Welcome

Protecting our biodiversity is of utmost importance to us. The developmental interests of our people are just as important.

What can we do to strike a balance between these two?

This question is the fundamental driving force behind  our work in conservation and community development in and around Papua New Guinea. Our approach is to play the role of a facilitator and allow the people themselves to drive the projects. Only then can sustainability be achieved. 

Our main project site is the proposed Conservation Area in the Managalas Plateau of Oro Province. There is a large variety of plant and animal species in that area that need to be protected. Chief of them, and endemic to that area is the world's biggest butterfly - the Queen Alexandra's Birdwing Butterfly.

We provide an array of services to our project sites as well as to other partner organisations and indigenous communities within Papua New Guinea and the greater Oceania region. One notable service is our work in Participatory 3-Dimmensional Model Mapping, a vital tool which is proving instrumental in land use planning for indigenous communities. 

About Us

QABB-2
A male Queen Alexandra Birdwing Butterfly

Partners with Melanesians Inc. (PWM) is a national not-for profit Non-Government Organisation working on Conservation and Community Development in rural areas of Papua New Guinea.

It was established in 1985 as a literacy project by academics and students from the University Papua New Guinea to support education initiatives in the Managalas Plateau of Oro Province. 

It gradually evolved, and by 1996 the focus shifted to conservation and community development. With the threat of large scale industrial development approaching from all sides of the plateau, the community through their consensus building decision making process agreed unanimously that with the help of PWM and the support of the Rainforest Foundation of Norway (RFN), the project should look to provide an alternative to the destructive extractive industries development. 

Over the years, with lessons learnt from Managalas, we have grown to include other project sites throughout the country. More on our work can be found within our Projects section. 

We strongly believe in the full participation of all people in any development so that everyone can benefit from it. It is a development process where people themselves are the drivers of development rather than mere recipients and spectators.

We work in partnership with the local Community Based Organisations as well as with other stakeholder organisations to ensure everyone has a say in the development process.

Ultimately, our work is guided by the following key principles as our values, vision and goals. 

Our Goals & Values

Our Goalmanagalaschildrenfolks

To mobilize, educate and equip the communities with relevant skills and resources to make informed decisions to protect and utilize their natural resources sustainably. 

Our Vision

Well informed, organized, motivated and self-reliant societies living in peace and harmony with their environment.

Our Mission

PWM is committed to facilitate, formalize and strengthen conservation and sustainable community development efforts through Education and Consensus Building with effective networking and partnerships.

Our Values

  • Environmental Stewardship - PWM believes in the protection of the environment and it’s Biodiversity.
  • Indigenous people - PWM promotes and values the cultures of Melanesian societies.
  • Community Empowerment - PWM believes in facilitating and empowering members of the community in taking the lead in their own development.
  • Partnerships & Networking - PWM promotes strong and effective partnership and networking with relevant stakeholders.
  • Transparency & Accountability - PWM promotes good governance through transparency and accountability.

How we uphold our values

Participatory Process
People be active participants in any development process or program/s intended to improve their lives or transform the context and conditions within which they live and upon which their wellbeing depends.

Equality and Social Justice
Equal participation of all and equal spread of benefits and access to services. All language and religious groups must participate equally to work and live together.  

Sustainable and Integrated Approach
The development process must be dictated by the recipients to conform to traditional practices. In order for it to be sustainable, it must take into account the spiritual, mental, physical and emotional aspects of an individual, the family, the community and the country

Our People

Kenn Mondiai

Executive Director

Rufus Mahuru

Dep. Program Director

Edwin Noaka

Office Assistant

Mana Mare

Administration Officer

Patrick Vuet

Conservation Coordinator

Our Key Projects

Managalas Conservation Area Project

The Managalas Plateau is home to the very rare Queen Alexandra's Birdwing Butterfly. It is one of the few remaining areas of Oro Province that remains untouched by logging and oil palm. This is the focus of the establishment of the second biggest Conservation Area in PNG.

Read more

Mangrove Rehabilitation for Sustainability

The Mangrove Rehabilitation for Sustainably-Managed Healthy Forests (MARSH) Project is being carried out in partnership with IUCN. The PWM project sites are located in Manus Province and the Central Province.  

