Doing research and documenting the research findings of biodiversity in Papua New Guinea is one of the major activities that we are doing here at our Centre at New Guinea Binatang Research Centre.
Documenting biodiversity in Papua New Guinea is one of the core activities of the Center. We recognise that biological research is an important prerequisite for preserving and wisely exploiting the wealth of biodiversity in the country.
New Guinea is home to exceptionally high biological diversity, with many species restricted to this island. It is beyond dispute that one of the priorities of research in New Guinea is documenting this high biodiversity.
Our Center demonstrates that joint effort of parabiologists, students and researchers could be one strategy to quickly inventory the biodiversity in tropical countries, such as PNG, using local expertise. Our Center is particularly active in large-scale surveys of plant-insects food webs in the forests of Papua New Guinea while some of our studies also focus on vertebrates.
Our Center recognizes that plants and animals and the ecosystems they form, such as forests and coral reefs, represent an enormous wealth of Papua New Guinea. As such, they should be protected and also wisely used for the benefit of Papua New Guineans. Our Center is trying to contribute to this aim by several activities:
- Education and Training
Documenting biological diversity of Papua New Guinea. While only 0.1% of entire human population lives in Papua New Guinea, our country is a home to 5% of all plant and animal species of the world. A large proportion of this species diversity is still not know to science.
This is particularly true for small animals, such as insects. Our Center contributes to the study of this diversity by biodiversity surveys of insects, particularly moths and butterflies. The Center also contributes to building national insect collection by contributing specimens to the National Agriculture Research Institute in Port Moresby.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Our Center is active in environmental education. The future of PNG biodiversity will to large extend depend on decisions made by village landowners as well as by educated professionals. The focus of our educational activities is thus on village schools, as well as postgraduate Biology students.
Our Center closely collaborates with the Wanang Conservation Area and assist the Wanang landowners with conservation management of the forest on their lands. We are also developing a conservation and research area with rainforest owners at Mt Wilhelm and collaborate with other village-based conservation areas:
- Kau Wildlife Area in Baitabag Village,
- Ohu Conservation Area in Ohu Village
- Tree Kangaroo Conservation Area in the Finisterre Mts.