The Ona-keto Community Reforestation Project was an initiative of the people of the Ona and Keto tribes of Daulo district of Eastern Highlands Province.

The Ona and Keto people came together to have the Ona-Keto People’s Foundation (OKPF) established in 2006 as an organisation to oversee the commitment of these tribes in establishing this reforestation project in their area and to see that this initiative was carried through in a coordinated manner.

Being a reforestation project, it also promotes alternative, more sustainable means of income generation and capacity building for the local people. PWM plays more of a Facilitator and Technical Advisory role here.

The People of Ona Keto live in 10 villages in Wards 1, 2 and 3 of Watabung LLG, covering a land area of 6,500 hectares on the border of Simbu to the west. Because of their concern about development, conservation of land and rivers systems and grassland also about tradition and cultures/language they formed the Foundation in 2006 with the help of PWM and legal NGO partners.

Main project activities is focused on grassland reforestation, so far over 34, 000 trees planted on 37 Hectare out of 1,250 Hectares identified for reforestation. Together with grassland reforestation, there is also sustainable livelihood activities which are ongoing. Capacity Building and Training of local people and Board and management is also one of the vital activities that Ona Keto is doing.

Objectives of OKPF

These are the main objectives of the Ona Keto People's Foundation

  • Protection of their land, rivers forest
  • Protect and promote their Siane language, tradition and cultural practises
  • Provide a platform for learning and skills development
  • Protect and promote healthy living in the communities
  • Be the voice and mouth piece for the people and to link up with Governments and other international  partners
  • To be a voice of the people in development and advocacy issues regarding the protection of their rights

 

Photo taken in July of 2008 of the sloping face of a hill that used to be covered in savannah grass only.
Photo taken in July of 2008 of the sloping face of a hill that used to be covered in savannah grass only.
Photo taken of the same slope of hill face in February 2011. Notice the vast transformation.
Photo taken of the same slope of hill face in February 2011. Notice the vast transformation.