Read more

Inaina Wildlife Management Area Project

The proposed Inaina Wildlife Management Area in the Central Province was initiated in 2009 by the chief of Inaina after learning about the effects of deforestation and climate change. Recent threats include destructive logging activities that have encroached onto his land.

Read more

Particpatory 3-D Modelling

Participatory 3 Dimensional Modelling is a great enabling tool for decision making, especially in land-use planning. PWM is the only organisation within the Pacific Region that is specialising in facilitating and developing P3DM. 

Read more

Mt. Karimui Conservation Area Project

Mt Karimui was another Conservation Area project initiated by the people of Karimui through their Local community based organisation, the Karimui Conservation & Resource Management Programme Inc. Karimui is located in the southern tip of Simbu Province

Read more

Ona-Keto Community Reforestation Project

The project was initiated by the people of the Ona and Keto tribes of the Daulo district of Eastern Highlands Province. PWM provided technical advise on nursery construction and seedling care, as well as promoting alternative income generation activities.

Read more

Media & Publications

These reports and awareness materials are all free for public viewing and use. All videos listed below are independently produced by other organisations. 

Videos

Interview with Patrick Vuet on the benefits of P3DM

Presentation on Ona-Keto Reforestation project

State of the Rainforest address by Kenn Mondiai, Norway

Kenn Mondiai discusses importance of PGIS practices

Documentary on the proposed Managalas Conservation Area

Key Program Components

Conservation & Biodiversity

This key focus of this program is the protection of biodiversity through the establishment of protected areas which are legally binding* and recognized by the Government of Papua New Guinea. Working with indigenous communities, we seek to promote sustainable development practices which are incorporated into their management plans.

A vital process in this program is the documentation of biological information for the project sites as a baseline information for further research work. This is where detailed studies are carried out to identify different species of flora and fauna within our project sites. 

In collaboration with community based organisations, we ultimately want to see that the communities are living in harmony with the natural environment.

The Queen Alexandra's Birdwing Butterfly

This key focus of this program is the protection of biodiversity through the establishment of protected areas which are legally binding* and recognized by the Government of Papua New Guinea. Working with indigenous communities, we seek to promote sustainable development practices which are incorporated into their management plans.

A vital process in this program is the documentation of biological information for the project sites as a baseline information for further research work. This is where detailed studies are carried out to identify different species of flora and fauna within our project sites. 

In collaboration with community based organisations, we ultimately want to see that the communities are living in harmony with the natural environment.

Climate Change

The communities we are located in, like most of Papua New Guinea and the rest of the Pacific Islands and the world all over, are feeling the effects of Climate Change. This is a critical issue and a key talking point for us and the communities we work with.

Approach

In addressing this issue we focus on the following:

  • Dissemination of information to raise awareness on the effects of Climate change, 
  • Draw up action plans on taking measures to combat Climate change (Mitigation), 
  • Action plans to adapt with the changes that are taking place around us (Adaptive action plans), and to
  • Collect data for research and analysis.

 

Download a FREE Climate Change Poster!

climatechangeposterClimate Change is a global crisis that needs our immediate attention.

Spread the word and print this for your school or your bedroom or office wall. 

Download A4 Size (can be printed back-2-back into a 3-fold brochure)

Download A3 Poster

 

Sustainable Livelihood Activities

We value community development as much as we value conservation of biodiversity. True conservation is when people within a society can coexist with nature in a sustainable manner.

In seeing a community develop, it is important to see the members of that community have an alternative form of income generation to sustain their daily lives as well as to help them in their conservation efforts.

This is where we work with communities to help them seek sustainable livelihood activities. In essence it is a proactive approach of dissuading people from looking into more destructive methods of income generation like mining exploration, logging and large scale oil palm farming.

A Case Study

This key focus of this program is the protection of biodiversity through the establishment of protected areas which are legally binding* and recognized by the Government of Papua New Guinea. Working with indigenous communities, we seek to promote sustainable development practices which are incorporated into their management plans.

A vital process in this program is the documentation of biological information for the project sites as a baseline information for further research work. This is where detailed studies are carried out to identify different species of flora and fauna within our project sites. 

