The Inaina Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Project came about in 2009 after landowner chairman and Chief of the little Fagagara clan, Joseph Gavara was invited to attend a climate change and REDD+ workshop conducted by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) in Port Moresby.
That occasion was an eye opener for him. Being the patriarch of his family and clan, he was prompted to take a course of action that would see him conserve the land and waterways and other natural resources for his people and the future generation. With a total of 9000 hectares, he decided to portion out 3500 hectares as the area marked for the WMA.
With advice from DEC, he came knocking on our door. Thus began our partnership as we officially took over from where DEC left, beginning with the collection of our own bio-survey and socioeconomic data.
Partners with Melanesians have been providing technical support since then, assisting them in community mobilization towards attaining their WMA. That dream was finally realized in July 2016.
Inaina Wildlife Management Area was officially DECLARED as a Protected Area (WMA) under the Fauna (Protection and Control) Act Chapter 154 - Gazettal number #G436. Printed and Registered on Wednesday 06th of July 2016, signed by the Minister for Environment and Conservation Hon. John Pundari, CMG, MP on 12th April 2016.
Even after attaining Protected Area status, threats and impediments are ever present. The immediate threat facing Inaina WMA right now is illegal logging. This is sure to leave a scar on this pristine paradise.
A foreign owned logging company has been encroaching into the boundaries of the WMA, illegally breaching even the 5 kilometer buffer zone that they have been specifically advised to keep away from.
PWM is continuing in its support of the landowners of Inaina WMA and are working to take this matter to appropriate bodies to have this matter addressed and to have the offending party penalised accordingly.