Papua New Guinea

How We Work

Empowering local people to design sustainable futures for the lands and waters that surround them.

In Papua New Guinea, Indigenous communities own the lands and control the waters that they have managed for countless generations. As a result, much of the Conservancy’s work in the country involves empowering local people to design sustainable futures for the lands and waters that surround them.

From helping manage development with land use planning to drawing up networks of marine protected areas in the Coral Triangle, the Conservancy is working with the people of Papua New Guinea to build a greener country. 


In Papua New Guinea we work side-by-side with communities to combine their traditional knowledge with our science and planning expertise. 

Many people in Papua New Guinea rely on natural resources for their food, shelter and income. Logging, oil palm development, mining, climate change and overfishing all have negative impacts—not only on the environment, but on people’s lives. That’s why the Conservancy is working with communities to help them protect their resources and their livelihoods from threats like pollution, land-based runoff into marine waters and the impacts of deep-sea mining, which could endanger sea turtles, whales, dolphins, tuna and other fish species. 

We work with communities to:

  • Identify the lands and areas that are most important for their livelihoods and culture;
  • Assess how traditional practices can be used to conserve resources like freshwater and forests;
  • Establish and manage local protected areas;
  • Explore the economic and cultural aspects of conservation; and
  • Build people’s skills and knowledge to lead this work. 

Working with a range of partners from governments, communities and local organizations, we are:

  • Bringing together governments and communities to develop long-term conservation plans for their natural resources;
  • Integrating strategies to address climate change into provincial and community development and protected area plans;
  • Using science to help communities and governments manage their fisheries to improve local livelihoods; and
  • Incorporating local management into protected areas to help build stronger communities and alleviate poverty. 

Our work aims to protect the marine and forest resources essential for securing food, maintaining livelihoods and prolonging the strong cultural and traditional practices of the communities that depend upon them.