In collaboration with community based organisations, we ultimately want to see that the communities are living in harmony with the natural environment.

Rain Forest Literature

Actors from the Kuafienami Theatre Troupe in mid-scene from one of their plays. Humour is never in short supply here.
Actors from the Kuafienami Theatre Troupe in mid-scene from one of their plays. Humour is never in short supply here.
Rain Forest Literature is the name given to the education and awareness program we use to bring technical information down to the level where people at our communities can easily understand the key messages. 

This is done with learning aids such as posters, flip charts and shell books, radio plays and local theatre productions. 

The information produced and packaged into these medium come from issues and questions raised at the previous combine forum. This method of information gathering and dissemination has proved effective in that everything is customised precisely to their learning needs.

Continuing in this process of education awareness for well over 20 years, it is without doubt that the people of Managalas are some of the most informed people in Papua New Guinea when it comes to matters concerning conservation, climate change and other related issues. 

The Kuafienami Theatre Group

This key focus of this program is the protection of biodiversity through the establishment of protected areas which are legally binding* and recognized by the Government of Papua New Guinea. Working with indigenous communities, we seek to promote sustainable development practices which are incorporated into their management plans.

A vital process in this program is the documentation of biological information for the project sites as a baseline information for further research work. This is where detailed studies are carried out to identify different species of flora and fauna within our project sites. 

In collaboration with community based organisations, we ultimately want to see that the communities are living in harmony with the natural environment.

Consensus Building

Managalas dancers welcoming participants and guests to the 2008 Combined Forum.
Managalas dancers welcoming participants and guests to the 2008 Combined Forum.
Consensus Building as a program derives its name from the main decision making process that is carried out by the communities of Managalas Plateau.

Hence, this program is chiefly responsible for overseeing and coordinating activities relating to this decision making process, and one of the core programs of the organisation. 

This Consensus Building (CB) program picks up from where the Rain Forest Literature (RFL) component ends. After all the education and awareness activities conducted by RFL team, it is often likely that new questions about a certain issue may arise in the minds of people. Sometimes more questions about old issues crop up again. 

From here on a system of community meetings on these issues from individuals are identified, presented and discussed at various levels of community gathering.

It is through this consensus building process that all these issues are discussed and decisions are reached as a way forward. 

This program culminates with the Combined Forum held annually at the end of the year. 

The Decision Making Process - Consensus Building
The Consensus Building process in essence
The Consensus Building process in essence
  1. Issues and questions raised are first discussed at the basic family level

  2. Family level decisions are brought to village group discussions

  3. Village group decisions are then taken to clan level with all other villages from within that clan. A decision is made for the bigger clan.

  4. Clan representatives are then selected to attend their respective zone* forums for each of the 10 zones. Here they continue to discuss, debate and speak about the issues to narrow it down.

  5. Decisions reached at zone forums by consensus are taken by a group of elders to the bigger combined forum in a central location within the Plateau.

  6. All the elders, zone coordinators and their support team of the 10 zones attend the combined forum.

  7. Government reps and Councillors on the plateau have also taken part in the forum.

  8. Many other stakeholders also attend this Combined Forum. From representatives of government bodies, NGOs and churches also attend as observers as well as technical experts. At the combined forum all parties present discuss and debate the issues and through consensus, reach decisions and prioritize key issues for the whole plateau.

    *Zone - A zone is often bigger then a clan. It is comprised of the people (or clans) who speak the same dialect. There are a total of 10 zones and 152 clan groups.

The Combined Forum normally takes place at the yam harvesting season where a big feast (Pondo) is held to mark the conclusion of the decision making process.

All decisions made at the combine forum are taken on board by the management of the Community based organisations and their umbrella body, the Managalas Conservation Forum, to implement the decisions by developing programs and activities around it.

This is now where the Rain Forest Literacy  component steps in to restart the entire cycle all over again for awareness activities for the  following year.

CONTACT US

Postal Address

P.O. Box 120,
BOROKO
National Capital District
111
Papua New Guinea

Physical Address

Milan Investments Ltd, Section 36 Allotment 3,
Croton Street,
HOHOLA,
National Capital District,
Papua New Guinea

Telephone: +675 323 6344
Facsimile: +675 323 6345

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