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Adventist land in Papua New Guinea declared a protected area

Adventist land in Papua New Guinea declared a protected area

PAU environmental science students and their faculty carrying out a biodiversity survey of Bautama mangrove community. [Photo courtesy of Adventist Record]

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The Papua New Guinean (PNG) government’s peak environmental protection authority (CEPA) recently declared a “ridge-to-reef” land and marine protected area that includes two Adventist institutions and one campground.

The Variarata National Park, located on the northern border of the protected area, includes part of the large cliffs that overlook Pacific Adventist University (PAU). The rest of the university falls within the western boundary, and the declaration will now protect the abundant bird and animal life found around the campus. Mount Diamond Adventist Secondary School forms part of the eastern boundary, while the Bautama mangroves and Bootless Bay, the Central Papua Conference’s campgrounds, are included within the southern boundary. 

The PNG national government recently invited the PAU School of Science and Technology to collaborate with CEPA to help preserve the biodiverse mangrove community within the protected area. The school is collecting basic data sets for future, more detailed research to focus on preservation of the mangrove communities as a means of helping mitigate climate change. 

“This possibility opens up another line of research in the prospect of searching for and unlocking the value hidden in PNG’s incredible biodiversity in the form of biologically active novel compounds with potential pharmaceutical and nutritional uses,” said Samuel Kopamu, dean of the PAU School of Science and Technology. “Exciting times are ahead for PAU research!”