of the communities of Manus Province”. These additional projects include funding through Coral Triangle Support Project (CTSP) to WWF and TNC, and AusAID to TNC with a subcontract to WWF for work in Manus Province.


WWF and local communities achieved the following through the Bismarck Soloman Seas Ecoregion project:
- The establishment of Mbuke Islands Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA).
- Drafting of management plan for the entire Mbuke Islands LMMA.
- Drafting of coral harvesting regulations and rules.
- Developing and supporting the implementation of community based biological monitoring, socioeconomic surveys, mangroves harvesting plan and nursery, coral replanting trail experiment, wildfowl harvesting control, community mapping.
- The creation of 3 no-take zone sites.
- Raising general environmental awareness.
- Collaboration and partnerships with local schools in environmental programmes, local womens groups, community stakeholders groups, high chief and youth of Mbuke, Pobuma LLG Administration and President, coastal communities , Manus Provincial Government Division of Marines and Fisheries, Environmental and Disaster Division, Commerce and Tourism and other environmental NGOs like TNC,WCS,CELCOR Lawyers, PNGCLMA and NFA.

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