WEST PAPUANS GO TO PAPUA NEW GUINEA TO LEARN ECO-FORESTRY

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 28, 2002 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Foresters, non-government organization representatives, community leaders and donor representatives from Papua are expected to arrive in Papua New Guinea today.

They will be on a 10-day visit to see and learn from the work of the Papua New Guinea Eco-forestry Forum and NGO members involved in eco-forestry activities.

The visit is designed to help the Papuans set up a similar organization and activities.

The 14-member delegation includes stakeholders of a new NGO forestry forum being developed in the Indonesian province following the granting of more autonomy by Jakarta.

During the visit, the delegation will also be briefed on the progress of forest certification in PNG.

They will visit a community-scale project to become familiar with the activities of NGOs working with local communities.

They will also visit wildlife management areas and other eco-enterprises, such as eco-tourism and village guesthouse development.

The delegation will visit projects in Madang, Morobe and West New Britain provinces.

These include eco-forestry, eco-tourism, and community projects and a wildlife conservation program.

Papua, a resource rich former Dutch colony bordering Papua New Guinea, was taken over by Indonesia under controversial circumstances. It has a growing pro-independence movement.

The current Indonesian government recently granted the province more autonomy, allowed its name to be changed from Irian Jaya to Papua and giving it a greater share of the revenue resulting from exploitation of local resources.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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